French is a beautiful language, but like any foreign tongue, it can be intimidating. I remember the first time I was in Paris and a local spoke to me. I froze because I had no idea what she’d just said! It was so embarrassing. Let me tell you how reading in French can help you, as it helped me, no matter what your level.
I didn’t begin studying French in earnest until I was in my late 40s.
I improved little by little and today, a dozen years later, I can speak the language comfortably. I subscribe to a French newspaper and watch French news. And one of the things that has helped me is reading.
When I first started, I could only read the short handouts I got from my French teacher. Eventually, I tried newspapers and magazines, and finally made it to simple books—my first one is very popular with 12-year-olds!
Now I’ve enjoyed a number of French novels, including some of the classics.
I offer my tips for getting started with French reading in My French Life.