- Why sometimes you find it difficult to read
- Tips to become a better reader
Reading is an essential part of the process of learning. Also, with good reading comes better communication skills and better understanding.
Barack Obama, Ex President of the United States Of America once said “Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.”
Reading is not restricted to perusing books of only educational importance. It also means reading fiction, biographies and epics among other books.
Infact, in this article we stress upon the details on how to become a better reader generally, and not specifically reading study material meant for examinations.
Often, we hear stories of how people find it difficult to read a complete book. Or that they find it difficult to concentrate on a book.
3 Reasons Why People Are Unable to Concentrate on Reading Books:
1. Perception About Books
Some people have the wrong impression about books. They think it’s boring, monotonous and long. Also, some students perceive books as only a means to write an exam. They do not think that books can be read as a leisure activity.
2. Lack of Time
Sometimes people say they don’t have the time. However, when it comes to reading, once you get hooked onto a book you will always find the time.
Many times people are so busy with their social life that they hardly find time to read a book. However, remember, there is no friend as loyal as a book.
3. No Access to Books
Many time you may not have access to books. There is a simple solution to this problem. You can join your local library or ask friends to circulate books with you so that you can gain access to more books.
Visit your town library or reading centre. Here you have access to a wide range of books, journals, magazines and newspapers.
Whatever the problem is, you must know that reading is a means of gaining knowledge and improving communication skills.
10 Strategic Ways to Become a Better Reader:
1. Get Hooked on To the Right Book
Sometimes, selecting the wrong book can be deterring. Especially if it’s your first book and it ends up being the wrong book.
Before selecting a book, you can ask around or do an internet research regarding the rating of the book. There are many online sites that show ratings of books. These ratings are based on readers choice and are rated according to the majority.
An interesting practice that has been tried and tested by educators is applying the 5 finger rule to choose the right book. In this practice:-
- Read or skim through the first 5 pages of the book.
- Lift a finger for each word you find challenging.
If you cross more than 5 fingers in the first 5 pages of the book, it is likely that you may find the book a bit difficult.
2. It’s Best to Not Make It a Compulsion
One of the tips to become a better reader is to read at leisure. It’s best not to make it a compulsion to read a book unless it’s for a specific purpose like an examination or assignment.
Read books during your leisure time or when you want to relax. This way reading becomes more a pleasurable act and you will be encouraged to read your next. There is only one thing that can replace a book – The next one.
3. Discuss Books with Friends
Just like how you would share fun moments and experiences with friends, discussing books with friends is also a good way to become a better reader.
When you discuss the books you read with friends you automatically get feedback from your friends about books they have read.
Make reading books a social event. This way you can share experiences and even have discussions on how you felt the author could have ended the story.
For this purpose, there are many book clubs. You can join any of these clubs to make book reading friends. Here are some book reading clubs that do just that.
4. Explore the Meaning of Words
Many times books have vocabulary that you may not understand or words that you come across for the first time. To understand the meanings of words is important because it improves your own vocabulary.
There are many ways you can find out meanings of words you come across while reading. Often, many words in a sentence throw light on the meaning of a single word in the sentence.
If you continue reading a few lines, the meaning of the word eventually gets expressed by the author and you will be able to figure out the meaning.
Let’s take the sentence “Visual signals usually help us to decipher what is being communicated. Here, the word “decipher” is a challenging word for you.
You may not know the meaning of it. However, on reading the entire sentence, you are able to gauge the meaning of the word in context.
You now realise that the meaning of the word decipher is to convert a code or language into simpler terms in order to understand it.
Note how you have “deciphered” the word yourself and improved your vocabulary too. It is also nice to keep a dictionary with you while reading a book.
Here, you can find meanings of words easily and understand the book with greater ease, instead of ignoring new words and not understanding the actual intent of the author.
5. Carry a Book Like You Carry Your Wallet
One of the best ways to become a better reader is to carry a book wherever you go. We suggest carrying a book around because you never know when the free time will come around.
You may have time on the bus on the way to work, or in a waiting room outside the doctors clinic. A book in hand is always the best companion. Read books like you breathe in air
6. Read Anything that Interests You
Always read what interests you. If you read what the crowd is reading or what’s trending, it may not be your type of book.
If you only read the books everyone else reads, then you can only think what everyone else is thinking. Keep your own interest in mind.
Your interest is paramount. If you are interested in space and earth you can go in for books pertaining to these matters.
Or if history is something that interests you then you can read a number of books on the political history of the different countries.
7. Start at The Very Beginning
The best tip of how to become a better reader is to start at a level that you are comfortable with. If you read high level books when you are just trying to cultivate a reading habit, then you may lose interest quickly.
8. Comfort for Beginners
When you are trying to cultivate the habit of reading and would like to know how to become a better reader, you must opt for a conducive environment.
It may be a quiet place at your favourite spot in your home. Ensure you have the perfect light and ventilation too. Reading in dull or poor light may prove to be detrimental to your eyesight.
If you have noticed, we have mentioned comfort for beginners in the title. We have specifically mentioned this because if you are already a voracious reader then you will be comfortable to read just anywhere and anytime. The book is your main comfort.
9. Versatility Is the Key
Versatile means being able to adapt and change. When it comes to reading, it is nice to be versatile in your choice of books.
Read different kinds of books and novels. Change the genre of your books each time you pick a new one. There are so many types of books on your bookshelf:
Romance, fiction, biographies, narratives, novels, history, thrillers, mystery, poetry, memoirs and the list can go on. Pick your choice.
10. Allow Yourself to Get Transported
Last but not least, one of the 10 ways to become a better reader is to allow yourself to be transported into an entirely different world.
Reading has a unique capability of transporting you to the world of your book. Forget about all your worries and tensions and get transported into the beauty of your book. That’s the thing about books, they let you travel without moving your feet.
Quoting the words of J.K Rowling author of the Harry Potter series “I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.”
Reading books is like exercise for the mind. An essential part of a healthy mind. Developing the habit of reading improves your overall well being.
In this recent pandemic, many people have taken to reading as the lockdown prevailed because reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.