Reading skills are crucial at every level of our personal and professional life. The printed word is no longer our only window to the world. Online reading through blogs and other websites has become an important medium of reading.
Start with a subject or book that interests you. How about the magical saga of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling or an inspiring story like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Pick up the biography of someone who inspires you or read the history of an era that intrigues you. The tug of your interest will pull you through the end making reading enjoyable. Gradually you will want to move on to something at a higher level and explore subjects you found too boring to read earlier. The variety should be particularly useful to you if you are preparing for entrance exams. As you graduate from reading simple books to comprehending any subject with ease, you will see progress in your reading skill.
To make your reading more effective, try to keep these points in mind.
Know the purpose of reading: It is important to know whether you are reading for pleasure, to gain knowledge, or to pass an exam based on the reading material. It will also help you employ the right technique of reading.
Ask questions: In order to make the most of what you have read, ask questions. What has the text conveyed so far? Is there anything that you would like to understand better before moving on? Can you predict what is to come next? Where is the author going from here? This keeps you involved in the text facilitating better comprehension.
Make notes – It is a good habit to use a pencil to tick beside the line or lines that seem important to you. Alternatively, you can also jot down points in a notebook. This ensures that you are attentive during the reading process. It also helps capture the important points as a ready reckoner for future use.
Summarise at the end: This is the ultimate test of your comprehension. Try to summarise what you read in a sentence or two to capitulate and remember the material read.
If the idea of pouring over books doesn’t appeal to you, you can still read up on any topic online. Browse websites, Google on topics, subscribe to blogs or download books – the possibilities on cyberspace are immense. Though it is harder to read on a computer screen and the experience is quite different from reading a book, you can get your daily dose of reading online.
Developing reading habits for life needs some effort and perseverance. However, you can start today by following these simple steps to begin your journey into the wonderful world of reading.
Set time out: Take quiet time out every day to do your reading. It could be any time of the day. If you are too busy during the day, try to have an early dinner and snuggle in bed with your books for an hour before you go to sleep.
Read the Table of Contents: Skim through the book you intend to read to get an idea about its contents. You will get a sense of what the book is all about and if you want to read the book at the moment.
Read a few pages every day: When you start reading a book, make sure that you read a few pages in a single session before you put it down. Reading a page or so will not sufficiently involve you in the book and you are less likely to come back to it. Ensure you read a little chunk each time to develop an interest in the book. You are likely to come back to it to know what comes next?
Check sub vocalization: It is important to stop reading each word aloud in your mind. This hampers your reading speed and makes you a slow reader. Make a conscious effort to visually sweep through the sentence without waiting to let it echo in your mind.
Try variety in reading: You find the Harry Potter series great fun and are hooked on to it. That’s a great start but it is also important for you to move on and explore other genres of writing. Your reading skills will be sharpened in the real sense when you expose yourself to a heterogeneous reading experience.
Get set and go on to plunge yourself headlong into the world of reading which can do wonders you never thought of. Make friends with books and you will prefer their company all the time. Travel to exotic locations sitting right on your bed or feel the high your role model felt while starting his first venture.