How to Become a Better Reader


Authored by Douglas Mefford in Self Improvement 
Published on 11-23-2009

Reading is one of the most essential skills we can develop. Being able to comprehend the ideas and knowledge passed down is crucial to an improving society. We are all taught at least the basics of reading when we are children. There are, however, ways in which we can greatly improve our reading skill to further improve our understanding of the world around us.

Reading is a skill. It requires practice to get good at it and various exercises in order to get the best benefit from the information we are reading. In order to become a better reader you will need to begin by finding out what genre of literature most interests you. When you begin the exercises to help become a better reader you will want to limit the time you read. Set aside specific small increments that you can handle without becoming fatigued. Do not make the time so short that you cannot easily get back into the flow of the narrative.

Beginning your reading improvement exercises may go better if you do not immediately tackle heavy subjects. If the reading seems more a chore than a joy, find something that is less intense to begin with. If you still want tot read heavier subject matter, assign a time before you go to bed to read. Make sure you have sufficient time to concentrate on the words you are reading. When you encounter a word you are not sure of, first see if you can garner its meaning from the surrounding text. Failing that, using a dictionary will give you the information you need. A thesaurus is also good for learning these new words as it can give you a better understanding of similarities in meanings and usage.

Avoid just letting the words pass through your vision. Take the time to stop and visualize the situation you are reading about. This is especially important in narrative fiction. When a character or place is described, stop and think about what the words say. Focus on getting a good picture of the objects and action in your mind. With practice you can soon find the words taking the form of a movie in your mind. This can help you better grasp the concepts of the writing and offers a better enjoyment of the reading process.

There is generally a message or moral being presented in stories. Taking the time to figure out what it is the author is trying to teach you is a very important part of the reading experience. A good way to learn how to distinguish this aspect of stories and books is through reading with a friend or by joining a reading group. A reading group will pick a specific book to read. The group will then have meetings to discuss the book and the various interpretations they have of its content. Such groups are very good at helping one discover many new ways to appreciate and understand the reading material they peruse.

With some time and practice you will find that you are eventually getting a much greater and more intense experience from the information you read. The joy of reading is a central key to becoming a better reader.


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