Contrary to popular opinion, simply increasing your reading does not automatically make you a better reader. There is a bit more to develop into an effective reader. Actively attempting to enhance your speed, volume, and organization will all contribute significantly to your improvement.
So, how do you improve your reading ability? Here are a few points to bear in mind.
Do not be scared to put down a book you dislike
We’ve all been socialized to view not finishing a book as a failure. That is because we are accustomed to school-mandated reading lists, book reports, and even being evaluated on the novels we read. Fortunately, being an adult comes with the significant advantage of not having to answer to anyone. And occasionally, if you’re not enjoying a book, it’s probably best to put it down. Forcing yourself to read something you dislike is unlikely to benefit you. Decide when it’s time to let go and, rather than wasting time, pick up another novel that interests you.
Make time to read more challenging novels
Not all books are created equal, and not all authors write in the same style. While some are easy to read and enjoyable, others can be a little more demanding. Occasionally, it’s a good idea to exert extra effort and read something you think to be more difficult. It will assist you in evolving, will make you a better reader, and will provide you with a sense of success upon completion. Additionally, more difficult novels are frequently more rewarding. Taking the time to read a challenging novel may be a wonderful experience in and of itself, as well as beneficial in a variety of ways, from the way it enhances your reading ability to the life lessons contained therein.
Read actively/critically/don’t skim
Active or critical reading is the act of reading with the explicit goal of comprehending and evaluating the content’s value and relevance to your requirements. Continuously engaged in active reading is paying close attention to the stuff you’re reading, attempting not merely to read it but also to comprehend it. Being more engaged in the reading experience will help you become a better reader.
Carry a dictionary with you at all times
A component of actively reading is comprehending what you read, which means you should pay special attention to new terms you come across. Rather than relying solely on context to determine the meaning of new terms, we encourage you to check them up in a dictionary, whether on your phone or in the traditional manner. This will assist you in expanding your vocabulary, and you will be much more inclined to begin using new words after you have thoroughly grasped their meaning.
Always keep a book close to you
Almost a golden rule when it comes to reading, having a book nearby can significantly assist you in your quest to become a better reader. You never know when you’ll feel like leafing through a few pages or simply having a few minutes to yourself. Surrounding yourself with books that interest you will motivate you to read more, which will contribute significantly to your development as a reader.
Always have a reading list/make a reading plan
A good reader considers not just the book she is currently reading, but also the books she will read after the present one is completed. You should have an up-to-date reading list that you can strike through or add titles to as time goes on. Keeping a reading list is critical if you want to improve your reading ability. It enables you to establish and easily update reading lists, ensuring that you’re constantly aware of the next book to read.
Read what you desire, not what you believe you should read
In addition to abandoning a book if you’ve begun reading it and dislike it, the same rule should apply to novels you haven’t begun but are dreading the prospect of reading. If a book does not appeal to you, disregard internet reviews or what others have to say about it. Read anything you desire and enjoy. This way, you’ll read more and have a more enjoyable experience.
Establish a pleasant reading environment
A good reader understands the critical nature of the reading environment. A disorganized desk is thought to be an indication of an unorganized mind. And, despite Albert Einstein’s extraordinary recovery, I tend to concur. When it comes to reading, it’s critical to disconnect from the outside world. And you can’t do that in a filthy room, with your children singing loudly in the corner, or with the TV on full blast. Create a reading area for yourself, surround yourself with a nice setting, and disconnect from the outer world. Instead, become more engaged in your reading and the benefits will follow shortly.
Prepare your reading sessions in advance
Along with a pleasant reading atmosphere, it is critical to schedule your reading hours. Having a reading routine will assist you in taking things to the next level. While it may be sufficient for some to just read as frequently as possible, for an avid reader seeking to develop their skills, planning, and schedule are critical. Having a period of the day set aside for reading and establishing this as a habit would much assist.
Join a reading group or take part in a reading challenge
Occasionally, joining a reading group or participating in a reading challenge might significantly aid your growth as a reader. As a member of a group with a similar purpose, you will be motivated to push your limitations. You’ll read more, you’ll probably read novels that are outside your comfort zone, and you’re certain to acquire a lot from the experience.
Maintain a reading journal/keep track of what you read
Writing down your thoughts can significantly improve the effectiveness of active or critical reading. Not only are you thinking about what you’re reading, but you’re also putting your thoughts down, activating an entirely new region of the brain. This adds complexity to the process and enriches the experience, ultimately making you a better reader.
Utilize a reading application
As I previously stated, using a reading app nowadays can provide numerous benefits and can serve as the answer to numerous questions, including yours, “how to become a better reader?”
Read More: The Science of Data Visualization
How long does it take to develop into a proficient reader?
As much as I wish I could offer you a definitive answer, the truth is that it truly depends. It all relies on your primary objective as a competent reader. It is entirely up to you to determine when you consider yourself a proficient reader. Additionally, it is dependent on the amount of time and effort invested. The more you labor, the more quickly you will reach your objectives, regardless of their nature.
To summarize, being a good reader is a collection of numerous qualities and attributes. Becoming a proficient reader can be a lengthy process, depending on your goals and the amount of time and effort you are ready to invest.