Not everyone likes to read content that is boring or lengthy. Moreover, technology has made it worst by reducing our attention span to flashy social media posts, videos and images.
Reading is an essential attribute of every lifelong learner. And when I talk of reading in this context, I am not referring to books for pleasure and entertainment. I’m referring to information that can teach you how to master something or acquire a new skill.
“ _The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.”– Dr. Seuss_
In this blog-post, I will show you some practical steps on how to develop your reading skills. You will learn how to read faster, read effectively, recall what you read, and implement what you read.
Before we look at these strategies, let’s define the term, Reading.
There are so many definitions of reading. But as usual, I like to stick to simple definitions.
_Reading is the ability to perceive written words or symbols to make meaning out of it. Or simply put; it is the ability to understand written text (Study.com, 2016).
I will add that the primary purpose of reading a text is not just to understand it. Applying what you read makes your reading complete.
Here are some strategies on how to improve on your reading skills.
Skim before you read deeply.
Any time you stumble on any form of content, always ask these two basic questions before you read deeply;
“why am I reading this content?”
“What do I want to get from it?”
To achieve this goal, skim through the table of content, the introduction or the main points before you decide if the content worth reading.
If you do not find it relevant, discard and redirect your attention to other important content. It saves time and energy .
Focus on the meat.
Spending hours reading a book from cover to cover doesn’t make sense if you can’t remember anything. A better strategy would be to read the first two and last two sentences of a paragraph to grab the entire idea.
At times, you may focus on the introduction and the action steps to get the general picture. This strategy helps you to read faster.
Business expert and entrepreneur Dan Lok remarks:
I don’t read books. I use books.
Use a highlighter
Highlighting is a form of active reading in which you engage the content with a highlighter. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to highlight a text.
If you must highlight content, do not highlight immediately you read something interesting. Go through the content and understand it before you highlight the core material . This prevents you from highlighting too much irrelevant information.
When next you revisit that information, you can easily go through those areas you highlighted and save time rereading the entire content.
Take notes when you read.
Always document any information you find useful. You could state three key ideas you’ve learned from reading a text. You could also decide to write a review in not more than 300 words and keep it somewhere for future use.
Practise what you read.
Active reading involves putting into practise immediately what you’ve just read―especially if it is a practical guide or information.
If you acquire knowledge without putting it into practice, you lack wisdom because knowledge without application is useless.
In addition, you recall faster when you put into practise what you read.
Explore other information
Look for areas in documentaries, blogs, articles and videos where you can further expand your knowledge in that area. As you continue to explore other related content, you will stumble on patterns that are similar. The more you identify those patterns, the more you are likely to remember them.
Many people nowadays have become too lazy to read and implement what they read.
Effective reading involves; skimming before reading deeply, focusing on essential materials, highlighting and taking notes of relevant materials and exploring other similar content as you read through.
Do you have other reading strategies to share with us? Share with us in the comment box below.
To your success.