Reading Styles and 21 Tips to Gain Maximum from Reading
Reading is a complex cognitive process to decode written symbols and construct the meaning by means of the language in order to build upon the existing information that generates new ideas. Highly technical, isn’t it? Well it is when you describe the process but don’t worry about it. Just keep reading!
Reading is a wonderful habit that keeps you updated. Continuous Readers keep evolving themselves and learn new things all the time. They say Reading is your friend. They also say Readers are never alone. In fact they have said to the extent that Readers are Leaders. There are trillions of books in the world and Zettabytes of information lying on the Internet waiting to be read. There’s more pouring in every second and it’s a landslide out there. People even blog from their washrooms! Everything is possible today. Everybody has started writing – Thanks to the invention of blogs. A lot is happening out there and you’ll be amazed to know that most of what you are looking for is already been tried out by at least 10 people. It you look properly, you will probably find it online. Either on YouTube, or Twitter or anywhere Google can reach. Give it a try if you don’t read already!
Reading is also important to learn new concepts, other people’s Ideas and to acquire knowledge from various sources without communicating them directly. One might just read as a hobby or to research specific subjects or it could be an intensive reading to master a territory completely. Whatever may be the cause, it is an extremely important a habit which should be cultivated in the kids right from the childhood. Reading, redefines the Future. Without Words, no Literature or Research was ever possible. Imagine a moronic world without Shakespeare, Whitman, Tolstoy or Tagore!
Language allows you convey your Ideas and Feelings and creates a background for the possibility of reading. Language has made everything possible. Get involved in this beauty. Read with a purpose and Re-Read it. Try to understand why you are doing it. It gets better with interest. The Higher your interest, the Deeper it goes. If you read with an open heart, it proves to be better, faster and effective in the long run. Maintain high levels of enthusiasm and curiosity and make it an interesting and personal process.
What you want from a collection of words will determine the style with which it should be approached. There are various styles of Reading.
Styles of Reading –
There are no fixed rules of reading, only styles! Being a highly subjective process, it varies from person to person. While reading, a reader substitutes images for the words based on his earlier information, ideas, experiences and imagination, eventually visualizing a new world of his own which is different from everybody else. However to cover the techniques involved, various styles are defined. Let’s go through them.
It means reading orally or speaking the words aloud as you read. It is a combination of sight reading and sounds or lip movements. This is mostly observed in the kids as they learn to read and even in grown-ups in some cases! It could prove difficult as you progress with your reading skills, however it also testifies as a good way to read complex topics. You could also call it Murmured Reading.
Scanning means to go through the material quickly and not necessarily in a linear fashion. It helps to understand the overall idea, importance of a topic or specific keywords and ideas in a short time. This is utilized mostly used to read Maps, Travel Guides, Factsheets, Newspapers (to shortlist articles of importance), Illustrations and Brochures. It involves quick eye movements to instantly go over the written matter and identify the information of interest. The objective is to ‘Find and Match’ the information being looked which could be a Specific word, Formula, Date or Fact.
Speed Reading is focused on time. You may also call it Timed Reading. Skimming is a type of quick reading at a high level to understand the gist of the text in the minimum possible time. It is a superficial type of reading and utilized to read Fiction, Story books and Novels. Reader chooses to skim some words or sections and jumps directly on the pieces of interest. This type of reading is not very effective to build a long term memory. Imagine reading Thriller Stories!
Speed Reading helps you to clear the competitive exams. Improving your rate of reading proves beneficial in the long run. The amount of words you can read and understand in one glance is called as ‘Perpetual Span’ of reading. It is generally four to five words for average readers. There are people in History known to have a Perpetual Span of two pages! They had the ability to read multiple books in a day without losing on any meaning!
This type of reading involves playing a detective to find the typographical errors. This is usually used by Writers, Editors and Proofreaders in order make a piece of text error-free. This is generally the last step in the editing of a composition before submitting or printing.
Re-reading is self-explanatory and means reading a piece of text again. It helps to understand the same content from a different perspective and often utilized by readers for their favorite books. Re-reading allows the ideas explained to sink deeper and helps to build a better memory so that they can be recalled when required. One cannot read a book again but can only reread it. Try reading a piece more than once to see the benefits for yourself!
Intensive Reading or Reading with a Purpose
With this type of reading, you have a Purpose. There is a reason why you are doing it. It is often a line by line reading, understanding each and every detail and requires a lot of time. It is also the most effective one and creates strongest impressions that become a part of your permanent memory. It is more like a Love Affair with the piece you read. Matters of serious interest are read in this manner.
Now that you know a variety of methods of reading, it would be worthwhile to invest some time in deciding the right method every time you read. In fact once you’ve gained a deeper knowledge about all the styles, you should be able to automatically choose the right one for the right piece.
Let us now go through a couple of trade secrets in this art to give you a neutron boost. The points that follow are meant to give you an idea of how effective the process of reading could be and how deeper and colorful it could become. They will also help you to identify your areas of improvement and work upon them.
- Cultivate the habit of Reading. Make it a hobby and do it with Enthusiasm and Interest.
- Plan your Reading and Read with a Purpose.
- Read various subjects and not just about Movies and Football.
- Reread the same content using different styles. Every style serves a unique purpose.
- Improve upon your Perpetual Span of Reading by continuous practice.
- Understand the Intention of the Author.
- Summarize the text in your head after you read it.
- Gain a good knowledge of Language and Vocabulary.
- Self-Explain a piece of text you’ve read in simple words and with your examples.
- Narrate the summary in a new language.
- Work on your Memory Power.
- Higher the Concentration, the better and faster you learn.
- Compare the effectiveness of an Idea by evaluating multiple sources.
- Contemplate before, during and after the reading to achieve the best results. Creative Reading implies thinking as you read and adding the new information to your existing knowledge base.
- Gain more information about the Author, his style and Forte and other literary works.
- Translate a text in a different language.
- Learn to read between the lines. Catch the subtle hints provided by the Author.
- Master a few books completely and make them a part of your Life.
- Ask this question after you’ve finished reading – To what extent was the author successful in communicating the message?
- Evaluate your progress by asking the following and similar questions at regular intervals –
- What is my reading Style?
- What are my favorite books?
- How fast can I read?
- What is the purpose behind this reading?
- Devote a long and fixed period of time for reading on a single topic. This kind of dedicated reading helps to Master an area completely deriving tons of benefits.
By Mohit Valecha (Writings from the Heart)
Courtesy – Maansik Dakshata