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6 Steps to Read Effectively

How to Read

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

If you have read my work previously, you would know I authored an article, on reading and reading more. A year, on and I think I know a great deal more than I did previously, regarding this subject. So here is my guide to reading more and effectively.

Step 1: Put down “that book.”

I know this sounds counter-intuitive. However, I am an English student and understand the burden of completing a book that you are lying to yourself about. It is okay not to finish a book. You are wasting time trying to read a book you hate when there are millions of books you might adore.

Step 2: Choosing a Book

This is completely subjective but reads your mood, do not just head for a classic or something that will make you sound smart at your next social gathering. Analyse how you feel. I sometimes even check my recent searches for subjects I google a lot.

Step 3: Get Inspired.

I know our inner contrarians screaming that everyone has read that book, so do not read it. Though, isn’t there a reason why everyone has read it? It is nice to find a book that you can suggest to others, but the best books are often plain sight. Identify what you feel makes a good book and then look at some book awards.

Step 4: Allocate Time

Now if you have done the previous steps to perfection, you will now prefer, yes, I said it prefers to pick up a book instead of switching to Netflix. If you can get a good 20–30mins a day, you are setting yourself up to read more.

Step 5: Do Not Set Goals

Let us say you want to read 50 books. Stop. No. Put down your notes and stop. Enjoying the process is something I have spoken about previously regarding work; however, this should always be the case with leisure. If you are determined to read more make a strict habit of it, every night between set times. I hate goals being set for leisurely activity, it makes us rush books and not comprehend what is being said, take your time and enjoy it. Reading should never be something to stress you out; it is a way of meditation, of calming yourself after a stressful day.

Step 6: Fold pages do NOT take notes…yet

For my fellow non-fiction readers, the urge, is to try and retain the information, moreover, why do you want to remember this information? Is it to impress people? Or is it for yourself? If it is the latter, then, read non-fiction like it is a reference book. You are there for the key information; you do not have to read the whole text. Fold the pages, if you absolutely want to be reminded of this later on, but no more. Notes are a waste of time if you are not reading to write an article or paper. Just relax and engage with the information. Doing extra research often helps me.

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