Now that you may have discovered the reason you are reading something difficult, it's time to find some ways that may ease your difficulty. The whole point behind strategies is to help you overcome the painful task ahead of those who don’t enjoy reading certain things. If you use these strategies, I can guarantee you will get through painful reading much quicker.
Make an effort – Purpose and effort go hand-in-hand. This is the most important strategy you should follow, with all kinds of reading. Nothing will happen without that effort. If you don't make the effort to learn, the task will never get done, because you're not putting your best into it. Ask yourself, Why am I even reading this? What’s the point? If those questions pop into your head, answer them, instead of reiterating the questions. It really helps to guide you in the right direction.
Stay positive – It’s so easy to get into a slump and hate every second of reading. As soon as you notice the negativity slipping into your mind, be quick to avert it to a positive thought. For instance, if you are reading about the scientific method, you could easily think, Well, how can anyone understand this? Cancel that thought! Think, Anyone can who really tries, so I’m gonna try!
Find a common interest – When you find an interest you share with the work you are reading, it makes time fly. There is bound to be something in every work that you find interesting. Keep the thread going from your one interest. Draw from it. Try to work from the interest, which would be your starting point, and the rest of the text. For example, I said already I don’t like history. Well, if I read the textbook over the Holocaust, I could find the interest in it through maybe a personal story of someone or a place that experienced the terrors faced when in war. Even find your own resources, not just drawing from the book! Maybe you hate reading, but love math. Make reading like an equation, only with words instead of numbers. Make what you're reading relate to you!
Reading out loud - You may be thinking how horrible the text is that you are having to read. Well, I've learned over the years that your words will overpower your thoughts. So, to counteract those thoughts, read it out loud to yourself. You may feel silly at first, but reading a text that bores you or you can't understand out loud will help you fully understand it because you are more focused on it.
Read and re-read if necessary – This strategy is one that will prevent you from procrastinating on homework if that is what you are using it for. With this method, you can take all the time you need to finish. It's important that if you don't get it or you find your mind straying in multiple directions, you may need to make sure you understood what you were reading by re-reading it. This reading out loud and re-reading when you lose track of your words are the two best ways of reading something you don't want to read.
Make notes on anything necessary - If you're reading for school, chances are you’ve already got the notebook out and a pencil in hand or the computer fired up, so why not take notes while you are already reading your book? Make note of any important facts or rules that you think won’t quite stick for you. If you are confused about something you are reading, don't hesitate to write it down and ask the teacher. I can guarantee most teacher truly appreciate that effort to truly understand what they are working so hard to teach you. You may have to go an extra mile, but I promise you it’ll be worth it when you learn more than you ever thought you could.
Study on your notes – Find the best way you study and study! Some people need a quiet space with minimal distractions. Some people need some background noise. I personally study best with movement – I walk and study in a quiet place, reading my questions and answers out loud. They say blood flow helps the brain to retain information! Look up different ways to study and find out which one fits best for your environment and learning style.
To be honest, I can preach all day about positive attitudes and purpose, but the truth is you've got to find what works best for you. These are just a few tips on helping you discover your reasons and strategies. But, it always starts with you! You've got to take that first step to improve your learning experience, and choose to make the most of your reading. Your wheels may be spinning, but you choose to put the car in "drive."
In my room, toys of all kinds were spread across the floor, bed and dresser. Everything from car toys to action figures to Barbie dolls had their fair share of use and play that day. Some action figures had parts of their bodies on one the dresser, while Barbie dolls’ arms reached far to the window, longing to escape my playful desires. But, by dinner, Momma broke down the door and demanded my room be cleaned by the end of the day. Now, as a kid, I was not open to cleaning anything, especially my room where I was best at expressing myself and my toys. How could she tell me to clean up what I had carefully designed! What she saw a mess, I saw a masterpiece. Only when I got older did I understand – yes, it was a mess! And if I didn’t do it, she’d have to. So, I’d whine, moan and argue my way out of it for almost an hour before I finally gave in to her orders. The whole time I cleaned, I had a frown drilled into my forehead and sent hateful words across my breath. Because of my ridiculous attitude at cleaning my room, it took twice as long, and was a miserable loon the whole time. She always used to tell me, “If you spent as much time actually doing the work as you do complaining about it, you’d be done by now!” That couldn’t be farther from the truth in things we face today!
When you really don’t feel like reading something you have to read, get a new perspective. Stay positive! Find the thing that interests you about the subject! Keep an open mind! It helps you get through reading for the purpose you have. It’s good to pinpoint why you are reading something before you read it, so a few different purposes for reading include:
Have you ever tried to keep water contained with a strainer? When you pour the water onto the strainer, you won't retain much water. The same concept is applied with purposeful reading. If you use the wrong method for reading that doesn't work for you, you won't remember or retain any information you try to. That's why it's so important to read with purpose.
Most people write or get published because they feel they have a story worth telling. It's important to know what you are talking about when you write, so others can understand it too. There are many purposes to many things, such as reading for entertainment, for study, for academics, for criticism – the list goes on and on. It’s important to figure out why you are reading what you are reading. If it’s for entertainment, you want it to grab your interest. That is your purpose. If you are reading for a class, you may put forth an extra effort to truly understand what you are reading. If you are reading to find out personal knowledge, you are needing to search out just the information you are looking for.
The hardest time you have when you are trying to read with purpose is when you are reading something you don’t choose to read. This situation runs rampant with students. For example, my least favorite subject is history, primarily because I never had an effective history teacher. So, when the history teacher made me read a chapter out of the book for an exam, it felt like it took forever to drag through every line, and I forgot the first half when I got done with the second half. It was a nightmare! However, English was my favorite subject. So, reading a novel for college was a breeze!
One thing I’ve learned through my years in school is your approach to the task at hand. Your perspective on it makes all the difference. If you whine and complain about it and moan after every page, it’s not going to get you anything but a headache without knowledge in the end. Keeping a constantly positive perspective is almost like a trick you play on your brain. But, you’ve got to have one key component in order to be effective at it – you guessed it! Purpose! With a good purpose and perspective, you will accomplish even the most mundane subjects. And, reading a novel or textbook through to the end won’t seem as hard a task. Purpose makes all the difference – not just in reading, but in life!
FROM THE WRITER
This is a blog site where tips, information and other help is given to fellow writers in need of a brush up, a tip or a source. Comment, share or just enjoy!