Reading is an important life skill – arguably one that everyone must possess. To some, it may seem like an inconsequential matter whether one can do so; we use it so often as we go about our daily lives that we forget that’s it’s a skill we even had to learn in the first place. For the educated it’s as natural as breathing, but what most do not consider is that it’s just as important. Reading is the one main skill that allows us to gain knowledge from others through the medium of writing which was – and always will be – a staple of human education since its inception by the ancient Sumerians about 5,000 years ago.
The best part about it is that it’s only gotten better since then. Educational institutions around the world – especially international schools in Philippines – understand its importance.
Even now, despite our many technological advances, reading has maintained itself as a primary means of timeless communication. Even the presence of the internet has not deterred its growth, but in fact, has increased it. According to Julie Coiro’s article “Exploring Literacy on the Internet”, research showed that children’s interest in reading fell as they progressed through school, but the use of technology has combatted this trend. The latter actually encourages engagement and authentic learning! So there is no doubt that reading is now more widespread than ever – we are in the information era, after all – but there remain people who still maintain that it is a boring activity that yields no results.
There are many reasons why one should take up reading, but doing so may not be so easy for some. Consider the following activities when trying to get through a book to make it a little easier:
Pick Your Interests
As it is when beginning any activity, one must have a healthy level of interest in order to be properly invested. That said, get a book that covers personally interesting subjects. For example, those interested in cooking may go through recipe or nutrition related books while those more inclined towards sports may read about their favourite games or athletes. While it is true that sometimes we must also read about things we are into particularly interested in, it monumentally helps to begin with those that we are.
Appreciate Its Benefits
An obvious side effect of reading numerous materials is that one will soak up a lot of knowledge. While this is itself is already enough of a boon, consider the advantage of learning to write better as well. According to the case study “Reading Improves Students’ Writing”, the title says it all – reading does improve one’s writing. This increase in writing ability, in turn, allows for better expression of thoughts. Writing then becomes a way of self-expression.
Use Your Imagination
Reading narratives, especially those in fiction, have a tendency to stimulate our imaginations. While reading, allow the mind to wander and create impressions of the text. Not only will this aid in remembering recently absorbed information, but it will also make the experience more enjoyable overall.
Beginning to get into reading doesn’t mean that one will have to finish a whole book instantly. Start small to make it easier – perhaps begin by trying to read through a magazine from cover to cover or by going through an online article that isn’t in “list-icle” format. It doesn’t always have to be like that, though. Even everyday items provide the opportunity to get into reading. Labels, promotional material, and samples are great ways to learn more about a certain product while also practicing one’s reading skills.
One of the biggest things that prevent one from completely getting into reading is that sometimes, the material is left unfinished. Of course, a story left hanging or facts left unchecked will likely leave “a bad taste” in one’s mind as the pieces are not fully fitted together; reading something completely is often crucial to understanding the whole idea of a certain text. While this may be difficult to do the first time, one will find that it gradually gets easier over time.
Getting into reading is not difficult as long as one invests the right amount of time and effort into it. While reading habitually isn’t exactly a skill, neither is it a one-time thing. It is better done continually – only then will its true effects show. As George R.R. Martin once wrote: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, […]The man who never reads lives only one.”
Kimberly Marie Gayeta (Kimmy)?is a Communications Degree holder, currently working as an online Marketing Representative for REEDLEY International School Manila Tuition.