Easy Yet Effective Ways To Better Understand Text On Books

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The literacy rate around the world has risen radically. While in 1820 only 12% of people across the world could read, the tables have turned and now around only 14% worldwide are illiterate.

However, it’s unfortunate and true that in 2018, the number of American adults (15 and over) reading for leisure has dropped to an all-time low according to the American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last year, the figure was about 19%, in comparison to 28% in 2004.

Many can blame this decline on social media, live streaming, gaming, internet, and tech-related issues, but the decline has been in trend since the 80s and affecting all age groups – so much for that theory.

A possible cause is that people just don’t understand what they’re reading. Reading is actually the hardest thing to teach because you don’t know what the person is thinking when they’re reading. For all we know, that college student might be thinking of football practice, and a mother might think of what to prepare for supper, and so on.

But there are ways to combat this on an individual level, so have a look at how to improve this skill.

Skim First: Before you begin reading, you can prepare your brain by skimming through a text first. Put emphasis on titles, subtitles, main paragraphs, etc. This doesn’t just warm-up the brain, but also helps to orient the thinking process towards the reading at hand and creates an overall understanding.

Have a Purpose: Anything you do should have a purpose. Why are you reading a particular text? What is it you want to gain from it? Much of the time, you will have a reading that you must do and is assigned to you, such as work or study-related reading. When the reading isn’t your choice, it needs more effort to understand it, and that means setting out a purpose.  

Use Audio Books: It is said that we remember 10% of what we read and 20% of what we hear, and 30% of what we see. Generally, anytime you see a rounded figure, it’s often just simplified. But we do know that some people are better visual learners, others through audio, and others through actions. Enter audio reading, which has simplified reading for everyone. According to this Audible review, you’ll be excited to know that major publications are more likely to be available on big audio reading platforms. Now, it will be easier to multitask audio reading your favorite book series with some of your everyday tasks. There’s also a huge collection of all types of reads, and being in audio format, you’ll be able to finish more books at a quicker pace.

Don’t Reread: Reading the same paragraph twice and thrice isn’t effective in understanding it better. What’s more effective is reading it to focus the first time around. Trying to understand the content the first time will help you in retaining the information. Rereading the same sentences without absorbing the information will not be effective. 

Small things that are done before and during reading can help you better understand what is being read. Reading isn’t like watching TV, where you can watch without paying that much attention. You need to be more focused when reading. For others, they might prefer audio reading. In all cases, you can improve any skill if you pay enough attention.

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