Read, read and read. Read a newspaper, magazine, editorial, stories, novels if you want to enhance your skill of reading. This was the advice we used to get from our elders. And by and large it was correct.
However if you want to achieve a certain level as a reader within a limited time, then you have to follow a systematic path. The following few tips can help:
First you need to identify what is your level of reading. Reading materials are selected and graded into various levels from easy to difficult. A lot of these materials are available online, free of cost. They can also be purchased from the market. All school textbooks for a language are graded class wise. It’s a different thing that in the same class there may be students of different levels.
But how to identify one’s level? For that one has to pick up the text of a particular level. If there is no difficulty in understanding the text at all, then it’s easier. Move to the next level of difficulty. Similarly if you find that most of the words, phrases or sentences are difficult to understand, then it is a difficult one. Go one level down. Probably the 60/40 rule should apply. If you understand 60 percent of the text and face the challenge of understanding 40 percent, then the level is suitable for you.
The second mantra for reading is variety. You need to read a variety of texts from science, humanities, commerce to sports, markets and more. If you read texts of only one field, then you remain deprived of the vacabulary and sentence structures of other fields. Initially one may find it difficult to enter the unfamiliar terrains. But one should keep on trying to expand one’s interests.
The third is read regularly. You should be able to devote some time to reading every day. Here comes developing your interest in literature handy. Keep the variety of texts in mind but also develop a habit of reading for pleasure. You will not get bored.
Photo credit: Charles Dana Gibson, Wikimedia Commons