What are the basic rules to enhance reading skill?
I've always regretted that I didn't read much before college, either because I found the book hard to comprehend, or I struggled to stay focused.
Funny thing is, that didn't stop me from buying new books. I love book stores. And I normally couldn't resist to start reading right after the purchase.
But that enthusiasm couldn't last long, and I usually ended up putting the book aside and never touching it again.
Until one day, I decided to open up a book, and read it HARD. It was One Hundred Years of Solitude that I chose. I had already attempted to read it twice and failed to finish twice.
This time, however, I read it through.
What leads to the different results then?
My previous failure probably resulted from my lack of vocabularies and comprehension. However, as more books I've read and more experiences I've gone through, this time I could comprehend well.
Here are several rules I've been following myself, and I've seen progress already.
Set reading time slot
If you find it hard to concentrate while reading, set yourself a fixed reading time slot every day, say 15 minutes. You can begin with shorter time slot at first, and extend the time whenever you feel like to.
The point is to develop a reading habit. Like it's necessary to brush your teeth twice a day, you'll feel it's also necessary to read books for a certain period of time within a day.
However, don't push yourself too hard. If you find yourself losing interests in reading and start wondering. It's time to take a break or change something else to read.
It's okay to give up halfway
There shouldn't be any restrictions on choosing books really.
But if you have problems understanding not just several paragraphs but a few pages, then you need to consider if the book you've chosen is beyond your current level.
Challenging yourself per se is a great way to keep you motivated, yet a risky way (sometimes) to get you frustrated.
For reading, it's okay to give up as our purpose is to enjoy not compel reading.
Read something easier at first. You can always adjust the difficult level as per your needs. I'm sure as your reading ability keeps improving, those you find difficult to understand will no longer be trouble anymore.
Re-read the books you love
For me, I prefer to re-read a book I love several times than take a risk to read something new, which I don't know if it's worth reading.
So every time I come cross a book I love, I'll keep it on my bookshelf for a second, or third read later. For those books I know I won't read again, I'll remove it from my shelf temporarily (or forever).
The fun of re-reading is that you get to read what you enjoyed reading + what you've missed last time = Doubled happiness.
You can read with excitement or read it like you've never read it before. Either case, you're having a good time a second time.
Read a writer's oeuvre
I've never done this before until I found my favorite writer. One book is simple not enough. I want to read other works they write.
After doing so, I feel like the way I understand the writer has changed completely. If reading only one of his work is 2-dimensional, then reading a writer's oeuvre is definitely 4-dimensional.
It's like you're growing up together with the writer, from naive to sophisticate, from bold to thoughtful and from vulnerable to powerful.
Also, you're more likely to accept the fact that writers aren't that perfect all the time. You'll come across some of their works better than the rest. Just like us, we've made mistakes but we're perfecting us little by little.
When you see a writer this way, you're officially beginning to be amazed by their charms.
Have fun reading!