How To Become A Better Reader [12 Effective Steps]

How To Become A Better Reader

Reading holds a very important aspect of our self-growth. Reading books is a need for a person’s intellectual growth and we all spend some time reading books in our life.

It could be academic or it could be for training or maybe just a hobby, we read for sure. This is why after centuries of development of so many new services and diversified means for content consumption, reading remains equally important.

However, in this era of social media feedback loops and the trend of compact content consumption, people think of reading a book of even 150 pages as an extreme.

Well, this ain’t surprising at all, we’re trained like this and our mental system is shaped according to this. But that does not make books any less important. We still have to read them, for hundreds of distinctive reasons.

And it’s not that people don’t want to read books. They just can’t make it happen no matter how hard they try.

So, to make the process easier for you, Today I’m going to share with you 12 steps on how to become a better reader and read.

But before we dive into that, do you know what a good reader exactly is?

What is a Good Reader?

There are many types of readers. But, a good reader can read much faster than an average or poor reader; and of course, he remembers what he read. You should know that nobody has to remember everything from a book, sometimes many things are just less important for you.

A good reader also finds out what the author meant. Some readers become pro at reading that they can even predict what the author is about to say next. Just like some movie freaks, because they’ve watched so many movies, they can predict what will happen next in a movie.

In a nutshell, a good reader makes the most out of reading and the time he spends while reading.

12 Effective Steps To Become A Good Reader

The steps mentioned are for your help to read more books in less time and also remember what you’ve read. Because if you read several books in a month and you don’t remember what you consumed, there’s no point in reading.

So the steps to become a good reader just like I’ve explained are:

1. Learn the language

People normally read books to learn the language. This might be correct but a different case. If you want to become a better reader then you have to learn the language at least at an intermediate level. Keep in mind that this step is for the betterment of your reading, not your vocabulary.

If you don’t know the mediocre words you will stop many times in a single page and you’ll spend your valuable time finding the meaning. Of Course, some words are too fancy for normal people but 90% of the book will be comprehensible for every normal person. So the first step would be to learn the language at least at a satisfactory level.

2. Read with your finger

It sounds a little weird but there is a very important reason for this. If you want to be a good reader and read faster you have to use your finger while reading.

Because our eyes are not completely stable. They do not move precisely on only one axis. So when you read a book, sometimes you miss the point where you were reading or sometimes you miss a line or read a line twice. Such consequences are wastage of time and loss of interest.

When you put your finger on what you’re reading. You provide your eyes with a moving object to focus on and that way you don’t miss your spot. You might think that this will not change your speed of reading but that is just another reason.

Reading while your finger on the reading material helps you focus and you can put all of your attention into reading the book. So this is also helpful for people who can’t focus for a long time. Use your fingers people!

3. Kill the voice in your head

Have you ever noticed that mostly when you read something there is a voice in your head that reads those words inside your mind?

Mark Manson, a very famous author and the person who read 81 books in a year and inspired this article as well, calls this voice The Inner Monologue. Although there is nothing wrong with it. But the problem is that it’s too slow. It reduces your reading pace and you become a slow reader, while others finish many books in one month, you can’t even finish a single one!

You have to end that monologue inside you. It is quite difficult in the beginning and requires a lot of focus. But once you learn how to read without it, your reading can become much faster and efficient.

Do you need guidance about reading without the inner voice? Check out the article here.

4. Stop forcing yourself into reading crap

Yes, that’s right. Nobody has to force themselves into reading what they are not interested in. Instead, read what you like.

There is a variety of reading content and books about almost everything. If you don’t like a nonfiction book, read a fiction story. If you don’t like that either, then reading a comic book or a book with interesting random facts would be a good idea.

Don’t read any book just because it’s popular or someone said it will help you with your problems or you think that it will change your life. Remember, this step is for your reading betterment.

This will help you develop a reading habit with efficient reading skills and once you’re trained enough, you can read whatever you need to read.

5. Skip what you don’t like

You may have heard that a good reader will read every word of the book with complete attention and many other things that are not true. Nobody reads everything in a book.

The people who read the most skip things very often. They skip the things they don’t think are interesting and sometimes the authors repeat what they’ve already said differently. So people also skip books if they think it’s not important.

Mark Manson mentioned that he reads at least 10% of the book before deciding whether to read a book or to put it away. If he does not find the book that effective in that 10% he quickly moves to the table of contents, and if they aren’t appealing as well, he simply puts a book away.

But maybe skipping a book is unfair with the book. Many people will say that it’s not fair with the book and you can’t skip any part of the book. But don’t you think that it’s the purpose of the book to serve you and not yours to serve the book?

If you get to the boring part of an interesting book and you force yourself to go through it, you might lose interest and maybe you’ll stop reading.

6. Set a time for reading

Notice that most of the successful people around you are good at managing time, it’s not a coincidence. Time management works magically!

Not just with reading, but if there’s anything you want to work on, you should fix a time for it in your day.

Now many of you would say I’m too busy and I can’t give enough time to reading… Well, you just have to give 20 minutes to read in a day. 20 minutes a day and you can extend this time gradually when you get better.

An average person spends 2 minutes reading a page. So you can read 10 pages in 20 minutes. The average book length is about 250 pages. In a month you can easily finish a book by dedicating just 20 minutes to reading in a day. Also, if you are brave enough to give your reading an hour, you can read up to 4 books in a month, which makes 48 books a year. Told you, time management works magically!

Pro Tip: If an hour seems too hard for you, you can divide an hour into 3 sets. This is the ultimate hack to read dozens of books.

7. Read multiple books simultaneously

You can do that. It’s not like you are cheating on one book by reading another one at the same time.

If you read a book continuously for a long time, you might get bored and your mind will stop accepting any more dense information, and then there’s no point in reading it. So you’ll need a book to change your taste. You can make a combination of a nonfiction book with an interesting and thrilling novel.

Many people believe that it makes you forget what you’re reading in either book and confuses you. But that’s not true because reading two books at the same time will help you understand the book even more.

So when you’re tired of reading a book, switch to another one. It will refresh your mind and you can absorb much more when the activity of your mind is restored. And ultimately you will remember what you read.

8.  Remember to use, or use to remember

The thing I’m trying to say in this heading is that one of the most effective ways to remember what you read is by acting on what the book has taught you.

We remember what we think is useful

Mark Manson

 This method is very effective if used for books that slam dense facts right at your face. The case with novels is that we always remember the stories. You do not have to memorize a story because your mind can remember the plot very easily. But with non-fiction, you have to work on its teaching.

If you read a book about fitness and try those tips and tricks, you will eventually remember it. If you follow the steps mentioned I’m telling you via this article and it helps you, you will probably remember this article for a long time.

This technique can be applied only to some books but it is quite effective in remembering what you’ve read in a book.

9. Discuss what you’ve read

Since you cannot apply everything from every book to yourself, which is actually the right thing to do. There is another way to remember what you’ve read. By talking about what you’ve read. You can discuss it with your friend, a family member, or a teacher if it is a subject-related book.

You should also share your opinions about the book you’ve read. This way your mind will think it is useful and it will remember that as a conversation.

This is how many people remember so many things from so many books by sharing and talking about them.

10. Remember where you read it

If you cannot remember the whole thing, just remember where you read about it, memorize the book name and the exact topic.

By doing so, there is a chance that you will remember the whole thing as well.

It is a very simple yet important trick to remember what you read. Students use this technique for their exam preparation as well.

11. Write summaries

This step is not for everyone but if you want to remember what you read, write about it after completing the book

It’s just like discussing it with someone else, but it will also enhance your writing skills and your strength to express your ideas in words. As a result, you’ll remember it in your own words.

This way when you have to explain it to anyone, you have your own words prepared and you don’t find any difficulties in explaining what you’ve read.

 if you want to remember the content you consume by reading, you have to write about it. You can also add your opinions to your summary as well.

12. Ideal place for reading

Have you ever wondered why you are ordered to keep it down in a library? Why is it so quiet there? That’s because people might be distracted by unwanted sounds. That is what makes the library the best place where you can read or train yourself to become a better reader.

Several times the reason you don’t remember what you’ve read is that you were continuously diverted towards other things. These distractions make you forget what you read and because of them you sometimes won’t even understand what is written.

Have you ever wondered why you are ordered to keep it down in a library? Why is it so quiet there? That’s because the people might be distracted by the unwanted sounds. That is what makes the Library the best place where you can read or train yourself to become a better reader.

Also, distractions make your reading slow which means it will take greater time to complete a book, and eventually you’ll become a slow reader.

However, it’s not a law that you always have to read in the library only. It can be anywhere. It can be your room, your backyard, your lawn, or even your terrace!

So there you have it! Now you can excel in your reading skills by adapting these techniques and reading as many books as you want in less time.


What is a poor reader?

A poor reader is a reader who reads just because he is forced to read. Poor readers read relatively slower than average. Also, they don’t remember what they read and find shortcut ways to quickly complete the book without even focusing on the main objective – incurring valuable content.

Does reading help anxiety?

I have no studies to prove this, but many people I know have learned to fight their negativity by reading the right things at the right time. So yes, reading can be a helpful hobby to get yourself out of anxiety. But if you are anxious, you should consult your physician first and ask him for solutions.

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What do you think?

Written by Huzayfah Habib

Huzayfah Habib is a blog writer, newsletter, and article writer. He is also a Book Editor. He is a medical student. He likes to travel, read books, watching movies and he is much obsessed with time-traveling

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