Reading is essential for education, entertainment and broadening the mind and the imagination at any age. But simply reading well or reading quickly isn’t enough. Retention, the ability to remember and understand what you have read, is often poor in people who may be good readers. Without good retention of the information you’ve read, reading is little more than an exercise for your eyes. Children should be taught how to help themselves retain what they’ve read, and adults can use these tips as well at any time to increase their understanding and enjoyment of books they read. Here are some simple things you can do while reading to increase your retention.
Create Mental Images as You Read
After seeing a movie, you can usually recall certain scenes clearly. That’s because you have a memory of the visual and audio parts of the scene. With books, all you have is a memory of black words printed on white paper. If you create your own mental images while reading, for example, imagining what the characters or settings look like, this gives you something more vivid to recall later. You can go a step further and imagine voices and sounds in the story as well. The more images and sounds you create in your mind, the better your memory of the story will be later.
Ask Questions While Reading
After reading a few chapters of a book, ask questions of a teacher, other people who are reading the same book, or even ponder questions in your own mind. If you feel that you understood everything you just read and don’t have any questions, run the story through your mind as if you’re telling it to someone else. Asking questions or mentally reflecting on your reading helps you experience the story more than once, allowing you to remember it better later on.
Good old-fashioned note taking is a great way to help yourself understand and remember what you’ve read. The actual act of writing down the parts of the reading you want to remember intensifies your memory of them, and notes can help you understand complex parts of the reading better.
Increase Your Vocabulary
Whenever you come across a word in your reading that you don’t know the meaning of, stop and look it up in the dictionary. While this may seem tedious, it helps tremendously to understand every word you read. If you happen to be reading an e-book, you can probably look up any word in the book by just tapping it with your finger or hitting a button. If you don’t read e-books, keep a dictionary near you when you read.
The more you read, the better you become at reading and retaining what you’ve read. Visit your local library, or expand your personal library by heading to a bookstore, or you can buy books online @ NOQSTORE. The more you read, whether for education or entertainment, the more you know about the world around you.
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