On reading [Archives:2006/967/Community]

July 27 2006

By: Abdul Samad Homaidan
[email protected]

Reading is a habit forming experiences that bring unexpected benefits in many other areas. You will find that the more widely you read the better you will write. This is a learning process that takes place automatically and painlessly without you even noticing it. Reading helps you learn how words fit together to make strong sentences. It greatly increases your vocabulary and general knowledge. Reading also helps you learn how to analyze a subject and order your thoughts.

The further you progress in college, the more you will need to incorporate outside sources into your writing. Sometimes you can gather the best information on a topic by interviewing others who have had first-hand experience with your subject, sometimes by taking notes in class, and sometimes by watching the news or television. However, your main source of ideas and information will be printed matter: textbooks, library books, and periodicals. To gain the most from your source, you need to be able to read with ease and understanding.

What are the limiting factors in speed of reading and why does one person read so much more slowly than another? Speed of comprehension is probably the most important factor. Comprehension depends on the reader's mental quickness and on his knowledge of the subject. But is the slow reader necessarily slow in comprehending and forever doomed to remain a slow reader? Not at all. He may not realize that his reading is slow, or he may even prefer to read slowly so as to savor each phrase fully. Still, he is missing something if he has not developed the skill to read rapidly. Some reading matter that is not worth a lot of time may be read rapidly for pure enjoyment or for seeking ideas. It is one thing to finish an exciting story in an hour or two, and quite another to let it keep you up all night.