Books have long been a source of entertainment and knowledge, but reading has declined in recent years. Research from Gallup claims that Americans are reading fewer books as compared to previous years, and 17% of U.S. adults say they have not read a book in the past year. But this is not for lack of interest. For many, it is simply too hard to find the time or focus for reading.
If you want to start reading more, being more productive and proactive about reading are the first steps. Productive reading can make your experience more engaging and meaningful. It lets you move beyond just scanning the words, which means you must be intentional about retaining and understanding what is being conveyed to you. In this article, we’ve put together a few tips to help you become a more productive reader.
It’s no secret that the digital age has given us a lot of things to do on our devices, but they only serve as a deterrent when you’re trying to read productively. At home, read in a place that doesn’t have a TV or computer and put your phone on silent mode or leave it in a different room altogether. Changing up your environment can also help you focus. You can drop by a nearby cafe or park instead of reading at home. You may think the noise around you is also a distraction, but having a buzz around you can stimulate and help you concentrate. If you want that same ambience but are stuck at home, websites like I Miss My Cafe can simulate the experience of being in the said environment through audio and music. You can choose the white noise to customize your own reading experience and make it easier to focus.
Explore new genres
Productive readers usually want to broaden their horizons. They want to read for personal growth, entertainment, or to learn something new. As such, it really helps to have access to a collection of different genres. Fortunately, there are a lot of options these days if you have a huge appetite for reading. For instance, Scribd hosts a variety of books, audiobooks, magazines, podcasts, some of the latest novels, self-help guides, business advice, and much more. You can read free for 30 days, then go on to subscribe — which allows you to plan out your reading schedule. Their menu has a selection of genres you can choose from, and you can also use the search bar to explore different recommendations. Through such a medium, you can easily dip into various genres and content forms that best complement your preferences and lifestyle.
Take down notes
Don’t just read to get to the end of the page, chapter, or book. Take time to go below the surface and digest the deeper meaning behind the words on the page. To help you gain a deeper understanding, you can highlight passages that strike you or jot down your own thoughts and interpretations. Other than the traditional notebook or paper, using a note-taking app such as Evernote is a great way to keep track of and organize your insights. Evernote keeps your notes handy by letting you sync them to all your devices, so you can comfortably take them anywhere using virtually any gadget. It also lets you assign tasks, scan documents, and add audio, video, and images to your notes so you can personalize them and make dissecting your readings more enjoyable.
These are just a few things you can do to boost your productivity when reading so you can make the most out of each reading session. While learning how to read productively doesn’t happen overnight, with regular practice you’ll see that you can read more and understand each material better. Who knows? Once you’ve become an accomplished reader, you may want to become a writer ready to try some “Amazing Apps You Can Use For Empowering Writing”.
For more tips on creativity and productivity, check the rest of our articles on Lekti Ecriture.