What to Do While Reading: Practical & Fun Activities

Reading is one of the oldest habits that society attributes to the elites. The art of reading is an ancient skill that several individuals take seriously because of the benefits attached to it. Before now, there were fewer opportunities to read books; however, thanks to technology, books are within the reach of every man, educated or uneducated.

However, with technology came a lot of alternatives to reading that made people withdraw from books. I, for example, consider reading to be a long process and prefer to do a few things while reading. The question is “What do I do while reading?”

Do whatever that interests you while reading a book provided it helps you understand what you’re reading. You could read and exercise, read while on a journey, read while reclining on the couch. If you feel you can handle multitasking while reading, then it is acceptable.

If you fall into the habit of trying to do something else while reading, this article is for you. If you want to learn ways, you can fall in love with reading, this article is also for you. Here, I shall walk you through the art of reading, its importance and all you should do while reading.

What Is Reading?

Reading is a psychological process that involves the interpretation of words to understand the information they contain. It is a process where a reader grasps written words and deciphers the meaning behind them. Reading with a specific aim in mind enables the reader to direct their attention and knowledge toward a certain objective.

Although reading might depend on several factors, the goal is to comprehend the material. To read, the individual must use prior knowledge, so you must either be familiar with the language or understand the concept of the text you’re reading. When digesting information, the reader employs skills to understand what they are reading, themes to organize ideas, and other clues to decipher unfamiliar words.

Stages of Reading

Reading has three stages, all of which are equally important.

The first stage is the pre-reading stage, which allows the reader to access prior knowledge, preview the text, and develop a reading goal for the piece of literature. You should begin by looking at the title of the selection and writing everything that comes to mind about it.

Here, you understand the concept and have expectations of what the book might contain. This should be one reason you picked the book at first.

The second stage is the actual reading process, where the reader is now going through the content of the book. At this stage, several things happen. Here, the readers can decide to continue going through the pages if it has themes and ideas that interest them. If the content is one they are not comfortable with or they consider boring, they lose interest.

I believe the second stage is the most important. If you’re someone like me, you’ll understand when I say I never get past the tenth page before dropping the book. Aside from the fact that there might be other distractions, it could result from not understanding the concept of it was probably not what I expected.

However, if a reader scales through the second stage, the third comes in. Following the reading, the reader may choose to repeat the tale, dispute the story parts, answer questions, or compare the story to another. In simpler words, comprehending a piece of literature is a purposeful, active, and interactive process that takes place before, during, and after a person reads it.

What Should You Do Before Reading a Book?

There are various pre-reading steps that will improve your entire reading experience. Whether you are reading for pleasure or for an assignment, the steps are quick and easy to follow and are worth the effort.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

If you choose the book you’re about to read yourself, you’re probably already excited to read it. If someone else has picked the book for you, you may not be as eager to get started. This is because it might not be a genre you might consider interesting.

The point is your mindset towards a book matters. If you take up a book expecting it will be the worst book ever, you might be right. Even if the book isn’t the worst book ever, your mind has condemned it, making you lose interest before you begin.

But a positive attitude towards a book will only make you eager to read, though you might not have chosen the book.

Understand the Context

Nothing is more embarrassing than stepping into a conversation about a book you’ve read and not understanding what they’re talking about. That you’ve read the book means that you should have something to say about it.

The problem, however, was that you never read the book but merely skimmed through it. Or, you just couldn’t understand what the book was talking about.

Let’s look at Harry Potter for instance. It might confuse a person who had never read the series when they first come across the magical terms and characters the author invented for the book.

Therefore, before you open a book, you could start by reading recommendations or the synopsis of the book. It will give you a head start and help you understand the concept of the book.

Reading about the author is another habit to develop. With this, you’ll understand what genre the author is popular for and what to expect from that author’s book.

Create a Reading Plan

A reading plan is important, especially if you have a reading deadline. Even if you’re reading for pleasure, having a plan ensures you don’t give too much space within reading sessions.

Set a time frame for you to finish a book. It could be a week, two weeks, or even a month. You can also decide to skip some days depending on your schedule. Count the number of chapters in the book.

Divide the number of chapters by the number of days you intend to finish the book. For instance, if I plan to finish a 21 chapter novel in 7 days, I’ll simply say 21 divided by 7, which gives 3. The meaning is that I will read three chapters of the book every day.

What to Do While Reading a Book

After you have decided to read a book, the next step is actually reading it. Before you sit to open your book, map out time for reading, especially if you’re the types that are on a schedule.

While reading a book, you should have several eatables around you to keep the mouth busy. Do not exempt water from the list so that you don’t have to make several trips to the kitchen or water stand.

Focus is a very essential thing to note. You should try to keep disturbances far away and let yourself concentrate on reading. Disturbances could include your mobile phone, loud music or reading in very busy places.

For fiction, keeping track of a book’s characters from the beginning is beneficial. When you read, make a character list. Write the names of the characters, their personalities, and roles they play in the text.

Characters must not always be people. They could be animals as long as they appear repeatedly in the book. You can also amend the list as you read, especially when you made wrong assumptions from the beginning of the book.

Don’t be shy about making facial expressions while reading. I laugh out loud at funny scenes, frown at annoying instances, and sometimes cry during emotional moments. But, these expressions only happen when I am reading fiction and I am deeply immersed in the book.

What to Do After Reading a Book

Post-reading activities depend on the reason you read the book. If you read for fun, then you might decide to share your reading experiences with someone else. Better still, you could find a community of readers who’ll love to hear your opinion about the books you’ve read.

If it’s for educational purposes, then you probably have an assignment you should complete. It could be an essay or a summary or set of questions from the completed text.

How to Have Fun While Reading

Sometimes, sitting and reading all day can be boring. Think of the best way to make reading fun for you. If you are a busy type, then just sitting and reading won’t do as you’ll have other things to deal with.

For years, I have never reached halfway whatever book I read. There were a few reasons for this. First, I considered it time-consuming.

Regardless of how interesting a book is, it could take hours to finish two chapters; the time I could spend doing interesting things. Other times, I simply get tired.

However, I soon found some ways to make reading extremely fun. Our preferences might differ, but here are some ways you can take the boredom out of reading.

First, create a comfortable environment for reading. “A comfortable environment” applies to several scenarios. It could be a small comfortable room with soft music playing in the background or an open space with a soft breeze.

A comfortable environment also depends on the type of book you’re reading at the moment. If it’s a romantic book, create a space that gives off a romantic feeling. If it’s a school text, then a library or an open space is the best place to read.

Reading aloud also makes reading fun. Though this applies to children, adults can use this means to add spice to their reading. If it makes you feel better, you can dramatize what you’re reading.

Reading with partners is something I’ve grown to love more than reading alone. In my group, we chose a lead reader who reads the story aloud while the others follow.

With every chapter, we take a break to analyze and dissect the chapter we had just read. Though this could be time consuming, it is a lot of fun.

Benefits of Reading

There are several benefits that come with reading a book.

It Develops the Brain

One advantage of reading is that it engages several parts of your brain. When you read, you are putting your comprehension and analytical abilities to the test. According to research, it strengthens your memory retention abilities while stimulating imagination.

It’s no secret that reading is one of the most effective mental exercises for a person. Regular mental stimulation helps delay the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

It Builds Your Personality

Several books can broaden your horizons and impact your attitude toward others and toward life. They introduce you to new ways of thinking about the things that you encounter daily.

These books can influence your identity and contribute to the formation of your personality. When you read, you steal bits and pieces from imaginary characters that have a strong emotional connection to you. Sherlock Holmes, for instance, can inspire you to pursue a profession as a police detective or become more observant and analytical.

It Aids in the Acquisition of a Foreign Language

If you want to learn a new language or enhance your knowledge of one you know, reading is the best way to do so. Aside from reading language books, you could opt for reading more entertaining tales of its local speakers. Understanding their traditions and history can also enhance your interest in a language.

Reading Develops Communication Skills

Books may be wonderful conversation starters and can aid in the bonding of new acquaintances.

Because of their knowledge, readers can quickly become the center of attention when they have topics to argue stories to tell. They also gain attention for their ability to provide objective assessments on several topics.

Reading can be several things for different people. Regardless, it remains one of the best ways to gain knowledge. If you plan to make your reading experience fun, then you should try the methods that I have.

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