Reading Strategies: An Introduction

Did somebody say strategy???

This week I will start another series of post called Reading Strategies. In the first of its posts, I have its Introduction so that readers have a basic idea how the Reading Strategies can help.

Contrary to popular belief, reading is not a passive activity where the author does all the job. Let me introduce you to a term “Active Reading” where readers seek in a book for its gold, rather than simply peeling page by page to be entertained.

I remember the time I read The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle that took me months to finish. It was my first non-fiction of that genre – it was new and exciting but terrible to digest. I was rereading paragraphs in one sitting and I kinda felt like I was at wit’s end. Just like that jar of jam that wouldn’t pop open!

But I still continued on and on because I really liked the book and what I wanted to know what the New Earth was about. Until I found a point where the sentences started to make sense without having to think too hard about it. That was when I realised that every book needs its own visor for the reader, so that the book can be read through a specific lens. And this specific lens comes from having an expected ‘theme’ for the book to fulfill, rather than having an empty slate that your mind can wander on and off the ‘theme’.

So that is where the Reading Strategies will help you and give you the moral support you need to read fifty books a year! YES, IT’S POSSIBLE!

Below are the seven parts of the Reading Strategies series to help you with improving your reading and making the best out of your investment of time and money on a book. No more mindless reading and deciding halfway that the book isn’t worth your time with these strategies.

  1. Reading Strategies: An Introduction
  2. Reading Strategies: Legal Thriller
  3. Reading Strategies: Crime Fiction
  4. Reading Strategies: Business Journals
  5. Reading Strategies: Self-Help
  6. Reading Strategies: Pop Sociology
  7. Reading Strategies: Business

I have included both fiction and non-fiction in the mix because I do believe that a lot of business aspects can be learnt by reading Crime Fiction and Legal Thriller, so I wouldn’t want my readers to miss out on its benefits. And these are great vacation books – light, exciting and a little bit of learning here and there – I promise!

In the Reading Strategies series, 5 key elements will be delivered in the following fashion. Where the first three elements is done prior to reading and the last two elements is actively done throughout the reading. This structure helps tremendously to build and keep your reading momentum.

  1. Reading sample
  2. Finding out an overview
  3. Breaking down the book
  4. Planting questions
  5. Meeting your conclusion

The 5 key elements above will help you get the most out of your reading in the interest of time and money invested on the book. Applying the elements above will also help you read actively because you feel more involved in the process of discovery instead of passively accepting whatever the author had written.

The strategies I expose are ones that I use to help me make the most out of my reading and I find that different types of books require different strategies. It is my wish to see somebody come up with a fool-proof formula that can be applied to all types of reading to aid comprehension.

MY CHALLENGE TO YOU IS: To apply the strategies as I post them throughout the week and let me know if it doesn’t work. I would be more than glad to refine these strategies.

-Baini Mustafa



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