How I Read

1.7K 73 18

Well, I guess everyone who has bought this book knows how to read. The thing is, I do my reading differently. 

I'm not sure if I'm the only one doing this, but I read like I'm eating my favorite food. I don't stuff it down my throat. I break it down into the smallest bite. I pay attention to the look, smell, and taste of the food.

Have you seen Kobayashi eat? (Google him). In the world of competitive eating, he's the beast among the best. I can't eat as much food as he can in the least amount of time. I'm just one of his fans. But what I'm not sure about is if he truly enjoys the food at light speed.

My point is: I never do superficial reading. I do not read for the sake of mere information absorption alone. I savor every word. I make sure to dig down into the meaning and motivation behind the texts.

When I read, I keep a close lookout for interesting words, phrases, and sentences. I pay attention to how they are strung masterfully together in order to express ideas effectively. If a phrase or sentence intrigues me, I would pause and reflect on the author's choice of words. Yes, I would question it all.

If in the process I catch a word or carefully-worded expression I can relate to, I would give my brain time to reflect on it. After I have read the entire context or whole section, I would go back where the word or phrase is then re-live the experience.

For example, while reading the first chapter of The Pelican Brief I spotted the phrase, formal gathering. I continued reading to avoid disrupting the flow, but at the back of my head I could hear myself saying, "Hey, that is a useful phrase, isn't it?" 

I could almost hear Arnold Schwarzenegger say, "I'll be back!"

After being reunited with the phrase, I spoke it in a low mumble like so: "formal gathering, formal gathering, formal gathering." At that same exact time, I created in all possible detail

a clear visualization of a memorable occasion I had been. I then came up with a simple sentence out of that imagination: A wedding is a formal gathering.

It doesn't take you a minute to do this with each word or phrase you find relatable, useful, and important. A friendly reminder though: Don't mumble out in the open! 

My mother once caught me speaking words in a barely audible whisper. Imagine being so absorbed by your thoughts then all suddenly a slipper spinning like a boomerang hit you in the head, "ARE YOU CRAZY?!"

A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.

— Tyrion Lannister

First of all, not all people enjoy reading. Now, imagine if the book is written in someone else's tongue. Would you find it dreadful? But since English is a power language, I have recognized the need to study it at all costs.

Reading English materials at the start wasn't fun at all. Even the mere sight of the book sapped my energy. I know most of you behave like this. You feel tired even before you open the book. 

But don't forget. Your ultimate goal is to conquer English. If reading is something you must do to get to that goal, then you have to deal with it. Need the motivation to get it done? Check out these tricks that have worked for me:

Challenge yourself to read. Trick yourself into it until it becomes a habit. Developing a new habit does take effort but given proper time you will make headway. 

"But I hate to read and I don't find reading enjoyable!"

What if you go ahead and start doing the thing you hate doing? Go ahead and see if you have the ability to do it. You hate it. I get it. But just do it without thinking you hate it. Do you get it? 

Do not let thinking or hating get in the way. Just fuckin' do it. Just read. And it's not all about doing what you like. It's doing whatever it takes.

By the way, what do you expect? Do you think learning English is all fun and games? Let me remind you. You are not doing the act of reading for the fun of it. 

I hate to say this but this hype about making learning simple, fun, and effective somehow creates a lazy mindset. Students in some way demand they get the best results while having fun.

In reality, when you are learning something, the experience is not at all fun-filled. You have to go through some sort of shit. You have to pay some price. You have to sacrifice. My piece of advice: If you want to learn English super-fast, fun must never be the first thing that comes to your mind.

Every first thing you do is hard before it becomes easy. When you start learning English, when you start reading English stuff, when you start hunting down for useful expressions and all, the experience will never be a pleasant one. Not ever. Remember.

But what if? What if you are able to make it on the other side? What if you are able to pull it off, pull it off getting to point B from point A? And what if you find out that point B is way much better than point A? Will you go back to point A?

In this case, you are not reading just to learn. You are reading to conquer yourself. You are reading to achieve that sense of fulfillment that you can actually do it despite you thinking it wasn't possible.

Okay, let's get down to business. To make it easier for you, start with 1 minute each day of uninterrupted reading. Make it 2 minutes each day after a week. Make it 15 minutes each day after a month. Begin reading anything written in simple, standardized English.

It doesn't matter if you decide to read one sentence at first. All that matters is you BEGIN to read. Your first hardest goal, your point B right now is to read (tons of struggles, sacrifices, embarrassment, boredom, nothingness)—read one sentence.

Go, just do it! Get to point B fast! Oh, you are faster than I thought. You are almost done reading my book. Brilliant job!

Find a book that interests you. Books might look dull, terrible, or even unreadable to you. But give a book a chance. What is it that matters to you? What is it you like? Do you like swimming? Do you like dancing? Read up on it. If you like cooking, read up on it.

Remembering useful phrases and sentences becomes easier if what you read matters to you. Find the genre you truly enjoy and care about.

What I do most often when I am at a library is I randomly pick up books. I would read the introduction, skim the first chapter, and check out the back blurb. If one book stays longer in my hands, chances are it's the one I am looking for.

Read to learn and unlearn. Never limit yourself to books or articles that you only like. If you find food interesting, you don't fix yourself to reading books or blogs about food alone. You do not talk about food stuff all the time, do you?

Boost your vocabulary skills by exploring other topics. Read about astronomy. Read about cryptocurrency. Read about Steve Jobs biography. Your goal is to be able to express yourself well in any subject.

I open a book like I'm opening a gift. There is always something to get excited about. I always expect to learn something new, something epic. It could be a new expression. It could be a historical fact. It could be a whole new idea.

Reading is the most efficient way to access and learn new information. It expands your horizons and pushes your imagination. Perhaps another coolest thing about reading is it brings you to places, emotionally and imaginatively, places you never otherwise would have visited.

Before you close a book, I promise, you will be different. No, you're not going to have supernatural powers! What I mean is reading will turn you into a talking and walking encyclopedia.

Imagine bumping into a group of friends having a conversation about the latest scientific discovery or a medical breakthrough, will you be able to relate? How about this? Imagine yourself being able to explain your cool ideas in impeccable English.

Seriously, hear and feel your sense of confidence as you talk to your friends. Really see yourself being confident, irresistible, and having fun. See yourself being able to impress your friends, your boyfriend, or your girlfriend.

This is one of the strategies I use to keep myself constantly motivated to read. I always keep a clear vision of where I am going and who I want to be.

I Did Not Learn English In School - Simple Secrets to Learning English FastWhere stories live. Discover now