How to Improve Reading Skills

Reading is one of the most important skills you should nurture throughout your life. If you don’t know how to read well, your life may end up being more difficult than it should be. The good news is, if you aren’t a strong reader, there are still quite a few things you can do to improve your reading. Here are some tips that are easy to accomplish and can be implemented into even the busiest of schedules.

Reading Tips

  1. Get a wide range of reading material. If you’re new to recreational reading, you may want to start with magazines, comic books, or newspapers. Then you can work your way up to novels and other types of books. Get many different types of reading material, so you have a better chance of finding something you really enjoy reading.
  2. Practice each day. You should practice your reading each day. Shoot for at least 30 minutes a day, but you can read much more if you want to, especially if you are enjoying yourself or are really drawn in to what you are reading.
  3. Get a dictionary. Keep a dictionary handy and near you while you’re reading. This way, if you come across a word you don’t know, you can look it up right away, so it won’t keep you from understanding what is going on. You can also search for the definition on the internet, if you don’t find it in the dictionary. Looking up definitions for unfamiliar words will help you expand your vocabulary. After a while, you may find yourself even using some of these words when you are talking to people.
  4. Read in a quiet place. When you have your reading time each day, try to keep the distractions to a minimum. This means pick a quiet or secluded spot, and stay off your phone and other electronics while you’re reading.
  5. Make sure you are retaining what you read. Keeping your mind clear is quite important when you’re trying to understand what you’re reading, so you can retain it. For instance, if you are reading the newspaper and thinking about what you want for dinner, you’re most likely not going to remember what an article said. This is why it’s important to focus on the words and sentences, instead of other things you need to get done.
  6. Keep reading more challenging material. Once you master a certain type of book or magazine, find something a bit more challenging. If newspapers are your thing, the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are quite a feat to read because they have a massive amount of content and sometimes small print. You can also work your way up through genres. Start off with regular fiction, and after a while you can start reading collections of essays and poetry.
  7. Set goals and follow them. The best way to accomplish something is by setting a goal. When you’re trying your best to become a stronger reader, you may want to set a goal, so you know when you have progressed. If you plan on reading 5 books this year, do your best to complete that task. Just make sure the goal is something that is possible, so you don’t end up getting discouraged.

Other Tips

If you are self-conscious about your reading, make sure you’re reading in a safe place, away from others that may make you feel uncomfortable. You want to work towards being confident in your reading skills, whether you are reading to yourself or aloud to other people. No one wants it to cause you distress to have to read something.

Another thing that people may not tell you is that a love of reading can be expensive. If you don’t have a bunch of money to spend on books or other reading materials, there are resources available. For one, you can go to the local public library and read magazines, newspapers, and books free of charge. You can even check books out if you have a library card. Another place where you can hang out is a book store, where you can peruse books and magazines without having to purchase them. You can actually sit in some bookstores all day and no one minds at all.

If you have a cell phone, tablet, or computer, you can also read electronic materials, such as e-books. There are many e-books that are free of charge in countless genres; you just have to know where to look. Reading books that are electronic are also good for the environment and will not take up extra space in your home. The only problem is, if you are reading something on an electronic device, you may get sidetracked or distracted by another app. The best way to combat this is to put your phone or device on airplane mode, so you can’t be disturbed while you are reading by a message, email, or something else.


Reading is something that everyone needs to be able to do. It allows you to be better informed, learn about things, and it helps you understand what is going on around you. In the case of road signs, you would be rather lost if you didn’t know how to read.

When you’re trying to become a better reader, there is a long list of things you can try. Some of these things are reading by yourself each day, trying different materials, getting a dictionary, making sure you are retaining the words, and more. Any reading you do will help you grow and allow you to recognize more words.

There is no need to think that you can’t improve your skills rather easily, whether you want them just for yourself or intend to use them for public speaking. All it takes is a little bit of practice and making sure that you keep reading each day. It is also a good idea to set goals for yourself, so you can measure how far you have come.

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