Do you know what the biggest predictor of college success is? Most would guess skill with mathematics, but that’s wrong! It’s actually the simple act of reading. Studies show that students who are strong readers and have an enjoyment of reading are the ones who succeed in college. That’s good news for those of you who don’t like math, but bad news for people who don’t like to read.
Reading has declined dramatically over the last 20 years as other forms of entertainment and passing time have increased in popularity. Many children don’t develop the habit or enjoyment of reading, and therefore have a hard time as they get older. The good news is that even if you don’t like reading now, there are some things you can do to get reading. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to get into reading.
1. Set an Appointment – It would be safe to say that most people do not like going to the doctor or dentist. What do they do to ensure they go? They set an appointment. You can do the same thing when it comes to reading. Set up a reading schedule for yourself to make you accountable.
2. Always Have a Book – this is easy nowadays with technology and smart phones. You can’t read unless you have a book around. Wherever you are, always have something to read on hand. When you are waiting in line, waiting for an appointment, or sitting on the bus, you can develop your love for reading without having to dedicate extra time.
3. Turn off the Television – If you really want to get reading you are going to have to cut down on television and internet. If you are in the habit of watching a lot of DVDs, consider cutting out your Netflix account or numbering the hours you watch television.
4. Read for Fun – Many students do not like to read because the material is boring. Let’s face it, most textbooks are pretty dry. You should try and find some books that you will enjoy. Reading one compelling, gripping novel can turn a non-reader into a reading fanatic. Ask friends or bookstore employees what books they would recommend.
5. Set up a Reading Day – Once a week, have a day or evening where you stay in and read. If you have family, get them in on the act too. Everyone can turn off the television, get away from the computer, and put down the video games and read. After the reading is done you can all share with each other what you read about. After a while you will start to look forward to reading day.
6. Make a List – Make a list of books that you would like to read. You’ll feel so proud of yourself when you see how much of a dent you have made in your list. Once you get reading you’ll never want to stop! Want some suggestions? Take a look at Time Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Novels of All Time.
7. Watch the Movie, Read the Book – Many Hollywood movies are remakes of best-selling books. If you don’t love reading, then consider a book that’s based on your favorite movie. Often, reading the book will be a better experience than watching the movie, because there is more time within a book to explore characterizations and environments. Give it a try and you just might end up a fanatical reader!