How to become a good (English) reader

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Till the age of 25, I was not a good reader. I was not aware of how reading can shape your life, and you can observe changes in your behaviour. I am born and brought in a small village where the reading culture was absent, and my school was without a library.

I landed up in Delhi in the year 2010, and I learned from my peers and educators to read and write. But, it is always difficult to manage in this age to make things correct which have been not fixed in the age when usually learning curve is found competent. I tried my best to study and grasp, and I focused on reading English and Hindi texts, but it was as difficult as finishing the Marathon without practice and you don’t know to take steps.

Anyhow, I finished my Master exam and scored a decent first class marks with my persistent effort and guidance of my teachers. At this time, I realised that the reading could make you aware of things and simultaneously you start observing changes in your behaviour. Immediately, I got through Jawaharlal Nehru University, where there is an excellent library facility and hundreds of students keep reading day and night. Almost a year, I did not go to the library, but as I start going, I soon become addicted to it. First I developed the habit of sitting for longer duration and gradually begin fixing targets of finishing books or articles.

I know this is not easy. Usually, in a case when you start late, and language is very new to you. Like your mother tongue is Hindi and you never been trained to read, write and speak English. After learning basic grammar, we need to build vocabulary. Building vocabulary is not a day or month time, but it takes years to understand the meaning of a particular word and its usage. In this case, when we start reading books or articles, we come across several words, which we don’t know the meaning. We look through dictionaries and try to understand it. Sometimes, it becomes sad and boring. Here we need motivation, and you can only help yourself taking breaks, rests and engaging yourself in some energising activities like watching movies, listening to songs or playing games.

Mind it, when you struggle with the above issues, very people understand it and come forward to help you. Hence, you are the captain of your fate.  I am here giving you some tips on how to start from scratch to become a good reader in a language, which is new to you.

1. Start with basic grammar and build the vocabulary. I find two books very important and suggest anyone go through it. The books are English is Easy, and Word Power Made Easy.

2. Start with an easy reading level and a thin book.

3. Build your vocabulary. For this, I suggest you using websites like vocabulary.com. It helps to store your words digitally, and you can revise it any time

4. Initially, read books or articles of your interest. For example, if crime and fiction interests you a lot, start with a writer like Agatha Christie.

5. Whatever you read, share with your friends and family, and gradually move towards reading texts matters to community and society.

6. Always make reading a fun, and don’t bother to finish a book in a single take. Reading a book is like, travelling on the road full of vehicles, people, and several activities going simultaneously. Feel it and reflect.

7. Reading English will make you write improved English. At this level, I can say only – Please start today. Reading is an activity which makes your life happy, healthy, and complete. Start reading to experience it.

Finally, I know a reading language like English is a tough task, but nothing is impossible in the world when you commit to embracing the challenges.