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Forming the habit of reading

Learning to read well is like learning any other acitivity. You must practice until you can follow the rules and perform the separate acts of reading without thinking about them. But to forget them as separate acts, you must learn them first as separate acts. Only then can you put them together to become a good reader.

Each separate act requires all of you r attention while you are doing it. After you have practiced the parts separately, you cannot only do each one better and with less attention but you can also gradually join them together into a whole. And when that happens, and you no longer need to think about how you are reading, you can devote all ofyour attention to what you are reading, to increasing your understanding.

It is hard to learn to read well. Not only is reading, especially analytical reading, a very difficult activity but it is also much more of a mental activity. It is fairly easy to think of physical acts; it is much harder to think of mental acts, as the beginning of analaytical reader must do.

He must thin k about his own thoughts, and most of us are not accustomed to doing this. Nevertheless, it can be done, and a person who does it cannot help learning to read much better.

- How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren.


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