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.