Starting Out: Small Steps

Reading is just like any other hobby or skill: it takes time to get better.

You can’t simply improve your reading ability over night – it’s not that easy.

The road to a better reading ability starts here! If you’ve decided to improve your reading skill then you’ve come to the right place. Reading is a key part of the human experience, depriving yourself of such a pleasure will limit your understanding of the world around you and will also hamper your ability to communicate with other people.

These tips have been designed to help the kind of ‘functionally illiterate‘ person, of which 15% of our country is made up of. These people can read short sections of text, but will often struggle with anything long or involving a subject that they have little knowledge of. Before you get started on your reading literacy journey, take a look at these ideas to aid you in your quest for knowledge!

Practice reading every day

Finding time to read every day is crucial if you wish to increase your skill level. This doesn’t mean scrolling through Facebook for hours, ‘reading’ people’s rants and comments. This means dedicating at least a half-hour or whole hour to sitting down and reading a single piece of text. Depending on your skill level this could either be a short-story from a collection or a good-sized news or magazine article.

Read a wide range of texts

It’s crucial that you read a wide range of texts. By constantly challenging yourself to read different types of text you will be able to understand the complexities behind the English language quicker. A children’s book can be just as enlightening as reading a bit of the Bible, if you approach reading from this angle – it’s also a good idea to read non-narrative text (such as articles or papers) based around subjects of your interest.

Try and read on paper as much as possible

Whilst reading on screens might well be one of the most convenient ways to read, but most mobile devices do not lend themselves well to long periods of reading. Despite the popularity of e-readers and tablets, reading a book with the use of natural light or a lamp is a much more sustainable, natural way to appreciate the written word. You’ll be able to read for much longer stretches if you choose to read on paper.

Keep a record of the things that you read


Recording your progress is a great way of improving your confidence and self-esteem. Simply use a book or diary to make a note of what you’ve been reading on a day-to-day basis so that you can look back at what you have accomplished at the end of each week. Using this method you can keep track of ongoing books and also reflect on things that you have read in the past.

Write about your reading experiences!

One of the best ways to advance your reading skills is by writing about them! Although you might not feel like you are capable of expressing your opinions on a text, let alone putting them down to writing, writing just a few words about how a text has chimed with you can aid your development greatly. You can start by simply drawing out a spider-diagram of what you’ve learnt, before attempting to collect those thoughts into a cohesive paragraph.