We nurse our own ideas, theories, concepts, beliefs, and opinions about reading, even those of us who do not really care for books. Many of these thought patterns about reading are quite widespread, but not necessarily true. In fact, some of them are so absurd that they can only be labeled “myths.”
Busting five such myths is going to be my good deed for today.
So here goes …
Myth #1: Reading Stories is a Waste of Time.
The next time you see someone curled up in bed with a book of stories, don’t curl your lips. The reader of stories is NOT wasting her time.
If you do not believe me, check out the following benefits of reading stories.
- Stories serve as teaching tools, an easy and entertaining way to put across important information, ideas, and concepts.
- Reading stories improves the reader’s vocabulary, reading skills, writing skills, and communication skills.
- Reading stories makes you empathetic and improves your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as well as Emotional Quotient (EQ)
- Stories satisfy our need for entertainment.
Myth #2: People who Read are Lazy.
Have you ever heard the words, “Hey lazybones, chuck that book aside and get some real work done”?
Well, reading is not a physical activity, but it is definitely a mental activity. When you read a book, your brain is hard at work processing all that information, comprehending it, and storing away bits and pieces for future reference.
Lazy people just cannot read.
Myth #3: Reading Comes Naturally.
If reading comes naturally to everybody, why do so many adults have reading difficulties? How is it that students are unable to read even after passing their Class X?
Reading doesn’t come naturally. It has to be learned.
If you tell yourself that your child will naturally start reading with time without you having to do anything about it, you are fooling yourself.
And if you are an adult with pathetic reading skills, it is not too late to improve your reading skills.
Myth #4: You Must Read Every Word.
Those who believe this myth declare, “If you have not read a book word by word, you haven’t really read it.”
I believed this myth and spent several years of my life in guilt. So far, I have never read a single book word by word. I have happily skipped words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and sometimes entire chapters. I am sure glad to know that it is perfectly OK to do that.
Writers will put mountains of words on your plate. Reading and digesting them all is humanly impossible.
Myth #5: Speed Reading Destroys Comprehension.
Reading speed has absolutely nothing to do with comprehension. You do not have to read slowly to comprehend the text. You only have to read with focus.
Comprehension is all about extracting the key information from a book, the most important ideas and concepts, and retaining it in your memory.
You just do not have to feel guilty about speed reading the mountain of books you would like to read. I have done it and still do it. What’s more, I will continue doing it.