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The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Getting the Most Out of Reading How to Read with Immersion Robin Waldun

Indulge into reading from a new perspective with these four tips.
Indulge into reading from a new perspective with these four tips.

If you were to ask someone what they think is a defining quality of a bookworm, or just any lover of reading, is, you would likely hear about reading a “lot of pages” or books daily. However, quantity does not tell the full story. Rarely would you hear about what I believe to be the most important quality of a lifelong reader: Immersion. Here are some tips for building reading immersion and getting the most out of reading:  

 

Annotate as you read a book. 

 

One of the best ways to be immersed in a book is to write annotations, engaging in a dialogue with the author as a reader. Whether you prefer to write in the book or on a separate piece of paper, annotations help you break down the main points of the book and flesh out your own perspective on the literature you’re reading. Personally, I find annotations to also enhance the strengths of the genre that a book belongs to, such as evaluating the reasoning behind a historical perspective in a non-fiction book or dissecting the value of figurative language in magical realism books.  

 

Review the books you finish. 

 

Think of completing a book as completing a journey, regardless of length. When you complete a journey, you reflect on the lessons learned and what you gained. This is no different for books. Cultivating a habit of reviewing the books you read will not only help others interested in reading similar books to you, but also solidify the value – or lack thereof – you derived from a book. Literature reviews are also very approachable, as there is no definite structure, and you can apply various aspects of your worldview to aspects of a book you read to create a more intimate book review.  

 

Maintain a commonplace notebook. 

 

Literature YouTuber once said, “Just like interpreting art… it’s easy to get overwhelmed by a sense of confusion when reading… instead of viewing confusion as something that you should resolve right away… train yourself to get comfortable with asking questions.”  

A commonplace notebook helps you catalog your thoughts and cultivate intimacy with the books you read, acting as a central point of reference for quotes you found personally relevant and thoughts you wrote down to review later. You’ll be able to easily track your journey throughout all the books you read with the information gradually built upon in a commonplace notebook!  

 

Read whenever you have free time. 

 

Do not wait for when you have a few hours of free time to read, as you will then be waiting far more than you will be able to enjoy reading. Use those short breaks between classes, eating a meal or commuting to your next destination as opportunities to read. I recommend taking shorter, less complex books to read during these short breaks and reserving longer, complex books for those rare, long breaks in your daily life. There is a book for every situation – it is a matter of making time for reading, rather than finding time for reading.  

 

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Adrian Vazquez, Assistant News Editor

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