Impressively, the reading culture is largely becoming an acceptable practice in Africa but regularly, we notice some poor reading habits repeatedly exhibited by some students and other readers who misunderstand the demands of reading as a critical skill.
In response to this deficiency in reading, some of the commonly noticed poor reading habits habits that do not suit reading norms have been pointed out and applicable solutions that will change this narrative for good are suggested in this article
7 Poor Reading Habits and How to Avoid Them
Reading Under Pressure
Most readers—school students, in particular—are frequently faced with difficulties, whether academic or unplanned events from daily life, which cause them to become overly stressed and throw their strengths out of balance. Other times, you get to meet students who have the habit of accumulating their lessons and waiting for the last-minute reading which can be more dangerous to memory than imagined. Trying to cram two months’ worth of information into your head in two days is not a good idea, and even if you are a genius, reading under pressure will not help you or increase your knowledge bank.
Remedy: As a reward-seeking reader, you should, by all means, resist the urge to read books whether for pleasure or career in your stressful state. It is more profitable to read happily, in a relaxed state for 30 minutes than to spend 2-4 hours reading under pressure. Also, understand that leaving things to the rushing minute is not ideal for you as a student. Therefore, break down your bulk of lessons into daily activities and make a binding decision that will inspire you to read your book daily in piecemeal. Adopting the reward system is a simple approach to succeed in this. It involves setting up a commitment prize that will motivate you to complete your reading task each day and ensure to reward yourself when you’re done reading for the day.
Reading while Sleepy
Not everyone will admit falling for this poor reading habits but almost every reader has been caught in the habit of dozing off in the middle of studies and struggling between maintaining an open mind and sleepy eyes. Striving to read when your eyes are two steps apart from the dreamland is like heaping chaff before the wind which will surely disperse. To worsen the situation, some readers make the mistake of taking pills or energy drinks that will prevent them from sleeping on their books, and instead of solving the problem tend to triple the consequences.
Remedy: There is nothing you read with your sleepy eyes that will ever stick, hence, you have to take a break from reading once you are sleepy or tired. Paying attention to the demands of your body system, and how it is wired for this can help you to program your reading schedule to fit the most favorable state of your mind that will read, process, and retain information. Understand that sleep is a natural occurrence that is meant to work for you and not against you and reading is a necessary task that helps your mental development properly. So, you have to win on the two sides without struggling and at any point, you feel sleepy while reading, don’t try to manage the situation, obey the call of nature and give yourself up to sleep properly and notice how well your brain will function as soon as you wake up from your sleep to read again.
Reading without Review
As a reader, it is an unrewarding habit to read without taking note of relevant points you come across in the course of your reading that would help you to have a better understanding of what you are reading. This habit is sometimes inspired by laziness and a lack of readiness to read. Maintaining a good reading habit requires passion, readiness, and focus and a passionate reading will always open you up to important information that resonates with your reading expectation. Knowing your reading expectation is what will encourage you to create a review plan for better and easy understanding.
Remedy: you should define why you want to read. You have to do your reading in the right state of mind and frequently pause to ask yourself questions as well as look up the words you don’t understand in the dictionary. Write out important ideas you find while reading and use that to review your understanding of the book or subjects you are reading on. Observing this role will bring about an excellent result in your reading journey.
Reading with a poor light
First off, there is no vision without light and it is not healthy for you as a reader to read under poor lighting conditions. As a reader, your eyes are the first and most effective sense organ needed for your reading engagement, and anything that requires intense use of the eyes can cause fatigue. Reading with low light will not only affect your vision but will tame your reading vibe because when you start straining your eyes, your brain will easily get stressed out and as a result of this you may give in to sleep when you are not ready or lose your reading appetite.
Remedy: as a reader, your eyes need bright light to have clear vision, and to, avoid damaging your eyes in the cause of the reading, you have to change from using lighting from incandescent tungsten bulbs for reading and make use of fluorescent or energy-saving bulbs which is recommended reading light that will give you a brilliant reading experience.
Your reading environment has a lot to support or discomfort your comprehension. While many readers find it comforting to read with sound, some see it as a distraction, and sincerely speaking, we are living in times of increasing destruction from the environment. Even the technological devices we are exposed to make it easy to be distracted – shuttling between social media and the text you are reading gives a free ride to your loss of focus and that becomes difficult to assimilate easily what you are reading.
Remedy: there is an environment serene and suitable for learning that every reader can turn to, and have a great reading time depending on your preferences. Creating a comfortable reading environment will require discipline from the student, and you will undoubtedly have to devote all of your attention to your reading. Although you cannot completely eliminate all the distractions in your environment, you can choose to train your mind to function favorably in any environment you find yourself in and still produce quality reading whenever and wherever you choose.
Reading multiple books at a time
It is very common to find students whose reading interest triggers them to cast their minds on more than one book at a time with different subject matters and this is not a good habit to cultivate as a purposeful reader. You may have a sincere craving to read many books but you have to read with dignity and respect your mental disposition by reading one book before moving to the next. Reading different books at a time will cause an undesirable distraction and override your strength to read any book from start to finish.
Remedy: to overcome this limiting habit, you have to be strict in your reading decisions. You also have to make a reading timetable and select what books and topics you want to read per time and stick to it to avoid messing up your ideas.
How you sit down to read has a great effect on your comprehension ability and health. Some people hunch over to read their books while some slouch in their seats and some lie down on the bed to read books which can cause joint pain, reduce circulation and lead to breathing issues and fatigue. The interpretation of any imbalanced posture to your brain can present difficulty in processing or assimilating the information you’re reading.
Remedy: To maintain a proper sitting position while reading and avoid the red flag in your reading experience, you have to choose a chair height that allows you to firmly plant your feet on the floor and your seat has to be comfortable enough to help you sit back in your chair so you can support your spine and prevent muscle pain and fatigue. Even when you are sitting comfortably, you still have to get up frequently to stretch and walk around for a few minutes to relieve the muscle strain in your neck and shoulders.
Final Thoughts on Poor Reading Habits
One of the keys to overcoming poor reading habits is to be mindful of these minor habits that do not add value to you but tend to drain your energy and leave you in a state of constant struggle in reading. You may be correct to think that reading is the easiest thing to do but your reading pattern will determine how productive you become. Therefore, to build fortified and sustainable reading skills, you have to fix your mind on the solutions provided here to help you undo your poor reading habits.