As any avid reader knows, reading non-fiction novels often times seem like more effort than reading fiction. You never get through the book quite as fast and there is more information to absorb. In an effort to help all of us become better non-fiction readers, here is my short guide to reading non-fiction.
Take Your Time
While fiction novels are easier to zip through, non-fiction novels often have lengthier sentence structures and no dialogue. You are not reading a complete story with a plot, characters, and fictitious adventures. It is okay to take your time absorbing the information. Reading the novel slower will allow you to get more out of it because you can take more time to think about what you are reading, which allows you to evaluate what the author is saying. If you try to speed through a non-fiction book, it can feel like you’ve just read a bunch of words and do not truly comprehend what you just read. So remember, it is okay to take your time!
All of us have our own specific preference when it comes to taking notes while reading novels. I often opt not to take notes when reading fiction for personal enjoyment so I can just get lost in the story. However, when I am reading non-fiction, taking notes helps me comprehend the text better to receive all the information. It allows me to really connect with the novel and understand the author’s message! It also helps me to remember the new information I’m taking in while reading non-fiction. Taking notes is a good way to stay focused, reading non-fiction doesn’t always come as easily since more often than not there’s no story to get lost in. I really recommend note taking because notes can be your friend!
Find A Good Environment
No matter what you are reading, finding the best environment possible is important. When it comes to non-fiction novels, focusing is really important and the right environment will help you do just that! If you try reading in a loud environment with too many distractions, it may be difficult to focus and comprehend the information. One of the worst feelings is finishing a page, chapter, or even the whole book and feeling like you don’t even know what you just read. So, having a good environment such as a cozy room or quiet park will alleviate distractions and allow you to focus on the novel.
Enjoying yourself should be one of the goals when reading any novel but with non-fiction reading that can often be forgotten. If you are not enjoying yourself when reading a novel, especially non-fiction, it is very difficult to get through. You may take weeks or even months trying to read it and in some cases, you end up putting it in your pile of books you didn’t finish. Making sure the novel is something that you are actually interested in and has the information you actually want to know more about will make the reading process so much more enjoyable. Trying to persist through a non-fiction novel you are not enjoying is like trying to run a marathon with no training. You end up sweaty, tired, and in pain at the end of it. Well, maybe not sweaty but make sure you are enjoying yourself.
So, with this simple guide, we can all become better non-fiction readers!
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