Reading has always remained to be the most observed and preserved tradition over the years. To read means a lot to different people perhaps based on different settings, to read for a person who is seeking information to actualize a certain idea means seeking guidelines for execution of a certain idea. On the same note, reading may apply also for casual reasons, where a person reads for the sake of passing the time or for the sake of keeping themselves occupied over a free time they have. With regards to the two identified reasons for reading, reading to get information and casual reading, the drift is with the level of concentration and accuracy that is required. Therefore reading can be for; improving someone's imagination, to reduce stress, to develop verbal abilities, to improve imagination and focus, to enjoy the work of art just to mention a few (Smith, 2004).
To read therefore can be summarized as a cognitive process where an individual yearns to decode information to be able to get or derive meaning which can be described as a reading comprehension. Being a reader means different things to different people; however, it can be summarized as an act of entering a world of unimagined possibility as well as being in possession of ability to shirk personal disbelief so as to go through someones ideas or imaginations since a non-reader may not readily shirk their beliefs so as to adopt or explore somebodys ideas or imagination without feeling offended or demeaned (Brandt, 2009).
Being a reader therefore means being in possession of different virtues and abilities such as; being patient with someone elses divergent views or ideas with a view to comparing the known, ability to comprehend and summarize someone's ideas while maintaining their contexts, always yearning to read before pursuing any decision/ideas so as to establish a workable plan among many others. Reading in the current educational, political, economic, and cultural settings and context are almost inevitable owing to the ever-changing world with regards to the contexts identified. There is a need to read in the educational context to be knowledgeable and perhaps graduate out of school with good grades to qualify for the job market.
Political and economic contexts require one to read views of different people, and market situations to be able to make informed decisions with regards to investment, and security situation. In the cultural context, reading informs one to understand the culture of their neighbors to forging a peaceful coexistence (Smith, 2004). Nowadays, political, economic, educational, and cultural contexts are under constant change, every inch of change is captured in writing thus making it necessary to read to be well informed with regards to contexts. Ways of approaching big questions such as the question that enquires about my history of readership take different perspectives. For instance, my drift in verbal command, being informed of current issues, my level of imagination, my level of comprehension all go into answering my history of readership.
When I was a child, I remember being taken through several story books by my parents; they made it almost a ritual that they have to read for me a book in the evening before I retire to bed. The act of my parents reading my books as a listened and enquire is what set the base for my reading history; it is through such encounters that I began to develop the interest in reading. Before I was even enrolled in elementary school, I was already an ardent reader; I was reading books of 2nd grade since I had already exhausted reading those at the elementary level.
Through the tradition of reading that was entrenched into me by my parents, reading started becoming a natural process an almost inevitable activity, I could read while on vacation while traveling, while in the school fields while using my tablets, I could read everywhere and everything. My parents have always recalled that I was always a quick reader since the age of two; they recall that ever since I began reading on my own, I could read to the point of forgetting to undertake personal grooming as well as other chores. While many readers get to interact with novels such as To Kill Mocking Bird' while they are in high school, I happen to have read the book more than five times by the time I was in high school.
I became a point of reference for my high school friends, they would constantly consult me on various books that they felt they are challenged and whichever verdict/interpretation I would give them, they never sought the second opinion since they considered it accurate thus earning me a lot of praise from my friends as well as my teachers. Throughout my education progression, up to the young woman in the 5th grade I am now, I dont remember I dont recall an instance when I struggling while developing my reading skills, I cant recall having struggled at all, reading and acquisition of knowledge has become a natural process which I cannot do without.
While looking at my reading processes and procedures, I must admit that there is a difference in reading assigned books from those that I chose to read leisurely. The first time I was assigned a text to read, I learned that my teacher wanted specific answers or information from the text thus requiring me to not only read but to take notes in case the text is difficult (Brandt, 2009). However, when I am reading on my volition as I have been doing before I reached a grade where I will be assigned to read several texts, the process was simple, I read it fast just like scanning a book and then get to comprehend the ideas within the book, if for instance, I find the book interesting, I would mark for repeat reading. In the case of assigning the procedure was quite different in that I had to be in a place free from noise or disturbance from family and friends then I will take a pen and a notebook to take notes as I read the book.
Despite having to take notes about the assigned book, I must admit that I had an advantage over my friends because I had no vocabulary challenge, so unlike my friends who would write down vocabularies the come through in the process of reading assigned texts, I never had any difficulty in understanding the vocabularies used. In my reading of a new text, I incorporate schemata to help me in quickly comprehending the book. A schema is an elaborate scrutiny of background information to establish writer's intentionality thus constituting primary generalization. In my incorporation of the theory of schema in reading, I find out that it is completely overt in me; it is almost natural that I have to read and comprehend background information before I start reading a text of choice (Brandt, 2009).
My fellow students considered me to be lucky to have mastered several vocabularies at an early age thus making learning more natural for me as compared to painstaking process that they had to go through by noting down numerous vocabularies which they will look for their meanings in the dictionary thus hampering the speed at which they finish reading assigned texts. While reading House of Leaves by Danielewski, I must confess that despite finding the text to be challenging owing to its complexity based on the choice of words, I was the first in my class to cover the whole text and make reviews as well as address issues that our teacher wanted us to address.
House of Leaves helped me to incorporate reading skills that I learned while I was a child, though the process came unconsciously or perhaps naturally, I learned that the process of reading for grades is different from casual reading because of the required attentiveness and reasoning or logic needed (Reichl, 2004). While my reading theory of going through a schema before embarking on a book is almost natural in me, researching with regards to the field of study also comes naturally; I can't read a book before a do tacit research about the field that I am venturing into.
Brandt, D. (2009). Literacy and learning: Reflections on writing, reading, and society. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Reichl, S. (2008). Cognitive principles, critical practice: Reading literature at university. Gottingen: V & R Unipress.
Smith, F. (2004). Understanding Reading: A Psycholinguistic Analysis of Reading and Learning to Read . Routledge,
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