How to Be Mindful While Reading
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Reading can be harnessed into a great opportunity for mindfulness, and provide us with space to be in the present moment.
Many times a day, we unconsciously read a banner advertisement or a text notification on our smartphones, not realizing that we only read passively, and not give much thought to this amazing ability.
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Due to unlimited distractions, shorter attention spans and increased boredom, we aren't finishing the books we start to read. Our impulsive and fickle nature is also to blame.
The mind needs variety and diverse types of stimuli at different times. Reading several books at once, of different genres is a smart way to be able to cater to the mind's different needs at different times. It is also a good idea to not have more than a few books in your current reading list. The recommended number is 3.
If reading a certain book is beginning to feel like a burden to you, you are free to let go. The reason can be any, but it is no use wasting your time in a book that isn't speaking to you.
Letting go of a book provides closure and unburdens your mind.
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Ask yourself why are you reading:
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It's knowing how to learn. Learning itself is a skill, and knowing how to do it well is an incredibly valuable advantage.
Merely acquiring information is not learning....
Learning is a two-step process:
You should not waste your time by committing unimportant details to memory.
Your focus should be on understanding the bigger picture, on how things relate to each other.
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Means being consciously present in what you’re doing, while you’re doing it, as well as managing your mental and emotional state.
If you’re writing a report, mindfulness requires...
That’s the minimum required for a mini-mediation.
Just focus on your sense. You don’t need to close your eyes. You don’t even need to be sitting down.
You can use interruptions as hooks to make you more mindful.
Every time your phone rings, take a mindful breath. Every time you hear the ping of a text message, pause to be mindful of your surroundings rather than immediately reacting by checking the message.
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Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Meditation is exploring. When we meditate we venture into the workings of our minds: sensations, emotions and thoughts.
Mindfulness meditation asks us to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others.
“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. And then I sometimes add, in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.”
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Reading is a complex process that involves the brain's visual and auditory processes, phonemic awareness, fluency and comprehension. There are billions of pages available to read online,...
The speed-reading habit is making us lose our deep attention and focus, gradually shunning denser, more complicated content. Instead of optimizing for speed, we need to optimize for comprehension, deep understanding, and retention of information.
Deep or slow reading, when the brain is attentive, absorbing, understanding and analyzing text expands our attention span and improves concentration and learning.
The brain develops stronger analytical skills and gets into critical thinking mode, forming new connections and even creates new ideas.
Deep focusing on a book is one of the best investments of your time.
Regardless of which reading method you use, the evidence points towards the fact that speed comes at the sacrifice of understanding.
Depending on what you’re reading, this might not necessarily be a bad thing: If you’re trying to get through a dry piece to capture a few key points or you are going through a short piece that’s easy to understand, speed reading strategies might make sense.
History comes out of an archive, not a library.
Unlike libraries, archives have generally resisted the digitization of knowledge. They are still mostly paper where you might spend weeks to months working through all the boxes of interest.
With the use of smartphones, instead of reading papers during an archival visit, historians take digital photos of the documents to look at them later.
The practice might seem insignificant, but the ways that information is collected and managed is changing what historians can learn from it. As a result, different histories will be written.
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Speed reading uses methods such as chunking, scanning, reducing subvocalization, and using meta guiding. For example, reading the first sentence of each paragraph can indicate if it's worth reading more or to move on. Or guiding your eye by using your finger.
Some researchers looked into speed reading and found there is a trade-off between speed and accuracy.
Speed reading can help you skim to content, which is useful at times. However, speed reading cannot help you read faster and retain more information.
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“It is unlikely that readers will be able to double or triple their reading speeds (e.g., from around 250 to 500–7..."
The fovea is a small high visual acuity area in the retina. Our eyes are seriously limited in their precision outside said area.
We can take in only a word or so at each glance, and a little bit about the words on either side.
Multiple experiments confirm that speed reading,” leads to decreased comprehension of the parts of the text that reader's eyes skip over.
“The factor that most strongly determined reading speed was word-identification ability.”
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