A good reader perfectly masters the different types of reading, according to the objectives he aims for, regardless of the subject of study. In other words, the way we read depends on the type of reading we use and the goal we want to reach. These are the main types of reading:
- Global: the goal is to make contact with the essential contents, in order to get a general and clear idea, without getting into much detail. This type of reading can and should be quite quick, forcing the mind to focus only on the essential.
- Selective: this type of reading looks for the most interesting and concrete aspects for the reader. Thus, you discover what interests you most, you extract it from the rest of the information and store it in order to use it later, as needed. To do this, you simply skip over anything you are not interested in.
- Critical: using this type of reading, we try to understand exactly the message that the author of the text is trying to convey, and we compare it with our own ideas on the given topic. Through this contrast, our knowledge is rearranged and the newly received information makes us see things with greater precision and clarity, and a greater richness of data. This type of reading must be performed in a quiet atmosphere and it requires a lot of time.
- Comprehensive: this is the reading of the responsible, hard-working student, who doesn’t find peace until he makes sure he or she perfectly understood everything about the text. Sometimes, the text is more difficult to understand, and we need to be very persistent and sagacious in order to completely unravel the entire message hidden inside it.
For this type of reading (that, obviously, includes global reading), it is essential that the reader ask all the possible logical questions about the contents, trying to give complete answers. Interrogation leads to comprehension. From time to time, ask yourself questions about what you have read, and make sure you can give answers to all of them.
- Reflexive: this is the type of reading used by thinkers, philosophers, by people who do a profound, quiet and slow reading. It produces a flow of quality and consistent ideas that the reader compares, arranges and connects, looking for all the possible nuances, approaches and contrasts. It takes more time than any other type of reading, and it requires the highest level of abstraction and reflection, necessary for a truly creative brain.