Online College Courses for Credit

Preparing to Read

Preparing to Read

Author: Sydney Bauer

This lesson explains how to prepare to read.

See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

46 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

299 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 33 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.



Preparing to Read

When most people think of preparing to read, they think of grabbing the book from the shelf and finding a comfortable place on the couch, floor, armchair, or even on their bed. But this how they prepare to read for personal enjoyment.

You’ll need to mentally and physically prepare yourself to actively read an assigned book, chapter in a textbook, or article.


To prepare your body to actively read:

  • Gather the materials you’ll need to complete the reading: your assigned reading, pen or pencil, and piece of paper to jot down notes, questions, or ideas as you read. Don’t give yourself any reasons to interrupt your reading by getting up to find a pencil or glass of water.
  • Find a well-lit place to read: if there isn’t enough light, your eyes will have to strain to see and understand the words you are reading, which will cause you to become tired sooner
  • Stretch, move around, and get your blood moving before you sit down: make sure you are awake and alert before you begin to read, you’ll get further into the reading before you feel the need to get up and take a break.
  • Take a seat: although most students like to do their homework on the floor, at a coffee table, or even on their beds, it’s hard to stay alert and focused when you are in a relaxed and reclined position. That doesn’t mean you need to sit with perfect posture, but it does mean you should find a chair that keeps your body upright!


To prepare your mind to actively read:

  • Eliminate distractions: Facebook, internet, television, music, text messages, instant messaging, and other types of conversations are extremely tempting when you are reading.
    • Although most students don’t think they are distracted by these things, the truth is that it’s nearly impossible to be absorbed in your reading if you’re waiting for your friend to text you back or eavesdropping on the people sitting near you.
    • If you’re reading online, close all other browser windows.
    • If you’re reading from a book, find somewhere to read away from computers and television.
    • Your cell phone should be off or in another room when you read. Having it on vibrate doesn’t count.
    • Some students feel like they can focus better with background noise (such as music or TV); if you need background noise, try to keep the volume low.
    • Give your brain the chance to focus solely on the task at hand: actively reading.
  • “I’m about to be completely absorbed in this reading”: When you sit down, tell yourself that you are about to be consumed by this reading. Tell your mind to block out distractions.
  • Give yourself a purpose: Tell yourself why you are reading, try to find a task that will keep you on track and motivated. 

Preparing to Read