Madeleine Kleppinger challenges readers to experience life through stories that inspire more adventurous living, personal growth and meaningful service of others.

How Kindle Can Make You a Better Reader

How Kindle Can Make You a Better Reader

Our days are full of distractions, making good reading much harder to accomplish. Focusing on a story or learning a lesson takes work in this phone buzzing, tv blaring culture. Just like an athlete prepares before a competition; unpracticed readers must strengthen their mental stamina. A technology exists that can train you to be a better reader, ebooks. Whatever your previous experience with ereaders, like Kindle and Nook, has been; a little insight into how these devices function can set you on course to reading more often and with greater enjoyment.

At the basic level, every reader needs vocabulary, comprehension, and retention. Ereaders target those skills by offering what traditional books cannot. Bookshout, Kindle, Overdrive, Nook, Aldiko, iBooks, and many other reading software were designed with features that enhance reading. The most exciting feature though, is that they are free to use on most electronic, smart devices.

With free reading apps available to help expand how you read, what you read, and how often you read; it is up to users to know how these devices were created to be more functional than traditional books. To be a more knowledgeable reader we should think about the way we read. Are we passing over the words or thinking about their meaning? While magazines, social media, recipes, and paper books expose us to new vocabulary, we cannot know the words we are absorbing if we do not look them up. Ereaders are built with fantastic features like clickable dictionaries and Wikipedia links for every word.  One easy click and you can learn the definition, see the root word, search for a translation in another language, or discover the history behind a proper noun. One single click and you are equipped to read at higher levels because a reference librarian is built into your book.

Other features, specific to Kindle, that promote inquisitiveness and retention are X-Ray, show media, BookMark, and highlight. These software components enhance reading retention by helping you dive in between the lines and remaining in the depths of what you are reading. When digestible explanations are a scroll over away, we are more likely to pause and learn than snag a phone to look something up. We all know turning on the screen of our smartphones creates the horrible snare of YouTubing, Facebooking, and wasting twenty minutes. Ebooks target the problem of too many tabs by using a minimalist design. Sitting down with a reading app and training yourself to read focused and engaged will amp up your skill.

Reading consistently is another major hurdle for every story lover. Reading apps are programed to track your word count and offer a projected time to finish. Settings can be turned on to highlight or jump a dot from word to word training for speed reading. While sitting down with a good novel is not a competition, you can develop your focus and diligence by paying attention to your reading speed. Set goals for yourself. Faster reading equates to less distracted reading. When you are able to sit down for a designated amount of time and cruise through chapters, then turn the word counters off. Employ this nifty feature when you struggle to make it through the harder readers, that turn you back, to picking up your smart phone for a “quick break”. Other screens train our brains to absorb loads of stuff quickly, ereaders block out the excess noise.

Cracking a fresh spine to see a linen white page inside a new book is wonderful. The magic musty whiff puffing out of the pages of an old book takes us back in time. The sensations we treasure from physical books, also intimidate us and prevent us from reading. The grand moment of spending time with a novel and a perfect mug of hot tea does not always intersect with our daily lives. We cannot stop reading because conditions are imperfect. Reading is a lifelong skill that must be practiced. Minds sharped by strong, diverse vocabulary, advanced knowledge, and undisturbed training time are more likely to create unforgettable moments with a favorite book than someone who loftily imagines themselves reading in a comfy home library. Ereaders are the training tool for finishing the beautiful hardcover books you keep buying.

Try an ebook out. Download a free reading app from your respective app store. Take the tutorial and learn about the unique features. If you already own an ereader, retake the tutorial for the things you missed the first go around. Most downloads gift new users free books. Otherwise, snag a few free downloads from Overdrive using your library card. Then, start reading. If you have not purchased either a Kindle or Nook, go try one out at Best Buy or Target. Ereaders come in gloss or matte screen finishes. Some are backlit and others are only for reading in light.

 

Be disciplined clicking on your ebook app instead of the social media app. Sticking with a story throughout the day will make diving in for an hour or two before bed much easier. The facts and characters will be forefront in your mind, and you will not have to flip a few pages back to reacquaint yourself. Using the functions and tips we discussed you can say, “I am a more knowledgeable, inquisitive, and practiced reader when I read on my Kindle device.” Now is the time, with free and advanced resources you are going to become a better reader. And reading more, means discovering more great stories every day.

 

 


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