• James Evangelista

Active and Passive Reading


When we read, sometimes we forget what we read. Sometimes we have problems absorbing the ideas of the books we read. Why do we encounter this problem?


Is it because we lack focus? Are we too distracted with our surroundings? Do we lack interest in what we are reading?


Well, there are two types of reading: active and passive reading.


What are their differences? In active reading the reader:


  • Actively take down notes

  • Use post-it stickers to mark certain sentences or paragraphs

  • Question the ideas of the author and the book itself

  • Read to learn not just for pleasure

  • Are focused on the material/book itself. You don’t let your mind wander

  • Use the main active reading skills: visualize, clarify, question, predict, connect, and evaluate


Meanwhile, in passive reading, the reader:


  • Just reads to finish the reading material or book

  • Don’t fully understand the reading material

  • Often skip pages when bored

  • Goal is to finish the book

  • Lets the author do the work to keep them motivated.


When we read, our primary goal is to learn and absorb the ideas of the author. Then, we apply what we learn in our daily lives, especially if we are reading non-fiction books.


For the young ones, we must emphasize the importance of active reading. This process will improve their critical thinking and learn to question their reading material.


Active reading requires a lot of mental energy. I recommend reading one-two chapters a day if you are reading a lengthy chapter or book.

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