How Should I Prepare For Reading?

Reading for study, especially a textbook, is different from reading for pleasure; you are not reading for entertainment, but reading to comprehend often difficult information. When studying, you are expected to absorb, evaluate and retain detailed information pertaining to a specific topic.Where you read can be as important as what and how you read. Environmental factors that can affect your reading experience are:


  • Good practice says, where possible, you should do your reading in the same place. Is there adequate lighting in this area? Do you strain your eyes to read? Is there a glare off the page? Too little or too much light can strain your eyes, cause fatigue and lead to poor reading. Check the lighting in your study area, if necessary, buy new light bulbs or position your desk near a window to benefit from natural light.


  • A stuffy room will put you to sleep. Your reading environment should be cool with lots of fresh air to ensure you don’t drift off. Check the ventilation in your study area, if necessary, turn down the radiator, open a window or door.

Reading Position

  • Reclining on the settee and you’re likely to fall asleep; too rigid and uncomfortable and you’re likely to cause physical strain. Find a position that is comfortable and but keeps your mind on the work at hand.

Focal Distance

  • Hold your book approximately 18 inches from your eyes at an angle. If you need glasses wear them. If reading causes eyesight strain, book an appointment for a check-up with the optometrist.


  • Eliminate as many distractions as possible. Move away from a busy doorway or window and switch off the radio and/or television.

Resources (some downloads are unavailable, contact your tutor if you need further supports for this area of study)


Using the above criteria assess your reading environment to judge suitability and see where you can make changes.


Click here to learn about taking a deeper approach to learning as you read.


Click here to read more about managing your environment for effective study.

Last modified: Tuesday, 2 October 2018, 8:43 AM