Different Types Of Reading

Different Types Of Reading

The Value Of Reading

One should never underestimate the importance of reading. Reading elevates our minds, leaving us with a lifetime of benefits. We learn to pause and reflect, continually improve ourselves and lead a fulfilling life.

Among the types of communication, reading plays a vital role to enhance our ability to assimilate information. Just as listening skills are essential to develop our managerial and leadership abilities, reading skills are equally important in helping us grow into successful professionals.

Reading Techniques

It is important to know the different reading techniques to maximize the benefits of reading. Among leisure reading, professional reading and essential workplace reading, we need to optimize the quality and quantity of information we assimilate through reading.

There are essentially four different types of reading. They all have their pros and cons, so it’s essential to know when and how to use each type.

  • Scanning

Scanning is a technique used primarily to get an overview of the subject. You begin by looking at the text as a composite whole and then focusing on each topic. Many of us tend to do this when flipping through a newspaper or a magazine. Scanning is helpful when you quickly want to find out whether or not the information will be relevant to you. You can also read the first couple of sentences of each paragraph to get an idea about the article.

  • Skimming

This technique involves pulling specific information out of a text. You skim a text for keywords and only read the parts around that keyword. Take the example of an airline ticket; we tend to avoid much of the mandatory information and focus only on the details, such as the date, time and the terminal. If you were going through a series of websites looking for comments or opinions about a particular topic, we would look for some keywords related to that subject. Skimming is extremely useful when you are clear about what you’re seeking.

  • Focused Reading

Focused reading is where you concentrate on what you are reading. The aim here is to absorb every word. It could be a market report about the business you are involved in or an article about a competitor. When you are applying focused reading, you are also actively thinking, storing thoughts or taking notes on matters you may want to pursue further. Remember to manage distractions and interruptions for focused reading.

  • Extensive Reading

In extensive reading, you cover a wide variety of subjects or explore a particular subject in depth. A person is well-read when they can talk about diverse topics—from food and art to stock markets and gaming. Then there are the people who are proficient in a specific industry or a particular hobby such as photography, sports or entertainment; they’ll make comparisons, offer interpretations and share observations.

Extensive reading is mostly driven by a love for reading. You need to enjoy extensive reading. Academicians, consultants and visionary leaders are common examples of people who practice extensive reading.

  • Intensive Reading

Intensive reading focuses on closely following a shorter text and understanding it in detail. This is an activity that requires great mental effort and focus. This approach helps language learners really understand grammar and syntax. The proponents of this method use a range of exercises to complement the reading itself. The main focus of the learner is on the language used, rather than the text.


Reading plays an integral role in our efforts to grow our careers or gain respect among our peers and colleagues. In our everyday life, we continuously come across situations that call for every type of reading technique discussed above.

With constant practice, we will find ourselves effortlessly switching between techniques. However, what is critical is that we never ignore the significance of reading in our lives. As someone once famously remarked, “Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”

Maria Fernsby

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