Shall we find out together the 5 Reading Tools that can enhance our Reading Experience?
As the saying goes, “One must have good tools in order to do a good job”. The same applies to reading. If you wanted to enhance your overall reading experience, it would be important to pick the right set of Reading Tools.
At Calm Reading, I encourage readers to read the traditional physical books. Not that I am not an advocate of technology (indeed I love tech stuff), but I am a firm believer that physical books train readers to focus more and can make the overall learning experience more fruitful. This would be another topic to write about in a future post.
Therefore the 5 reading tools I recommend below are related to physical books only. And consistent to the main focus of our site, the tools are more relevant to non-fiction books.
Without further ado, let’s go look into these tools together.
* Some links for purchasing items below are paid links via Amazon. We may receive commissions from qualifying purchases.
Bookmarks are traditional progress trackers of books.
You put in a bookmark at the page where you stopped reading, and pick it up again from where you left off next time you read. Tracking your reading progress is as simple as this.
Whilst you can use many other different methods to track your progress, such as bending the page, using a scrap paper, using your memories, etc. But what’s better than using a suitable book mark with a personal touch in it?
There are various sources of awesome bookmarks out there, these are some of them below:
- Inspirational Quotes Magnetic Bookmarks
- DIY Handcraft Paper Bookmarks
- Tree of Life Artisan Bookmark (It’s in leather and super neat!)
2) Sticky Tabs
You can always use a sticky tab to replace bookmark, but they are here for a specific reason. As compared to bookmarks, sticky tabs are more for our learning.
According to “How to Read a Book” (paid link) by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren, a reader must be active in order to get the most out of our reading. We can actively apply sticky tabs to pages which we would like to revisit, and when we do so we are actually enhancing our understanding of the book.
There are many handy and reasonably priced sticky tabs out there:
- Colorful arrow tabs (quite cheap!)
- Colorful rectangular tabs
3) Writing Pen
Besides sticky tabs, you can bring your active learning to the next level by writing on the book.
This is one reason why I recommend readers to read physical books as contrast to e-readers such as Kindle. E-readers are actually great as they offer much convenience especially when you are always on-the-go. And they can easily let you highlight and share important passages.
But writing your notes on a book in your own words is a totally different learning process.
The inconvenience of bringing yourself to write while reading actually benefits you. To do so, you needed to go through your own thought process by digesting the content you read and transform them into your own writing words. The more active you are in your reading, the more you can learn from it.
A writing pen can let you jot notes and highlight important points while you read. There are usually blank pages at the front and end of a book, which you can write your summary points. Do not be afraid to write on your book (unless it’s from the library)! The more notes you write means the more you are getting from the book.
Pens are a normal commodity that you can easily get everywhere. However, to save your time you can grab some here:
- Zebra Pen Z-Grip (remember to choose how many pens you needed!)
- Pick any pens you preferred at pen.com (non-sponsored link)
4) Dictionary Pen
Based on “How to Read a Book” (paid link), there are Four Levels of Reading: Elementary, Inspectional, Analytical and Syntopical. On the second level, it suggested that we should give our books a run through without interruption.
There are two key reasons why we should do so. Firstly, it will not disrupt our pleasure or interest in reading the book. Secondly, we will gain a basic understanding which will help us greatly when we revisit places we passed on earlier.
I would encourage you to get a Dictionary pen to check on words which you are unfamiliar with on your second run on difficult books. This will not only expand your knowledge base of new vocabularies, but also facilitate the learning on your future readings.
I checked there are a handful of Dictionary pens at the market now, and the below stands out to me by having better reviews and quality. Go check it out for yourself!
5) Reading Light
Most people like to read at their own comfortable spots, like on the couch, desk, bed, etc.
As it falls dark at night, it is always better to have a tool that can help protect your eyes when reading under dim light.
This is an optional item and I think whilst it’s not a must-get, a reading light to accompany your reading at night is definitely something good to have.
There are many interesting reading lights out there, check them out below:
- Vekkia 14 LED Rechargeable Book-Light (can clip onto books!)
- W-LITE LED USB Reading Light (standalone clip on bed headboard and desk)
No doubt having suitable reading tools can enhance our reading experiences. It follows that an enhanced reading experience can promote better learning for us.
Therefore pick your reading tools wisely, and you shall benefit accordingly.
Hope you enjoy reading and I will see you again in the next post!
The book that inspired me
* The links for purchasing books are paid links via Amazon or Book Depository. We may receive commissions from qualifying purchases.
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren (Paid links: Amazon | Book Depository)
This is a phenomenal book and has taught me so much knowledge about reading. Highly recommended for readers, no matter starting or seasoned, who plan to treat reading books seriously. You will be rewarded much by reading this book.
I will write more about my learning covering this book in many other posts to come. Stay tuned!