What is Fake Reading and How Can You Overcome It?

Fake Reading

Reading is an important part of our lives and plays an absolutely crucial role in our education from a very young age. Even though our school years make reading look like a chore and change our perception of this amazing activity, most of us manage to overcome that and become passionate readers later in life, when we realize that we are in complete control of what, when, and why we are reading. 

What happens to those who don’t manage to change their mindset and end up as adults who don’t see reading as an amazingly beneficial and entertaining pastime activity? Well, to put it simply, they miss out on a better life. 

Here at Basmo, we are committed to getting every single one of you to start loving reading again and to helping each and every one of you overcome whatever is standing in your way. One common issue for more people than you would think is fake reading. 

But what is fake reading and what can we do to stop it? Let’s find out together.

What is fake reading?

The first thing you need to understand about fake reading is that even though it is not technically a medical condition or an actual disorder, it is still a syndrome. 

What is fake reading syndrome? By its definition, fake reading is a condition that prevents readers from actually absorbing any information through reading. 

A fake reader will simply skim the pages of a book, read paragraphs without putting any thought into it or just completely thinking about something else, and will skip whole parts of a book entirely. This allows them to finish the book technically, knowing something about the action and some character names, but they will not actually absorb any valuable information or take advantage of the benefits reading has to offer.

The condition is most commonly seen in schools, and more often than not, teachers are the ones who need to address and handle the issue of fake reading in their students. In the teachers’ community, fake reading is a phenomenon and a lot of resources are being invested in understanding what is causing the syndrome and what needs to be done to help students overcome it. 

That doesn’t mean that adults are immune. There are many readers out there who end up growing up with a complete inability to focus on what they are reading, who let their mind drift off as they read, who consume literature superficially and only skim the pages to get the general idea of the book. 

As you can imagine, fake reading comes with a long series of disadvantages. As a fake reader, you miss out on quite a lot of the benefits you could gain from regular reading, let alone the more complex and thorough forms of reading. The most notable fake reading disadvantages are:

  • Low or no information retention
  • Missing out on the beauty of reading
  • No improvement in vocabulary
  • No empathy and imagination enhancement
  • Missing out on important information in the books
  • Learning nothing or very little from reading sessions

As you can see, fake readers have a lot to lose. The real reading vs fake reading debate is one where there is only one clear winner, as the advantages of real or even deep reading speak for themselves. If you agree with all of us here at Basmo and feel like it’s time to say “no more fake reading”, this next section will provide the most helpful information you need.

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How to deal with fake reading?

When it comes to students’ fake reading, the teachers are supposed to do all the work and try to combat this phenomenon. For adults, things are a little more complicated, since we are the masters of our own fate and we have to deal with the syndrome ourselves.

Combating the syndrome starts, even though it might seem counterintuitive, with understanding how to fake reading a book. Understanding what goes on when fake reading leads to identifying the clues that you or someone you know may be a fake reader. 

So, here’s how a fake reader is usually spotted:

  • Finishes books too quickly
  • Abandons books quite often
  • Unable to have a discussion about the book
  • Remembers very little about the book
  • Is fidgety while reading

If you recognize the signs above in you or someone you know, it’s likely you are dealing with a fake reader. 

Here are some of the most common and effective ways to combat fake reading.

Minimize distractions

One of the most common issues we have as readers these days is the fact that we are bombarded with distractions left and right. Phone notifications, interesting TV programs, Netflix is just a couple of taps away, etc. This is tough even for people who don’t have any issues related to the fake reading syndrome, so we can only imagine that those who do, suffer a lot worse when faced with distractions.

If you are a struggling reader or even a fake reader, it is crucial to make sure you eliminate all distractions during your reading sessions in order to give yourself a fighting chance. Turn your phone to airplane mode, shut off the TV, and try to disconnect from day-to-day life. This is going to make it easier to actively focus on what you are reading.

Take notes, annotate books

Another way to overcome fake reading is going the exact opposite way. Instead of skimming 20 pages, try to read 2, but do it actively. Take notes, annotate the book, and pay extra attention to all the details.

This will teach you to appreciate the quality of the reading material instead of just going through it for the sake of finishing a book and marking it as read. Slowly, taking notes will become second nature, and this will help you better absorb information, retain more from what you read, and ultimately become a better, more active reader.

Try to actively imagine and visualize what you read

If you are the kind of reader who just skims the pages, paying little or no attention to details, here at Basmo we found that trying to actively force your imagination to create visual representations of what you read in your mind’s eye makes a huge difference. 

This will activate a bigger part of your brain, making reading a more complex activity, which will also bring better results. The satisfaction of visualizing the things the author is describing in the book will lead you to create a habit out of this process. Unconsciously, while forcing yourself to imagine the things you are reading about, you are also going to pay more attention to what you are reading, looking for additional clues to build the perfect mental image of the characters, locations, and actions taking place in the book.

Be mindful of hard-to-read descriptions in books

Yes, we know that long descriptions are sometimes rather off-putting, especially for inexperienced readers or those who tend to fake-read. What usually happens is that after a couple of sentences describing a relatively dull object the author insists on representing in extremely high detail, we tend to start skipping rows or paragraphs, looking for the next dialogue or the moment where the topic changes.

Reading with a mindful approach to these grueling, long, and sometimes apparently useless descriptions means forcing yourself to read through them without skipping a single letter. By getting the habit of not skipping rows, you educate yourself to become a better reader, and after a while you might even learn to enjoy these sections.

Read things that interest you

What you read plays a huge role in how involved you will be in the book throughout it. If you are struggling to overcome your fake reading, a good thing to keep in mind is that making your reading sessions as interesting and exciting is crucial. 

Find books on topics that interest or intrigue you, about things you always wanted to learn, or even books your favorite movies are based on. That way you eliminate the possibility of losing interest in the reading material, which will make overcoming fake reading somewhat easier.

Become a better reader with Basmo

The best and most complete solution for overcoming fake reading is using a reading app like Basmo. Basmo comes feature-packed for the modern reader and also has a huge range of functionalities that will aid struggling readers. 

Here’s what Basmo can help you overcome your fake reading tendencies.

Basmo promotes mindful reading

Being mindful about your reading and reading mindfully can change the way you look at this activity entirely. Basmo comes with a series of solutions to help you achieve that, by encouraging you to develop healthy reading habits, offering you countless stats and reports about your reading performance and emotional status.

Basmo allows you to take notes and annotate books easily

Since I mentioned the importance of taking notes and annotating books in the process of overcoming fake reading, you should also know that Basmo can aid you tremendously.

Taking notes can be done with just a couple of taps while a reading session is ongoing, and annotating books no longer needs to imply ruining your books. You can simply scan the pages of your book and make your annotations digitally.

Basmo provides you with interesting statistics about your reading habits

The importance of being aware of your reading habits is crucial if you have certain fake reading tendencies you want to eliminate. 

Basmo times your reading sessions, estimates your reading speed and gives you important details about your performance. That way, if you notice that you are reading too quickly you can assume that you are fake reading to a certain extent and you can decide to actively slow down. 

Basmo tracks your feelings and emotions

Since mindfulness is extremely important in reading in general, and crucial in the process of overcoming the fake reading syndrome, Basmo uses your feelings and emotions to create comprehensive emotional reports that are available at your fingertips. 

After each reading session, you can manually select the emoji that best matches the emotional state triggered by the reading you just did. On top of this, Basmo also comes with a journaling feature where you can easily jot down your thoughts and relevant information about your emotions so you can later use them to adapt your reading habits to your particular needs.

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Final thoughts

Now that you have the complete answer to “what is fake reading?” and a whole bunch of useful tips and tricks to overcome the syndrome, it’s time for a little introspection and an honest analysis of your reading habits to determine if you are fake reading. If you are, Basmo is here to help you out throughout the entire process!

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