Can Reading Books Improve Your English?

In my opinion, time that is spent on reading is time well spent.

Nothing can really beat a healthy habit that can provide knowledge along with other benefits.

If you’ve spent a considerable amount of time reading then you have obviously been exposed to a lot of writing styles.

This then brings up a lot of questions and one question that somebody asked me the other day was whether books had an impact on learning or improve our English.

It took me a while to think about it but eventually I began to get ideas and I thought I should turn that simple question into a full article addressing the question.

With that said, can reading books improve your English?

Reading books can improve your understanding of the English language through exposure to vocabulary, grammar and different writing styles.

This can make a fundamental difference in your knowledge of English and can help you express yourself better.

You have to ensure that you first know how to read properly.

If you practice reading correctly and read the right stuff you can learn various things in the English language that can make it easy for you to become better at constructing sentences, expressing yourself through writing whilst having a wide vocabulary.

Does reading books improve your speaking ?

English is one of the most spoken languages in the world and everyone wants to learn it because at one point or another they’ve had to encounter it.

Reading books is a great way to get exposed to the English language. A lot of things about English can be learnt from reading but speaking generally is learnt through practice.

So you have to basically use what you read to practice. Reading can teach you things like sentence construction and expose you to various other rules to the English language which is quite useful.

You can use the rules and nuances you learn about the English language to construct your own sentences using knowledge gathered from several books.

Reading also exposes us to the thought process and expression of a writer which is also vital. Knowing not only how to construct sentences but also how to express yourself for people to understand is very crucial and helpful in learning how to speak English.

If you generally want to improve your English speaking skills, you should read enough English material and start to learn how words are being used, how they connect with each other and how they are chosen to express full ideas.

This can give you enough basics to get you started on your own selection of words, understanding meanings and using these and other tools to come up with your own sentences.

The quickest way to learn how to speak English is by speaking it and not just reading about it. When you speak you get a better idea of where you are at on the learning curve.

Therefore read, but speak as well until you’re fluent.

Can books actually make you smarter? LEARN MORE

How much should I read to improve my English?

In order to improve your reading through English you have to spend a considerable amount of time reading.

There’s really no point in reading for so long because you’ll eventually burn out. You’re better off taking things slow.

So I’d say, set aside 20 to 30 minutes a day for reading and this can improve your knowledge of the English language.

The more you expose yourself to written material, the more you pick up and learn. Therefore, consistency should be your overall goal.

Forget about reading for hours because it is harder to commit to longer reading periods. Shorter reading times like 20 to 30 minutes a day on the other hand can be manageable.

You can easily pull off 20 to 30 minutes of reading every day which is good enough to make an impact on your English.

Also choose some good books while you’re at it. Avoid books written decades ago because the English in them may be difficult to comprehend.

What you’re looking for is simpler material with easy everyday English that you hear from most people.

How to read to improve your English

Below im going to discuss various ways in which you can read to improve your English and how to use various techniques to improve your reading experience…

Have a purpose

Read with a purpose and you will accomplish what you want to accomplish. Just because you’re reading to learn the English language doesn’t mean you just to necessarily read.

You need to read and understand what you’re reading so you can have enough context around the English language.

Therefore pick something you’re interested in read and then forge ahead.

For others, it may be a fiction novel while for others it may be a book on spirituality… the point is to read what you want to read and read it with a purpose.

This way you can enjoy the pleasure of reading as well as the pleasure of understanding the English language better.


Use skim reading to your advantage

If you want to read and get a good understanding of what you’re reading. It’s best to skim read first so you get a good picture of what the book is about.

This involves reading the table of contents, reading through various chapters and turning a few pages here and there to understand what the book you’re about to read is all about.

This will give you a good glimpse and a general way of reasoning and figuring out how chapters fit into the overall puzzle.

Very key if you want to improve your English.

Take notes

Taking notes while reading is an essential part of the whole process of reading. It is often neglected but it is very important.

Of course some books can be read without taking notes. But if you’re essentially reading to understand something, then taking notes will work to your advantage.

Note taking is also important for people that wish to learn the English language better.


The only rule is to take notes and add your own thoughts around the notes you make.

This will not only tie your memory to your notes but it will enhance your ability of writing.

Pay attention to how the words are presented and do your best to come up with your own unique thoughts following the English that you’ve read.

Furthermore, making notes and marking specific pages and paragraphs that you feel have a wealth of information to share will help you come back to useful sections that you think are crucial to understanding English and other ideas.

So be involved in the book you’re reading by taking notes and paying careful attention to important and key parts of the book.

Use your imagination

To learn English adequately you need to understand what has been written, what is being said and its overall meaning.

Therefore visualizing certain ideas can work for you because it can make comprehension that much easier. To learn English through reading you need to understand what it is you’re actually reading and what the author is trying to communicate to you. (LEARN MORE ABOUT READING AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS)

Plus, imagination is a universal language and can help you understand English better using your own imagination.

Read your notes

Something that’s more important or perhaps just as important is reading the notes that you take.

It doesn’t end with you just taking notes. The fact Is, you’re taking notes so you can come back and read them.

Reading your own notes can be an effective way of recalling what the author wrote and their thought process behind it.

This can help you familiarise yourself with the English language even more.

Final Thoughts

Reading books will you improve your understanding of the English language because of the exposure to vocabulary, grammar and different writing styles.

This can make a fundamental difference in your knowledge of English and can help you express yourself better.