It never ceases to amaze me how many people will say, “I don’t like to read.” My first thought, that I am usually lucky enough to stop before it comes out of my mouth is, “then how did you get through college?” College degrees are nothing but classes made of subjects made of reading. Even the math classes involve some amount of text comprehension. Reading for a degree course isn’t an option. It’s a requirement. For each type of subject there are different types of reading that can be used.
College classes with high volumes of textual reading (from text books) can best be served by speed reading. Speed reading is the art of controlling your eyes in such a way they pick up more of the content without spending time on the nuances of writing such as the articles or adverbs. Speed reading trains you eyes to skim over material picking out important words and leaving the rest behind. For history book chapters or long essays on philosophy, speed reading is best.
Critical reading is much slower. It takes every word, setting and phrase into account to make more meaning about the text being read. Critical reading will be used in most of your upper division courses you take getting your degree. Classes involving poetry, case studies, statistics or analysis of any kind will likely require critical readings.
Comprehensive reading means you take in the whole text and use it to understand the whole of what you’re reading. A comprehensive ready doesn’t get just the facts like a speed reader and doesn’t have to know all the why’s like a critical reader. A comprehensive reader just takes in all the material at face value and creates an understanding from it. Classes where you read novels, theories or instructional documents are a good place for comprehensive reading.
In the in course of obtaining a full college degree, you will do many types of reading for different classes and when its all done and your diploma is framed on your wall, then you can go back to your life as you knew where reading was for pleasure and only something you wanted to do.