Storytelling is an integral part of human culture. Although storytelling has been around for thousands for years, whether it be through the earliest cave paintings, oral tradition, or via digital mediums, storytelling continues to be of great importance to the way we communicate.
In my conversations, I have discovered that there are many people who don’t like reading a book, which is hard for me to fathom as I have always been an avid reader. Some people have never read a book and the only kind of reading they engage in takes place on the internet. How much they are missing out on!
I believe that reading is so important, aside from providing an opportunity to temporarily escape from reality, it allows us to explore a range of human experiences that may vary from our own, and it can help to develop our imagination and our language skills.
Books are an important part of our human history. From the moment of their first introduction into the world, they have provided opportunities for people to learn to read, to experience the greater world that was inaccessible at that time, and the humble book has even ignited revolutions.
There are many reasons why people avoid reading a book. They may not have cultivated a love for reading from a young age, they may have a learning disability, or they may not have access to a book in their language. But here is an interesting question: can your learning style determine how you experience a story?
There is another significant reason why reading a book is avoided; we all have different ways of learning and absorbing information.
Three Learning Styles
Extensive study and research show that there are three different ways of learning and absorbing information. They are called the Three Learning Styles or Techniques. I had learned about these learning styles some years ago and they have helped me to understand the best way for me to learn, absorb and retain information.
Once you have discovered your learning style it will change the way you perceive information. It will help you to choose the best way of experiencing a story and ultimately enhance your reading experience.
Here are the Three Learning Styles.
Although there are different approaches in explaining these learning styles, I have chosen to use a basic description.
You learn via the visual sense – seeing and looking.
You like images, pictures, and illustrations.
You like taking notes.
You tend to visualize things (settings, characters) in your mind when you are reading.
You learn via the auditory sense.
You like to listen to discussions and hear people talk.
You like reading aloud.
You learn by doing and by the sense of touch.
You like to engage in activities.
You like to ask questions during an activity.
You like working or talking with others in a team or group.
Why not try this creative exercise to discover your learning style.
Once you have discovered what your dominate learning style is (there will usually be one main style that defines you), you can find a storytelling medium that best suits you.
Four Different Ways to Experience a Story.
Besides reading a book, there are many different ways to experience a story.
As well as audiobooks, you can also find websites where a book narrator provides stories via a podcast. Here is one website: Kris Keppeler narrates short stories.
Watch a film with friends
If you are a kinesthetic person and watching a film or the television by yourself is boring, you could have a film night and discuss the film with your friends afterward as a group.
Smart televisions also allow for a community interactive experience. You can engage with other viewers by leaving comments via social media whilst watching a show.
Most DVD’s these days have an extra feature where you can listen to (and watch) the Director or Actors talk about the film, and a section where you can engage in social media discussions, or even choose alternate endings to a film.
Books with pictures are a great way to encourage reading for the younger generation: children and adolescents. Developing a child’s reading experience at an early age can lead to an ongoing relationship with books that can extend into their maturing years. It can help them develop language skills, teach them to use their imagination, and promote empathy and intercultural understanding.
If you are sight challenged or just a Digital Device fan, you can download books via Kobo or iBooks. Digital devices also allow for multiple book downloads and greater portability.
Internet/Social Media Platforms
There is ongoing research that argues that reading via the internet can be detrimental to our reading experience: it can affect our neural pathways by causing an inability to concentrate for long periods. But for those who are visual and/or kinesthetic, it can be a struggle to focus on just words on a page, so the internet provides many different ways of experiencing a story: YouTube, social media platforms like Facebook, and websites where you can share stories and chat with other writers.
Here are some creative writing websites.
Although digital storytelling is still being developed, you can learn how this breakthrough method of storytelling combines the three learning styles: visual, audio and kinesthetic. Have a look at my blog post on Digital Storytelling.
Immersing yourself in a story by reading a text-based book has so many benefits, but it may not suit everyone. But when you discover your perfect learning style and choose a storytelling medium that suits your style, you will be able to fully discover the magical world of storytelling and enhance your reading experience.