How To Learn English by Reading Books

The most accessible method for learning languages.

books fishing

Reading can improve your life in a multitude of ways. It is something most people do every day. But what if we told you that reading is one of the best ways to learn English? This is because reading supplies us with the vast majority of our vocabulary, as well as spelling, grammar, and pronunciation. This means if you read English often and with purpose, you will inevitably pick up the tools you need to speak it!

In this blog, we will explore all the ways that reading can help us learn English. It will include plenty of learning to read resources for English language learners. We will also provide easy ways to integrate this method into your life so you can understand grammar in action.

Learning English can be as simple as learning your ABCs and reading children’s books! It can also be a challenging activity, full of classic literature and best sellers. Keep reading to learn more about this simple yet effective technique – and how you can gear it to your interests today.

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The Benefits of Reading for English Learners

1. Accessibility

While other methods of language learning have been praised for their effectiveness, students keep coming back to reading. The beauty of reading is how affordable and available it is for people all around the world. You don’t need expensive classes and tutors.

You also don’t need to take a jet plane to immerse yourself in the language. This is a simple activity that can be done with free materials. The only equipment you need for stronger reading levels is time and a good book!

2. Flexibility

Reading practice can be done from anywhere. You could be sitting outside a cafe for 20 minutes, on a train, or in your home. Whatever environment works best for you is the best way to read. You are the one in charge of how and when your reading gets accomplished.

3. Autonomy

Reading gives the student valuable autonomy – they don’t need a teacher overseeing their efforts. They can start whenever they want and finish whenever they want. Thanks to a large amount of reading apps for language learners, students can even test themselves as they go. Reading has become more dynamic with the rise of online resources, making it easier to stay independent without being at an advanced level.

4. Vocabulary

The amount of vocabulary you can learn through frequent reading is immeasurable. Stories in both fiction and nonfiction are full of conversational and formal vocabulary – giving you full access to the language. You can make the most of the vocabulary by choosing varied subject matter. You can also take notes of words you’ve never heard before and research them as you go. Learning how to improve vocabulary can be simple and easy.

5. Spelling

Studies have shown that reading English makes you significantly better at spelling it yourself. This is due to the repetitive nature of writing. A student may see the same word 10 times on the same page. This exposure becomes solidified in our minds over time and gives us English language skills!

6. Grammar

Reading can give your grammar knowledge a boost! This is because reading behaves like an informal study of sentence structure and punctuation. You could supplement this with books on grammar as well for double the effect. This will help you identify what to look for while you’re reading and where you can improve your English level with grammar books.

However, grammar is one of the last things you will truly perfect as an English learner, as native English speakers themselves take years to understand it. In fact, some English native speakers continue to struggle with grammar into adulthood. It’s a skill that must be constantly re-learned and updated.

7. Authenticity

You won’t find such conversational and realistic dialogue in any textbook. This is because textbooks aim to deliver more streamlined words that aren’t based on real life. For true, authentic English, read English books that have been written by English native speakers.

8. Community

Reading is something that can be enjoyed in a group setting as well as by yourself. You can read books at the same time as friends and discuss them after. You could also join more formalized book clubs that hold you to a time limit. The beauty of reading is that everyone does it at some point in their life, and there is always a community. Thanks to the internet, you can always find people to share your experience with.

9. Interest

You can read whatever you like! Reading has infinite possibilities, whether it be simple books, popular books, advanced books, or current books. If you’re interested in cooking, there are books in every genre. If you like to exercise, you can find biographies, instructions, and fictional tales on any sport. There are millions of books in the world and there is no limit to the number of books that are available in the English language. Start by listing your interests, or things you’ve seen lately that impacted you in some way. You can then use this to curate your perfect reading list.

10. Effective

Overall, reading English to learn English is simply effective. You will be interested in what you’re learning, you’ll be picking up vital language skills, and it’s flexible. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from picking up an English book and starting your language learning journey today! Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on reading like it’s your native language!

frog and books

Easy Ways to Get Reading!


What’s your end goal? Would you like to read 12 books in a year? Or 100? Make a realistic plan for what you’re going to read and hold yourself to that promise. This could take some time to fully perfect, which is completely normal. If any part of your plan falls through, just rearrange it as you go to fit your lifestyle.

Find a friend

Some people need that extra push to read their book. This is where friends and family can be particularly helpful. Having someone to report to about our reading progress and practice English conversations can keep us motivated. It also doesn’t hurt for morale-boosting, as words of encouragement from a friend can help us stay committed to our study time.


Another way to stay committed is to identify the best time of day for you. Some people like reading in the morning while they drink their coffee, and some people prefer nighttime. Whichever it is, find that time for deep reading where you and your book will not be disturbed by other daily tasks.

Trial and Error

Only you will truly know what works for you. If the book you’re reading isn’t grabbing your attention, drop it and find an entertaining book. If reading before bed isn’t the best learning environment, change it to post-dinner. The beauty of this method is that it’s flexible and you call the shots. Don’t be afraid to change up every part of your routine until you find something that works perfectly for you.

Book Clubs

Sometimes, it can be hard to find the discipline within ourselves to start reading. We know it’s good for us, we know it will work, but that TV is just so much easier to turn on. This is where Book Clubs come in handy. This method of reading was developed by people who wanted to read more but needed an extra push to get started. These clubs give you a time limit to finish a book and then discuss/quiz you on it after. It may be just the thing you need to fall back in love with reading.

Quiz Yourself

You may find that reading a book in another language is tricky. You could be observing the words without fully absorbing them. As you read, stop and ask yourself questions to gain a basic understanding. Try engaging with the material as much as you can to identify the events of the story. This is helpful for people who find themselves focusing too much on the words themselves during English language learning.

Sight Words

Of course, reading in a new language inevitably means there will be words you don’t know. Sight words are what you know by sight without needing to think about it. Make sure you have identified these words while you’re reading. If you have very little vocabulary to begin with. There are multiple resources for sight words online and in book form to help you get started. It’s important to have these because they will make it easier to draw meaning from the text as you go.

Read Quickly

Extensive reading is a common exercise for language students. This involves the reader selecting a book that interests them from a selection of graded readers. They are then asked to read quickly, not pausing to identify words they don’t know. This requires no testing, no supervision, just full-speed reading. This has been shown to improve English reading skills and vocabulary significantly over time.

Read Aloud

Reading aloud has been proven to aid in solidifying language in our memory. When we read aloud, we are given free pronunciation practice with all the benefits of reading. Over time, students who read aloud have a much firmer grasp on the language as a whole, and learn it much fast than those who only read quietly.

Use eBooks

eBooks have become an important part of the reading community outside of language learning. This is because you can read them from your tablet, eReader, phone, or computer. They are also much more affordable than real books, which can take up valuable space in your monthly budget. Keep reading for an App that brings together the eBook, English novels, reading aloud, and English learning.

reading phone

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I learn English just by reading books?

By immersing oneself in the language, it becomes possible to pick up on nuances and slang that cannot be learned from a book. That being said, reading books can still be a helpful way to learn English, particularly if you are already proficient in another language. In many cases, it can be easier to understand the grammar and syntax of a foreign language when it is written down.

Does reading books improve your speaking?

One study found that children who were read to frequently had better vocabularies than their peers who were not read to as often. Furthermore, another study found that children who read more advanced books had an easier time understanding and using complex grammar. While it is clear that reading does have an impact on language skills, it is important to note that reading is just one factor that contributes to speaking ability.

How do I start reading English books?

There are a few things you can do to make the process easier. First, find books that are appropriate for your level of English. If you are a beginner, look for books that have lots of pictures and simple text. You can also find versions of classic books that have been simplified for English learners. Once you have found some books that interest you, try reading them with a friend or family member.

How can I learn English by reading?

To get the most out of your reading, it is important to choose material that is at the right level for you. If you are a beginner, look for material that is simple and easy to understand. As you become more proficient, you can challenge yourself with more difficult texts. Additionally, it can be helpful to keep a dictionary or other reference materials handy so that you can look up unknown words and concepts.

How can I improve my English daily?

Set aside some time each day to read, write, or speak in English. This will help you to become more comfortable with the language and increase your confidence. Additionally, try to find opportunities to use English in your everyday life. For example, you could listen to English-language news programs or podcasts, read books or articles in English, or practice having conversations with friends or family members.

Is reading English books the best way to learn English or not?

There is no definitive answer, and the best approach may vary depending on the individual learner’s needs. However, there are some benefits to reading English books that should be considered. Reading requires active engagement with the material, which can help learners to better understand and remember the content. In addition, reading provides learners with exposure to a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical structures. 

What is the best way to learn English, From novels or movies?

Novels tend to provide a more in-depth exploration of the language, as they often include a variety of different dialogue, descriptions, and narration. This can give readers a more well-rounded understanding of grammar and vocabulary. Movies, on the other hand, offer the opportunity to hear natural spoken English in a range of different contexts. They also tend to be shorter and more action-packed than novels, making them ideal for those with shorter attention spans.

Learn English with LillyPad!

As you can see, this method of English learning requires a lot of reading material. Most of which comes in the form of cumbersome books of all shapes and sizes. Luckily, with the rise of eBooks, we can save ourselves the back pain and still keep up with our reading. This is where our App LillyPad comes in handy.

Learn from History – Follow the Science – Listen to the Experts

What’s the one thing that makes LillyPad so special? Lilly! She is an artificially intelligent English tutor, and has people talking all over the world! Lilly makes improving your English easy. With Lilly, you can read in four different ways, and you can read just about anything you love. And learning with Lilly, well that’s what you call liberating!

For learners of all ages striving to improve their English, LillyPad combines the most scientifically studied and recommended path to achieving English fluency and proficiency with today’s most brilliant technologies!

Additionally, the platform incorporates goal-setting capabilities, essential tracking & reporting, gamification, anywhere-anytime convenience, and significant cost savings in comparison to traditional tutoring methodologies.

At LillyPad, everything we do is focused on delivering a personalized journey that is meaningful and life-changing for our members. LillyPad isn’t just the next chapter in English learning…

                                              …it’s a whole new story!

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Bethany MacDonald

Bethany MacDonald

Bethany MacDonald has contributed articles since 2020. As their Blog Lead, she specialises in informative pieces on culture, education, and language learning

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