As one of receptive skill, reading became the goal of most foreign language programs (Coleman: 1929). There are many definition of reading.
In Islam, reading becomes something important because it was the first commandment all at once the first divine revelation to Prophet Muhammad. It is stated in The Quran sura Al-‘Alaq 1-5:
Read in the name of your Lord who created, created man from clots of congealed blood. Read! Your Lord is the Most Bountiful One, who taught by the pen, taught man what he did not know.”
It shows that reading is an important part on the teaching of knowledge.
According to Goodman (1982), he has described reading as a ‘psycholinguistic guessing game’ in which readers guess or predict the text’s meaning on the basis of minimal textual information, and maximum use of existing , activated, knowledge.Reading also can be thought of as a way to draw information from a text and to form an interpretation of that information.
Rusydi Ahmad Tho’imah defines reading as follow:
القراة هي نشاط ينبغى ان يحتوى على كل انماط التفكير و التقويم والحكم والتحليل والتعليل وحل المشكلات
“Reading is an activity that involves system of thought, evaluate, analyze, and solve the problem.”
Many definition of reading can be influenced by the purpose of reading itself. L2 readers in academic settings most often need to develop “reading for understanding” and “reading to learn”. Reading for understanding is a process requiring visual and semantic processing and the construction of the summary version of what the text means. It is usually carried out by fluent readers. Reading to learn is a process that requires an array of elaborated relations created among the sets of information being processed. Based on both reading purposes, reading is stated as the process of receiving and interpreting information encoded in language form via the medium of print (Urquhart and Weir, 1998: 22). In other word, the reading purpose is one of important aspects in reading that not rarely be ignored.
Other reading purposes are:
1) Reading to search for simple information (scanning)
2) Reading to skim
This is used to know the location of important information/ general idea in the text.
3) Reading to integrate information
4) Reading to write and critique texts
As a result, many readers, especially English readers, inclined use the same strategies for all kind of reading. The problem that is usually faced by L2 reader is the difficult word but actually the case is just to get the gist. The purpose of reading has a big role in the process of reading, because it leads the whole process of comprehending so that the aim is reached. Purpose can be either long-term or short-term. One purpose can be done well on a test or in a class discussion. As may also have a more in mediate purpose, such as the need to answer a question, solve problem, or find a particular piece of information. It can be said that reading purpose can influence readers in comprehending the text.
Cohen (1990) stated that “clear reading purpose on the beginning of reading will help reader to decide if he or she needs to do skimming/scanning, or reading responsively, reading for pleasure, etc.
Besides that, one of strategies for reading comprehension according to brown is by identifying the purpose. Efficient reading consists of clearly identifying the purpose in reading something. By doing so, someone knows what he or she is looking for and can weed out potential distracting information. Whenever a teacher is teaching a reading technique, make sure students know their purpose in reading something.
It can be conclude that there is a close relation between reading purpose and reading technique, reading purpose with text understanding.
Clear reading purpose can improve students understanding toward text; the more someone aware their reading purpose, the bigger they got the information from the text.
 Jack C. Richards and Theodore S. Rodgers. loc.cit.
 Depag RI, op. cit., p. 1079.
 Mahmud Y. Zayid, op. cit., p. 457.
 J. Charles Alderson, Assessing Reading, (UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 17.
 William Grabe and Fredricka L. Stoller, Teaching and Researching Reading, (New York: Longman, 2002), p. 4.
 Rusydi Ahmad Tho’imah, Ta’limul ‘Arabiyah Lighoiri Annathiqin Biha, (Riyadh: Mansyurotu Al Munadhimatun Al Islamiyah Litarbiyah Wal ‘ulum Watsaqofah, 1989), p. 175.
 Patricia L. Carrel and William Grabe, “Reading”, on Norbert Schmitt (ed.), An Introduction to Applied Linguistics, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 234.
 William Grabe and Fredricka L. Stoller, op. cit., p. 13.
 P. Istiarto Djiwandono, Strategi Membaca Bahasa Inggris, ( Jakarta: PT. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2002), 2nd Ed., p.76.
 Donna E. Alvermann and Stephen F. Phelps, op.cit., p. 119.
 P. Istiarto Djiwandono, loc. cit.
 H. Douglas Brown, Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy, (New York: Longman, 2001), 2nd Ed., p. 306.
 Nurhadi, Bagaimana Meningkatkan Kemampuan Membaca, (Bandung: Sinar Baru Algensindo, 2005), 3rd Ed., p.10.