Have a huge stack of magazines you still haven’t gotten through? Have lots of textbooks to read so you can write a paper? Â Follow 200+ blogs? Speed reading isn’t just about reading faster, its about understanding and remembering what you read! It is easy to double or triple your rate of reading and increase comprehension of key information at the same time!
While there are many more scientifically prove ways to read faster, there a few that will work best for each individual.Â Here are some of the [well researched] speed reading tips that I have found to be most effective:
–Only read the big words. Â The big words are the meaningful ones. Look at the nearest piece of writing to you. You will see that Of, And, Are, and The along with the rest of the two and three letter words take up half the space on the page! Â Skip those and you only have to read half the words, doubling your rate! Â You will still get the important information.
– Block the lines above the line you are reading. Â We waste a lot of time going back and re-reading the previous sentence to make sure we understand. Â Don’t worry, your brain will get it, even if you are worried that you won’t remember. Feel free to prove this to yourself by having someone quiz you about what you read. Â I use a note card and move down the page as I read.
– Don’t speak the words in your mind. Â We can talk about 250 words/minute, but our brain can think about 400 words per minute. Â If you read at the speed you would talk, that gives your brain 150 words per minute worth of time to wander, which can make you distracted. The faster you go, the less you daydream, the more you remember. There is no way to fully eliminate your mind wandering, just reduce the occurrence.
– Eliminate distractions. Duh. Â Turn of your phone’s ringer, the TV, and get to a quiet place where you can concentrate. Studies on multi-tasking show decreased performance across all tasks as a result of reduced focus.
–Only read what is worth reading. This goes against what we were taught in school. You don’t have to read the book cover to cover! Only read the parts that are worth something to you. The same goes for magazines and blogs. Â If the book isn’t interesting or worthwhile, you can stop reading.
– Know what you want to get out of reading.Â We pay more attention to things that are applicable to us. This relates to the point above, and allows you to have a conversation with the author about what is important for you. Additionally, if you are looking for some specific bit of information (like a certain name), you can often scan quickly and find it. remember that if you only need to get the gist of something, that will speeds you up, if you have to memorize something, that will slow you down.
I generally use these methods when it comes to reading non-fiction. When I read fiction, I prefer to let my mind wander to experience the full response to the writing.
For a more in-depth guide on speed reading, check out the book 10 Days to Faster Reading by Abby Marks-Beale
Question: If you read twice as fast, what would you read more of?