How would you like to be able to read faster? Reading faster does not mean skimming over books or texts without understanding and appreciating them. On the contrary, it means learning to adopt a certain speed while collecting information in a pleasant way.
Part 1 of 3: improve your reading speed
Step 1. Practice a little every day
Many of the skills needed to improve your reading speed aren't going to come naturally to you, which is why you should practice every day until it becomes second nature. Even 15 to 20 minutes of practice a day can help you dramatically improve your reading speed.
- It will take time to improve your reading speed, because you are going to have to learn to read in a whole new way. Remember it took you years to learn to read as a child, so be patient.
- To keep track of your progress, you can time yourself regularly to see the difference. Start a stopwatch and count the number of words you read per minute. The more you practice, the more you will be able to increase the number of words you can read.
Step 2. Start with simple texts
When you practice reading faster, start reading simple texts, text that makes you happy and gives you something in the moment, until your skills improve.
- For example, read a text such as a travel guide or an essay about a historical figure. If you start out with difficult content (like a physics book), you might lose hope and think you won't get it.
- Once your skills start to improve and you learn to find the keywords in a text, you will be much better equipped to deal with longer, more complex texts. By this time, you will have already developed many techniques which help you read faster and which allow you to recognize the most important parts in a text.
Step 3. Use your finger or a bookmark to set up a rhythm
It may be helpful to use your index finger, pencil, or bookmark to find where you are with your reading. The bookmark allows you to keep track of your reading and prevents you from going back, among other things.
- By moving your finger or the bookmark quickly between the lines as you move down the page, you can give yourself the reading speed you want because your eyes will be forced to keep pace.
- Imagine your eyes are like magnets drawn to the tip of your finger or bookmark, wherever you move it, your eyes will follow!
Step 4. Change your attitude to reading
In addition to implementing specific techniques to increase your reading speed, you also need to rethink your general attitude towards reading.
- Instead of seeing reading as a tedious task or something that needs to be done, you should view it as an opportunity to have fun, learn something new, and expand your horizons.
- The subject of the book does not really matter, it can be a statistical book or a historical study of mining activity in Picardy, as long as you approach the subject in an open manner and with the will to learn, you will find that the reading becomes more pleasant and easier.
Step 5. Change your approach
In addition to improving specific reading techniques to help you read faster, it is important to review your general reading attitude.
- Instead of viewing reading as something you must To do, you have to see it as the opportunity to learn new things, to be busy constructively and to open up new horizons.
- The subject is not important in itself, it can be art, statistics or the history of money. As long as you approach the subject with an open mind and are keen to learn, the process is much more interesting and easier to read.
Step 6. Know when to slow down
Despite the benefits that speed reading can bring you, it's important to know that there are also times when you need to slow down and make a real effort to understand what you are reading.
- It is not worth skimming over a text if it prevents you from fully understanding the topic or retaining essential information. This is why one of the most important skills to learn is whether to read the text in front of you slowly or quickly.
- In addition, there are certain types of texts that you should never skim over or read too fast. For example fiction novels, classical literature, poetry and plays. These texts are in fact works of creativity in which each word has been placed to be read and even analyzed. You will lose a lot of the value of the text if you try to read them too fast.
Part 2 of 3: Break Bad Habits
Step 1. Avoid saying the words in your head
Many people speak the words in their heads as they read. This phenomenon is called subvocalization and it is one of the major factors that affect reading speed.
- While saying the words in your head is an effective way to teach children to read, it doesn't help them read faster. Subvocalization only allows you to read words as fast as you can pronounce them, which means rather slowly.
- By eliminating subvocalization, you can double or triple your reading speed. You can avoid forming words with your lips by keeping your mouth busy with gum, humming, or whatever. It's a little hard to avoid hearing the words in your head as you read, but you might get there by focusing and practicing mindfulness.
Step 2. Avoid reading the words one after the other
People also tend to slow down their reading speed when reading words one after another, separately. Instead of doing this, you should try to group the words together.
For example, most amateur readers will read the phrase the horse is in the barn as follows: "the" + "horse" + "is" + "in" + "the barn" and will treat each word. individually. However, your brain has the extraordinary ability to be able to fill in the gaps where information is missing, which is why you can train it to process the above sentence in a single block containing the keywords horse and barn and to fill in the blanks. This way, you can understand the meaning of the sentence by reading only 50% of the words in it. This greatly increases your reading speed
Step 3. Overcome unnecessary movements of your eyes
When children learn to read, they are taught to look at each word individually before moving on to the next. However, the eyes are able to encompass more than one word at a time, actually up to four or five, which is why this practice makes reading much faster.
- Try to relax your face and gaze as you read, this allows you to see more words at once. Try to read at least four words at the same time, before moving your eyes to the next group of four words.
- In addition, you should try to use your peripheral vision while reading. This allows you to see the end of the sentence without having to refocus your gaze, saving you time.
Step 4. Avoid going back
When reading, you tend to go back to the same sentence or the same section of text two or three times, intentionally but also unintentionally. Obviously, this adds unnecessary time to your reading time without necessarily improving your comprehension of the text.
- Some people go back because they lost track of their reading and go back to the beginning of the page or paragraph to find where they left off. You can avoid this kind of situation by using a cue while reading, whether it's your finger, pencil, or bookmark.
- Other people go back because they feel that they have not fully understood the meaning of the text they have just read. To avoid this situation, you need to make sure that you are focused the first time you read the text, you should be active while you read and not passive. By getting involved in the reading process, you will understand what you are reading the first time without having to go back.
- In addition, you must decide if the information you are reading is important enough to be worth re-reading. If you understand the basic concept of the sentence or paragraph (even if you haven't absorbed each word individually), you are wasting your time rereading the text.
Step 5. Avoid distractions
Many people read slowly because they are trying to read in environments full of distractions. If you want to read quickly and understand what you read, you need to eliminate internal and external sources of distraction.
- If you prefer a quiet environment, stay away from the television, conversations, and don't listen to music. You can use earplugs or headphones to keep out surrounding noises.
- If you don't like the silence, put on some soft music that you've already listened to so you won't be disturbed by a new beat or new lyrics. It is also possible to use a white noise generator or listen to the sound of waves, rain or wind.
- Do you like to read while sitting down? Choose a comfortable seat or a Sacco type ottoman. You can also lie in a hammock or on the sofa.
- Some people prefer to read while standing. In this case, you can buy a stand on which to put the book or make it by stacking boxes.
- You may also like to move around while reading. Move your legs, play with a pen, chew on something, or pat the table.
Part 3 of 3: change the way you read
Step 1. Preview the text
One of the most effective ways to improve your reading speed is to preview what you are going to read before you read it. This can help you get a feel for the topic of the text and allow you to decide whether it is worth reading the entire text.
- To get a preview of the text, try reading the entire first paragraph, the first sentence of each subsequent paragraph, and the entire last paragraph.
- Between each of these components, look at the headings, lists, and underlined words. It won't give you all the details, but it will help you identify the most important parts to come back to and the less important parts not to read.
- This is a great technique for long, unusual, or difficult texts if you want to know what they're talking about.
Step 2. Scan the gaze text to find the most important words
Another technique you can use is to scan the text and find the keywords. By using this method, you can develop a basic understanding of the text without wasting your time reading it all.
For example, in the sentence the dreaded lion cunningly hunted its unsuspecting prey, the gazelle, it is not necessary to read all the words one by one to understand the meaning of the sentence. By finding the keywords for the phrase, you can create a simpler lion - chassa - gazelle phrase yourself that has the same meaning as the previous one. This technique is best used for short, simple texts, such as magazine or newspaper articles
Step 3. Read the first and last sentence of each paragraph
If you are reading an article, book, or essay with the sole purpose of gaining new information, just read the first and last sentence of each paragraph, especially if the text repeats information you already know.
- Many texts other than fictional texts can often be repeated and contain long explanations of a simple concept. If you have already understood the concept in question, it is not necessary to read an entire paragraph, line by line.
- This also applies to newspapers and magazine articles, if you only want a basic overview of its content, you are going to be amazed at how much information you can find just reading the first and last line of the pages. paragraphs.
Step 4. Skip the parts you already know
If you are trying to improve your reading speed, you have to get used to passing information you already know, because these parts will give you very little new information.
- You can decide which sections are worth reading by hovering over the text for keywords or by reading the first line of each paragraph. This will give you a pretty good idea of the content of the text and then you can decide whether it is worth reading.
- It also works for things that don't interest you. If you are reading a text such as a brief or historical report, you can skip the parts that do not interest you. This might go against your nature as a reader, but this technique will save you a lot of time that you can then use to read better what interests you.
- Speaking of which, you don't have to feel bad when you give up reading a book that you don't like or that has nothing to teach you. Many books are poorly written or fail to teach you anything. Try to read about 10% of the book you have chosen and if you find that this is not your style, drop it and move on to another book. This will save you time and get a lot more benefit from it in the long run.
Step 5. Remember the most important information
One of the major problems that people face when they start to read faster is that it is difficult for them to absorb and remember the information they find in the text. Even though the solution to this problem is to become a more active and engaged reader, there are different techniques you can try.
- Relate the concepts of the book you read to things you already know. You will be able to access the complex ideas that you record by relating them to your experiences, memories or emotions. For example, remember that the word happy in English means happy by relating it to a pleasant memory, at a time when you felt a feeling of happiness, to help you remember that word more easily.
- Highlight important information and write summaries. Use a highlighter as you read (or just fold the corners of the pages) to highlight the most important concepts or ideas. Once you have finished reading the book, go back to the places you wrote down and summarize 200 to 300 words about the book. In this way, you will have a reference database which you can use in the future and which will also help you to fix new ideas from the book in your memory.