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How-to Speed Read

By Edited Sep 7, 2016 1 1

Have you ever felt like there was no possible way to ever read all the books you would like to read in your lifetime? When faced with a plethora of shelves at your local library, or even at your local Barnes and Nobles or Borders' bookstore, it may be commonplace to feel like it would be greatly beneficial to either have more time to read or simply read faster. Fortunately, there is no need to be frustrated because, in this Info Barrel article, I will teach you some of the methods and strategies I have applied on my own to help me read much faster than I use to.

Speed-reading can certainly be an invaluable skill and a great way for you to effectively and efficiently consume large volumes of information in a timely manner. Before we continue with this article, it is important that we differentiate between speed-reading and actually comprehending the material you read, so much so, that you can readily apply the information learned or answer questions regarding it. Not only will I teach you how to speed read, but you will also learn how to comprehend what you read.

In an age that is absolutely saturated with information, it is absolutely in your best interest to learn the skill of speed reading, or at least improve gradually on your own abilities.

Things You Will Need

a Book or Document
Reading Glasses, if needed

Step 1

With countless websites available online, as well as many offline documents and publications, there is no doubt that you are absolutely bombarded by information each and every day. Whether you are surfing the internet, or walking down the street, you'll have many forms of written media all vying for your limited attention.

In this first step, it is important that you know what you want as far as information inflow is concerned. Depending on the situation you are in, you may or may not be faced with having to engage in research that demands your time and energy. When reading for fun or recreation, you can speed-read with ease, however, if you are engaging in research, you may find it difficult or flat-out unpleasant and may not have the patience for slow reading. When important information needs to be read and absorbed quickly, speed reading is certainly a very timely and effective skill and approach to take.

Step 2

In your earliest days of schooling, you probably learned to read letter-by-letter, as it was important for you to fully grasp and understand the significant of each letter. While helping you maintain accuracy and pronunciation of your reading, this approach to speed reading isn't exactly the most quick, effective, or efficient method. Even though this method does provide a foundation, more advanced readers, who are quite proficient in speed reading, actually have trained themselves to read entire blocks of words at a time, rather than just letter by letter. You will find that few readers have trained themselves in this manner, and, if you do, you will be way ahead of the game for sure.

Step 3

When you read normally, I have found that regressing can actually reduce your comprehension of of the material you are reading, as well as, your speed. By 'regressing', I mean that you should try your hardest to subconsciously resist the urge to constantly retrace your steps, and let your eyes move back to a word or block of words to check meaning.

One common technique that you can apply to help you reduce regression would be to move your finger down the lengthy of your page faster than you would normally read. As your finger moves fast, try to keep up with. This simple exercise will provide you with a continual goal, as evidenced by your moving finger, that will help you greatly reduce regression and excel at speed reading whether online or offline.

Step 4

Besides helping you avoid eye strain, you can accomplish alot and tremendously increase your vision field and eye span just by simply holding your book or document further from your eyes. You may actually find this to be more comfortable and manageable anyway, so much so, that you may already have naturally tendencies to do this.

Step 5

Way beyond 'filler' words like 'a, and, and the', focusing on key words, that breathe meaning into a sentence or document, will help you greatly improve your speed reading capabilities. Where time is a precious commodity in speed reading, when you fixate on those filler words for a long time, that will sacrifice the time that you could be gaining and absorbing real applicable substance from the content you are reading. This step may take some time to overcome, dependent upon your natural tendencies.

As you read through your selected text or document, it will always help to be cognizant of those words that really don't provide very much meaning. With time, your brain will begin to recognize and filter those words, while maintaining a high degree of attention given to those words that provide true value.

Step 6

Read out loud can be a hindrance to your speed reading progression and capabilities. Unfortunately, many people do this because they subconsciously feel the need to validate the fact that their reading is clear and coherent. Those who are most skilled at speed reading know that there is a greater expenditure of time when you actually have to verbalize what you are saying.
Speed reading can be an invaluable skill that can make your more efficient and effective, regardless of your line of work. If you are a business owner, you may find that speed reading will help you to greatly expedite your tasks, and, thus, it will save you time, that can be invested elsewhere, in the long run. Learning to speed read can certainly be the best investment you make in yourself.

Tips & Warnings

Being cognizant of any tendencies you may have to 'regress', as stated in "Step 3", is very important in your development of effective and efficient speed reading skills.
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Comments

Jun 13, 2011 7:03pm
samsons1
Well written and researched article. 'Thumbs up'! Thanks for the useful and timely information...
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