5 Handy Tips to Improve Your Reading Speed
Improving Your Reading Speed and Retention: What’s the Reality
In the world of literature, the term ‘speed reading’ is largely misused and misunderstood. While a lot of people actually believe there is something called speed reading, some literary experts openly deem it as an impractical and an inattentive initiative. Despite the never ending argument about the existence of speed reading, you may encounter a lot of people who read at very fast speed.
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The best way to encounter these people is to visit a library and observe the people who are reading, or… the better way is to observe the person next to you in a class. If the lecturer is reading something off of the course book, you will see the person sitting next to you just skimming through pages where in real, they are either reading swiftly or they are just counting how many pages till it ends.
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Speaking from a personal point of view, speed reading is real, I often find myself reading ages faster than the people sitting besides me, there are times where you might end up focusing on multiple lines at one, don’t worry about it, it is just the enhanced focus doing your work.
Learn to Read Faster: Increase Reading Speed
A lot of people work on increasing their reading speed, but they don’t really know about the foundations they actually need to improve. Thankfully, there are some tricks and tips that can help you learn to read faster. Do know that these tips aren’t applicable on every person, but working on them can improve your reading speed for sure.
1. Find The Best Posture
Before you start reading a book, the thing you should keep in mind is how you are sitting. Yes, many people prefer to lie down on either the back or the stomach and then read, while this way of reading is comfortable for a lot of readers, this isn’t exactly the best position to stay focused.
The best posture you should adapt while reading is sitting still on a comfortable chair, once you master the art of sitting comfortably and being still at the same time, your mind will stabilize itself and the reading speed will increase on its own. This may sound ludicrous but once you get used to it, you will see the improvement in your reading speed as well as your overall focus.
The best way to do this is by setting up your chair near a reading desk, bringing in some essentials such as a cup of coffee, a reading lamp and anything else you think is important. It’s also suggested to either put your phone on airplane mode or just put it out of reach to avoid any distractions.
2. Plan Before You Read
Probably the most important factor of being swift at reading is to know what you are going to read before you even start reading. For example, if you are going to read Edgar Allen Poe, don’t hope that you will be able to speed read through his marvelous work that is filled with beautiful ambiguities.
Prepare Yourself Before Reading
This is because of several reasons, first of all, to fully understand Poe’s work, you need to look into his origins, then his style of writing is very distinctive. This means that there’s no way you can speed read through him, not unless you have read about him before and you have done your research. The best way to overcome this is start by reading simpler work, you can simply hit the internet and start reading different authors or articles for that matter. Once you’ve done that, you can prepare yourself for reading the book you have been planning to read for some time.
There are some deductions that you should make once you start reading before, they are listed below.
- Ask yourself if you are looking for something specific or a broader spectrum.
- Think about the stuff you can ignore in the book/article.
- Look at the beginning and the end of the paragraph.
- See if there is any repetition done by author that you can ignore. This is very common in several books and is done by several well known authors.
- When does the breaking point of the book occurs… in the start or in the end?
If you are hoping to be good at quick reading, you need to make sure you make the above deductions swiftly. Do know that the deductions listed above will improve your overall reading.
3. Refrain From Thinking Loudly
Many readers make the mistake of thinking what they read loudly. While they are reading, they create a certain voice in their head, a voice that narrates the stuff they are reading. While it may seem astounding and a fun thing to do, it actually slows down the thinking process and eventually you will start having troubles reading such as pronouncing even the simplest words and even sentences.
Overcoming and reading properly is actually very easy, all you need to do is to have enough control over your mind that you don’t end up creating a narrative voice inside your head, once you have silenced that voice, your reading speed will drastically increase, that’s not all, this will also increase your focus and that will help you in every task.
What should be Your Reading Speed While Reading Poetry or Fiction?
However, same isn’t the case when you are reading either poetry or fiction. It is advised to form a very elegant or a very uncouth voice. This is likely to increase your interest in the material you are reading, making it more than just a fiction or a piece of poetry.
For example; if you are reading Edgar Allen Poe, try to create a voice inside your head that is smooth, yet grim and gloomy. Use a powerfully elegant voice if you are reading J.R.R Tolkien.
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4. Train Your Eyes
Man people get baffled when it comes to training your eyes. Yes, your eyes can actually be trained. Just like a drummer warms up before the concert. So what’s the best way to train your eyes?
Best Methods and Techniques to Train Your Eyes
There’s a very simple exercise called the ‘X’ exercise, all you need to do is look at all the corners of your computer screen on and form an X over and over again. The best way to do this exercise is open up any page or a website on your computer screen and start doing this, this will really help you with increasing the endurance of your eyes and overall decreasing any possible strain you might face while reading a book.
You can try another method, this method is a bit simpler as compared to the X technique. In this method, you would be needing to direct your eyes from left to right, to further enhance this, take a paper, write a whole line on it, and start moving your eyes from the left of the line to the right of the line and keep keep increasing the number of lines and then pages while doing so.
When you feel that you have done enough eye exercise, you may stop and then start reading the actual material after a few minutes. A few minutes break is advised because your eyes would still need to settle into the ordinary position.
5. Take Notes While You Read
If you want to read and maintain a good speed, you need to follow a very simple rule of taking notes, while it may seem to work in the opposite manner instead of increasing your reading speed, it actually is a very good practise and does speed up your reading. This happens when you take notes, taking notes makes you brisk, and you gain the information faster than you should while reading the book or the article.
Taking notes is very simple, before you start reading a book or anything for that matters and write some questions relating to what you are going to read, once you start reading and discovering the answers, you can then note down the answers on the piece of paper that has your questions written on it. Make sure to note down the answers as quickly as you find them. Contrary to what people might say, you don’t skip the text while you are reading, you actually intake more information as compared to the normal means of reading.