I recently doubled my reading speed, and here’s what I’ve learned.
How to read faster:
- Don’t sub-vocalize. Pronouncing the words in your head slows you down significantly.
- Less eye movement. The eye is blind while it moves, it can only see when it stops. We often fixate our eyes up to 5 or 6 times per line, when we should be doing 2 at most. Our mind is so powerful that it can actually process a whole paragraph with a single eye ‘fixation’. This is what has helped me the most in improving my speed.
- Use your finger as a pointer. Use it to maintain speed and to tell your eyes where they should be ‘fixating’. Move your hand a little faster than what you can read right now and notice how after a while your eyes and mind start keeping up with the new speed.
- Active Reading. This is the most important one. Reading fast requires a lot of effort and concentration. Focus. You need to be completely into the reading, forget about your surroundings and become one with the written word.
Something very important to remember is that speed reading is not as important as the skill of knowing when to read at what speed. There are texts that are meant for more intense thinking than others, you wouldn’t speed-read poetry for example. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.