Do you have a to-be-read book pile lying in the corner of your room? Whenever you see those, the thought which comes to your mind might be “If only I could read faster?’’
Or maybe you tried speed reading, but did not understand what you read?
Either way, the struggle is real.
Every book lover wants to read faster.
Many have full-time jobs, schools, and daily chores. You hardly get much time for reading one book, let alone 25-30 books.
But, here is the good news.
You can read all those books in half the time with one technique and remember everything you read.
That technique is called Speed Reading.
I know what you might be thinking. How can you read faster than average and still understand what you are reading?
Let’s get started with how you can speed read like a pro and understand everything you read.
Why do you need speed reading in life?
Imagine being able to understand what’s written on a page, just by taking a glance.
With speed reading, it’s possible. And yes, you don’t need to have a super computer. It can be learnt and you can reap its umpteen benefits.
Speed reading is beneficial in our daily lives, whether you notice it or not.
Just give one instance where speed reading is not beneficial? There are none.
Do you know most people discard the instruction manual that comes with new electronic devices? Why?
Because they find it too long to read. Why read a manual just to operate that tiny machine? But then a month goes by, and you haven’t yet figured out how your ‘tiny’ machine works. Your search for a manual, alas you threw it away.
If you learn speed reading, next time when you buy a ‘Cappuccino’ coffee maker, you will read the complete manual in no time. All while comprehending the meaning of everything you read in that super-boring manual.
The problem of comprehension while speed reading
Most people think speed reading equals skimming. That’s not at all true. Speed reading eliminates the need to read and understand each word written in the book.
It helps you eliminate the unnecessary words which are not needed to comprehend what you are reading.
However, many beginners can find it hard to understand what they are reading, while reading faster.
But, as you practice more, you will start grasping the important words and related meanings without slowing down your speed.
Tips to read faster and not forget what you read
No matter whether you read a book, a blog, or your assignment, you have to do some kind of reading every day. At times it can be mentally exhausting.
But, not anymore! Here are 7 proven tips that not only make you read faster but also recall better:
1. Read More
With smartphones, television, Google, the need to read more has died a slow death. Most people, whenever searching for an answer, skim through sites.
Deep knowledge found in books remains untouched by today’s generation.
However, you cannot become a master speed reader in one day!
Just like other habits that need time to master. Reading is a habit that will need time to develop.
The more books you will read, the faster you will get at reading.
2. Set a Timer
It might seem silly, but set a timer or schedule for reading every day. Although reading shouldn’t become a rat race, setting a timer will force you to carve time out for reading every day. Thus creating a reading habit.
3.Know your needs from the topic or book before you read
When you know what you want before reading a book or topic, you can highlight the important things. This eliminates the need of reading everything without the need for it.
Moreover, when you focus only on important points, reading speed increases.
For example, if you want to read a personal finance book, you can focus on important points like mutual funds, credit cards, mortgages, etc. Thus, while reading, your brain will automatically zoom in on these points and eliminate the ones that are not important.
4. Get rid of Subvocalization
That tiny voice in your head that reads to you is called subvocalization.
Subvocalization has nothing to do with comprehension. While speed reading, you want to get rid of subvocalization in your head. This voice reduces your reading speed drastically as it can only read up to 300 words per minute. And, 300 words per minute is a very slow speed.
At first, you might find that it is hard to read without the voice in your head. But with time and practice, you will read without that tiny voice in your head whispering each word.
5. Increase peripheral vision
You might have a habit of reading word to word. This increases the reading time and also drains your energy. Our peripheral vision has a diameter of approx 1.5 inches. This means you can see approximately 9 words in one take.
Instead of reading each word, adjust your peripheral vision into scanning mode. This way, instead of seeing the only words, you can see the chunk of words in one take.
6. Expand your vocabulary
You set a timer and start reading the book with all your enthusiasm. But then, you have to stop at the word to know what it means, BUMMER!
It does not only reduce your reading speed but also creates blocks in your thinking as you have to stop to know what the word means. Our mind is very curious when we come across new things. So even if you try to skip finding the meaning on the first try, your brain will keep reminding you to find the meaning of that word as you read further.
So the only solution is to expand your vocabulary. Every day, try to learn the meaning of unfamiliar words. Set a goal to learn the minimum new 10 words with their meanings.
7. Priming and Picture Walking
Did you know Howard Berg broke the speed reading record by reading 25,000 words in a minute?
Many of us can’t even read 300 words a minute, let alone read 25,000 freaking words in a minute.
In an interview, Berg revealed that he uses speed reading techniques to read at that pace.
Interesting stuff, huh?
Picture walking is one of the techniques that Berg teaches in his Speed reading course.
They said a picture is worth a thousand words. Although it may or may not be true, one thing is sure that you can remember pictures far better than written words.
The Guinness world record holders Dave Farrow and Howard Berg owe their success to visualization. Visualization is a simple process of creating a picture in your mind which you can relate to.
If those memory wizards can use pictures to remember long decks of cards, then surely an ordinary reader can do it too.
If you have ever noticed, most Hollywood actors do not memorize their dialogue scripts word to word. They immerse themselves so deeply into the character that their mind automatically starts recalling what to say.
Hence, if you have a hard time remembering things, try to picture walking or visualization techniques. Next time you read fiction, immerse yourself in the character deeply, you will automatically remember most of what you have read.
Why can’t I read faster?
There can be many reasons why you cannot read faster. Such as not being able to focus, reading each word, or re-reading.
How to read faster and comprehend?
Speed reading is a process that can help you read faster and comprehend meaning at the same time. In speed reading, you train your brain to increase reading speed. It involves eliminating everything that serves no purpose, reading a chunk of words in one glance, and practicing reading every day.
Why read faster?
Reading faster can help you in many ways. For example, if you need to read all the volumes of Harry Potter within a week, you can read them all in a week and save your time. With speed reading anything is possible.
How long does it take to read faster?
Just like any other skill, that needs practice to master. Speed reading will need some time. The only shortcut to speed reading is to read more each day.
Speed reading does not mean skimming. It means 3X faster than average while simultaneously comprehending what you read.
Just like other habits, speed reading needs practice.
And, this speed reading course will help you move in the right direction.
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