Do you know how you can read a book in a day?
Well, the secret lies in learning the art of Speed Reading.
Do you think speed reading is a scam? You’re not alone.
Most people think, “How could you read anything so quickly?’’
But Howard Berg read 25,000 words in a minute and became the world-fastest reader with a Guinness World Record.
Now, isn’t that interesting?
However, if you think he has exceptional memory or just fast motor skills, then think again. He is just an ordinary person like you, who cracked the code on how the mind works.
So, if you want to read a book fast, but speed reading didn’t work for you in the past, don’t worry. Let’s give it another shot today.
After all, there is no harm in trying one more time, right?
What is Speed Reading?
While growing up, you might have hated reading altogether. Simply because it was so frustrating and energy-draining. But they never taught you to read faster in school.
Speed reading is a process of reading and absorbing information at a faster than average rate.
The conventional education system teaches an inefficient way of reading.
An average reader can read at a speed of 250-300 words per minute. This is a very slow pace and takes much more energy than reading faster.
But do you know you can triple your reading speed in no time. Many people want that superpower, especially with lots of time at our hands now. Special thanks to the lockdown.
We all know the more we read, the more knowledge we’ll grasp. And who doesn’t want to be wise? But life is difficult. Right? You have other chores to take care of, and you can only spend a few hours with books every week.
Most of us also don’t have time or patience to sit and read books all day. One day you read a book, then simply drop it because it takes too much time.
But with speed reading you can binge-read your favorite books like Netflix movies in very little time.
However, before you start speed reading, you need to know how your brain works towards understanding words.
How To Train Your Brain Read Faster And Understand Better?
You may find driving a car is easier than reading.
While driving a car, you are using all your senses. You pay attention to all four directions, talk on phones, control your steering wheel, and so on. And yet, you might find reading is harder than driving.
Why does that happen?
It is because when you are driving a car; it is like a movie. You can process the information quickly.
However, when you are reading,
You use your eyes to hear what you are reading. The imaginary person in your head speaks one word at a time. This is what slows you down.
So, when you see the word, CAT. Your brain starts reading each letter. C-A-T. And then it comprehends the meaning and it reads CAT.
Now that you learned how your brain processes words. Let’s discuss how you can train your brain to read faster and retain the meaning of words.
Tips to Read Faster and Complete a Book in a Day
Step 1: Prepare yourself for speed reading.
Choose the book carefully
Not every book is a good choice for a speed reading beginner. Howard Berg in his speed reading course advised choosing any one nonfiction book. Preferably the one you have already read.
The reason he gives for doing this is, you already know what is inside the book. You know the author; you know the characters and you know the story. Then you just read the fastest you can until you find your ceiling. Thus, while you are trying to increase your speed, you won’t stop at sentences or words to know their meaning
Focus is the key to efficient reading. If you are reading at 200-300 words per minute, you can easily get distracted in no time. You may find that background noises can lure you, or if your phone vibrates, you might lose focus on what you were reading.
Hence, when you sit to read a book, switch off your smartphone. Turn off the television or whatever distractions are present around your surroundings.
Set a timer
Set a specific goal of reading X words per minute. So every time you achieve the goal, increase the frequency. This way you can challenge your brain to read faster in a lesser amount of time.
For example, if your current reading speed is 300 words per minute. Then, set a minute to read 400 words per minute. Strive to achieve this speed. After you achieve the 400 words per minute speed, increase it to 500, 600,700, and so on.
Step 2: Rewiring your brain
Re-training your eyes to read faster
Most of us use our eye movements inefficiently. When you try to read word by word, you waste a lot of eye movement. Instead, focus on each word, try to see 6-7 words at a time.
Don’t worry about understanding the meaning of those words. You will slowly get accustomed to understanding sentences. But first, train your eyes to see most words in a single snapshot.
If you want to become a speed reader, then stop re-reading sentences. When you try to re-read sentences by going back now and then, you will just increase your reading time.
However, if you find yourself re-reading often, then try using the pen as a pointer. As you read the sentence, move the pen along with the words. This way you will avoid your eyes backtracking on words.
Then as you get accustomed to using the pen as a pointer and stop re-reading.
Then, increase your speed. Keep increasing it, until you can barely understand what is written in the book. Remember, at this stage, you just want to rewire your brain to read faster.
At first, your primary goal is to read faster, even if you don’t understand a single word.
Step 3: Use the speed reading techniques to comprehend the meaning
They taught us in childhood to read and understand each word carefully. However, that one piece of advice is haunting you years later. Because now you hate reading.
Word chunking is a process where you pick up multiple words at a time instead of just one single word.
For example, consider this sentence.
‘’I can speed read at a rate of 2000 words per minute.’’
Instead of reading like this: I-can-speed-read-at-a-rate-of-2000-words-per-minute.
You can just read a chunk of words in one go.[ I can speed read at a rate]+[of 2000 words per minutes]
Benefits of Speed Reading
It Saves Your Time and Energy
Slow readers waste more time and energy than fast readers. Speed reading drastically reduces the time to read. You can use speed reading to read as fast as 1000 words per minute.
Read Books Everyday
In case you are stressed after reading one book for two weeks, then after learning speed reading you can start binge-reading books like you watch Netflix movies.
If you can reach the speed of 1000 words per minute, then you can easily read 400 pages of books in 2 or 3 hours with perfect understanding.
Is speed reading good for you?
Absolutely. Speed reading can improve your reading time dramatically. An average reader can read only 200-300 words per minute. However, a speed reader can read up to 1000 words per minute without losing the meaning.
What is speed reading?
Speed reading is a process of reading at a faster pace than an average person without losing information.
How does speed reading work?
Speed reading works by training your brain and eyes to read faster. Instead of reading one word at a time, train your eyes to pick up a minimum 6-7 words at a time. Also, speed reading stops you from backtracking.
When is speed reading not necessary?
Speed reading can help you in every sphere of life. However, if you just want to take your precious time, savoring each word, then speed reading may not be necessary for you.
Who is Howard Berg?
Howard Berg is a Guinness world record holder in speed reading. You can check out his course here.
If you thought one book per day was a distant dream, then speed reading is a pleasant surprise for you, surely.
Speed reading is a time and energy-saving method that can help you binge-read your favorite books within very little time. So, which book are you ‘speed reading’ next?
If you want to receive more insider tips and tricks on speed reading, join our Newsletter here. Every week you will receive tricks to speed read and boost your memory.
While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the speed reading course by Guinness World Record Holder Howard Berg.