Nov 28, 2019 08:13 AM EST
Techniques on How to Finish Reading Books in Half the Time
However quick you are as a reader, you might have wished you could read even faster at some point in your life. You would often say, "so many books, yet so little time." How can you really read faster through them?
Things like not reading the whole page or skipping less important chapters are harmful to our real goal of enjoying more books. I don't care so much about that. Rather, here are some tips on how to read more quickly, which do not require you to skimp on understanding the entire content:
1. Scan the words first.
Skimming and scanning, two strategies that require first looking for only the most important pieces of information, can give you priority over what is to come. Because you are already familiar with the main parts of the text, when you come to them in your reading, you will not be slowed down by confusing or surprising parts.
Remember that while skimming and scanning works best for non-fiction, it can also be applied to fiction. Skim the character development chapter, key dialog points, and major plot points in a novel. Then read it more quickly than you would normally.
2. Do not sub-vocalize when reading.
Sub-vocalization is by far the most common factor in slowing our comprehension. It's how most of us read. We read with the words in our heads "talking". It slows down the speed of our comprehension, generally around 300 words per minute only.
In reality, your eyes and brain can interpret words much more quickly. You can almost double your reading pace by stopping that voice in your head. The easiest thing to do is to be aware of it and somehow distract that mind voice. You can follow the words with your finger, listen to music, or chew gum.
3. Read phrases, not each word.
An equally difficult learning ability is how to handle phrases or group of words at a time, rather than individual words. But in fact, your eye span is 1.5 inches long, so you can actually read up to 9 words at a time.
If you look at every 5th word or so, you can take in more at once and cut down on sub-vocalization. However, to do this well, it will take some training. I wouldn't suggest that you start this on things like textbooks.
4. Do not re-read.
One of the biggest moments your reading fails is when you are back-reading sentences or paragraphs that you either didn't understand or wanted to understand more completely. You sometimes figure that the whole book wouldn't make sense if you didn't fully capture or appreciate every single line of it.
Let go of having to fully understand every single thing that's being said or going on and you're going to stop wasting time re-treading places you've already read.
5. Read more.
Like all dignified activities, reading is a talent that requires time to develop. The more books you've read, the quicker you can read them every time. Reading more sharpens your mind and speeds up your skill.
Literature is supposed to be savored, and who cares if you waste untold hours on a really great story. There will always be a lot of books available to practice speedy comprehension. Read the books you really want to read than trying to fly through the pages and not getting the message fully.
Join the Conversation