BY DAN MORRIS
Some people tend to read faster than others, but there is no reason why we can’t all be faster readers. There are all kinds of little tricks you can use to help increase your reading speed. You will need to practice these tips to master the art of reading fast, but with a bit of work and practice, you will find that you are able to read anything much faster than you ever could before.
Here are seven tips that will help to improve your reading speed.
- Prioritize Reading – There are all kinds of different things that you need to read each day. Prioritize these things into three categories: important, somewhat important, and least important. Begin reading in the order of importance, with the most important material being read first when your mind is clear and ready to take in more information.
- Skim the Material – Before you get into any heavy reading, skim the reading material. For instance, speed read nonfiction to get the main ideas before you get into the details. This will help you to read faster, and it will be easier to comprehend the material because you will already have an idea of what is coming.
- Slow Down – Speed reading isn’t just about reading fast. It is also about control. You need to retain the information you are reading. If this is not happening, it is time to slow down a bit, even if only for the more important information. If you are getting what you are reading, read faster. If you don’t understand something as well, slow down so you can comprehend it more easily. “Increasing your peripheral vision doesn’t happen in a day, it takes practice. When reading a line, try reading a few words in from beginning of the sentence. End a couple words in from the last word of the sentence. Repeat this process to expand the margins of your vision,” says Tyler Stavola, SEO Specialist from OWDT.
- Find the Best Reading Environment – It is next to impossible to read in a noisy environment, so look for a quiet place. Also, make sure that you are in a comfortable position for reading. The reading material should be at a 45-degree angle to reduce eyestrain and increase reading speed. Don’t read difficult material in bed. Save this stuff for your desk when you are sitting upright.
- Use a Pointer – It is so easy to lose your place. Your eye just has to wander for a second, and then you have to take the time to figure out where you were on the page. So, it is a good idea to use a pointer, even if it is just your finger. Place your index finger below the text you are reading, and move your finger as you read. That way, if you have to look away, you will be able to pick right back up without having to search for the last sentence you read.
- Read in the Morning – A lot of people find that when they read early in the day, they are able to concentrate on the material better than if they were reading at a later hour. Make sure that you are reading material that is the most important to you at that time of the day. The more important the content is to you, the more you will be able to grasp, and the more you will want to continue reading.
- Don’t Subvocalize – Most of us learn to read by speaking the words out loud. After a while, we still speak the words, but inside our heads. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can slow down your reading. Remember, you don’t need to understand every word in a sentence to get the overall meaning, so you don’t have to sound everything out in your head.
Dan Morris is an edtech consultant and admission officer.