Speed Reading: Improve Now

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Speed Reading

Are you among those people who’re addicted to reading but can’t devote enough time? You want to finish reading that latest novel of your favorite author and you’re free only on the weekends and maybe 2 days aren’t enough for you to finish? Or are you a student supposed to finish the whole book before tomorrow’s exam? If you’re one of them, speed reading is for you. Even if you’re not one of them, speed reading is still for you as it’ll definitely save you time everywhere. Never skip all those long posts or emails now!

Speed reading is basically a simple technique used to improve the speed as well as the comprehension of the reading. The average reading speed is about 220 words per minute and onscreen it is about 200 words per minute. Astonishingly, the top readers could read as fast as 1000+ words per minute. The problem is even though reading is in our daily practices either online or in books or in the form of newspapers, most of us still don’t improve over 220 or 230 words per minute.


The science of reading: When we read something, we actually focus on two different characters at a time – one from each eye. These are usually 2 characters apart in the word. The brain further interprets these two characters and a few more and maps it with the words already present in it and comes up with the most matching word, which it then comprehends. That’s how reading works.

Speed reading helps to get the bigger picture and you’re able to make a good gist out of it as it tries to focus upon several words at a time and due to the same fact, the comprehension rate of speed readers is better than those of the regular readers.

So, now we’ll see those habits one by one which limit our speed of reading:

  • Focusing on a word rather than a group of it. The problem with this way is that it limits the speed of the reading because you comprehend word by word and thus you fail quite often to get the proper meaning in one single time. Speed reading emphasizes on focusing several words at a time thus you need not comprehend word by word, you get the meaning of the sub-sentence as a whole at a time instead. This improves the speed as well as the overall comprehension.
  • The sub-vocalization. It’s not our fault, but the way children are taught in our education system. Remember those primary classes when you were made to read by shouting out the individual words? That method slowly gets incorporated into the deepest of out habits and even when we grow up and stop shouting like kids the word-by-word description, we still vocalize the words in our minds. And that takes time! You read a word, then subvocalize it, then hear it yourself, then comprehend its meaning and then move on to the next word. This takes helluva time.

The elimination of sub-vocalization is very important if you really want to improve upon your reading speed. And that comes by practice. Every time you read a word, you have to tell your mind that do not repeat the word in my head. Initially it’ll be difficult, and very annoying too, but if want to improve the speed you need to do that. With practice, your mind will slowly stop sub-vocalizing.


  • Re-re-re-reading! Haven’t you noticed that many times while reading you lose track of the line you were originally reading and just not to miss a line, you re-read it, and then you realize that you’ve already read it. Whereas, sometimes people are not just sure if whatever they read was correct or not and then they jump back a few sentences and re-read the whole part of it doing nothing but wasting time. Avoid this re-reading as much as you can. Also, to quit the habit of jumping back to the same line, use a pointer and stay focused at its tip. A pointer could be anything including a finger or a pencil or a pen or even a stick. Stay focused and you won’t lose the track.
  • Eyes- Increase the span! Relax yourself and let your eyes be relaxed too. Usually at the stressed condition, the eyes read about 2-3 words at a time. Let them relax and let the input be 5-6 words at a time, in blocks.
  • Rip-off the unnecessary part. All what is written is not useful. Go through the document you’re supposed to read and quickly decide what to read and what to skip. For example, many writers write something non-informative but interesting in their articles, which are there just to engage the readers. You can skip them. For example, in this article, the very first paragraph I wrote is completely useless. You can still comprehend what I want to say if you skip that. As a matter of fact, you can even skip the second paragraph of this article.
  • Enhance your concentration. Well, that’s the meditation part of it. Being multitasking is not a bad habit, but if you want to improve your reading speed, you need to give up that. Stop eating those chips while reading, and stop talking to your friend either who is sitting next to you.

Well, that was all. If you could follow the points, you should be able to boost up your reading speed. Remember practice makes a man perfect. As well as a woman too :P .


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