Have you ever tried to read together with somebody. You will realize that one of you will turn a page quicker than the other. We read almost all the time – at school, home, in the park, at a cafe or even when traveling. For some of us, reading is a part of our hobbies. However much time we spent on different literature, there will always be two types of readers: slow and fast. The average reader reads a:
- newspaper at 400-600 words per minute
- stories at 300-400 words per minute
- textbooks at 240-300 words per minute
If you consider yourself a slow reader, here are 10 self-improvement tips to help you boost your reading rate.
Read in a Suitable Environment
Some of us can only read in noisy or very quiet environments. Identifying your proper environment is the first step to increasing your reading speed. It is not advisable to be too relaxed while reading as you will most likely fall asleep. Avoid your bed and instead embrace harder places like your desk. Angling your material at a 45 degrees angle reduces eyestrain and improves your ability to read quicker.
This technique is mainly used for non-fiction works. It is helpful to determine the main idea or concept and the order in which they are arranged. To understand a book’s structure, read the table of contents as well as the first and last sentences In each paragraph. Knowing which parts of a book you will read more keenly saves you time to read more.
Formulate Questions as You Read
Turn headings and subheadings into questions. As you read, scan the content for answers to your questions. In this way, you increase you reading speed, concentration and even comprehension of the content. Additionally, reading for answers keeps you more focused, saving you a lot of time for other activities.
Prioritize Your Reading Material
You can break it down into important, moderately important and not important content. Reading in order from the most important increases your level of comprehension and speed. This means read the most important content when you have a clear and sharp mind.
For most people, they can read their best after waking up. At such times, their level of concentration is almost double the normal level during the rest of the day. Make an effort of reading at such times because double concentration can transform to double reading speed.
Most readers believe that highlighting helps them read quicker. This is not always true because by highlighting a particular section (most use yellow color), you intent to read it some other time. This translates to reading the same thing two or even more times. In order to increase your reading speed, keep away from the tendency to highlight material and read it once.
Adjust Your Reading Speed
Not all material can be read at the same speed. Just like in the first section, different materials require different reading speeds. Learning to be flexible does you a great deal in improving your reading speeds.
Study over Time
It is said that practice makes perfect. The more you do something, the easier it is for your brain to memorize it. A lot of people try cramming educational material. Unfortunately, cramming does not enhance retention and you will find yourself reading the same thing over without ever understanding it. Study over time and your will not only improve your speed but also your ability to retain content.
This involves running your mouse, pen, or finger under the line you are reading. Determine the time you take to run the whole length of the line. Your focus should be on reducing this time in order to improve on your speed.
It is a technique that involves reading a number of words, say three or four, as one. Picking up words as chunks greatly reduces the time you take to read and therefore increases your speed. For example:
“The best way, to find yourself, is to lose yourself in, the service of others.”
This technique, however, occurs more naturally to some people compared to others.
Whenever you feel like you need to be a fast reader, pick up something suitable and utilize the above tips. Who knows, in no time you could be the envy of your peers on how fast you return a novel, read in class or even digest news.