How to read faster
The hustle and bustle of everyday life, lack of time and the methods selected for reading are some of the issues that can influence our reading rhythm. Reading is not only important to study, learn and discover new vocabularies, but it is an essential activity to relax, empathize and be smarter.
Do you think you don’t have free time to read and would you like to optimize your time better? Do you have to finish a book and you’re too slow? Whatever your reasons, in the following article of a HOWTO we teach you how to read faster and better process the information read to understand it without problems. These are the methods and tricks you should know… take note!
Take care of the environment
To learn how to read quickly and better understand a text, not only reading techniques are important, but also the environment in which such reading is carried out. Whether in the office or at home, it is important to find a quiet place where you can concentrate, because reading in any way and in any condition will prevent you from advancing in reading and decrease understanding. To do this, you must take into account different aspects:
Find a quiet place
Being calm and relaxed during reading is essential to concentrate and better understand a text. To do this, we recommend looking for places free of distractions where you can focus your attention on what you are reading.
Lighting does matter
Another basic aspect when preparing the environment to read properly is lighting. Reading in low light, in addition to slowing down reading and hindering your concentration, can cause headaches. Without good light, reading will become much heavier and will cost to maintain a good rhythm, so always look for good natural light to read, desk or floor lamps or even a special mini flashlight to read.
Make yourself comfortable
Maintaining a good posture and making use of reading brackets to improve your comfort will allow you to read better and much faster. To read well you have to find the right time, feel relaxed and look for the method that suits you best, so, for example, if you find it very uncomfortable to carry a thick book, try downloading it for your e-book.
Read in groups of words
One of the fastest reading exercises that work best is not reading an entire sentence word for word. What exactly does that mean? Very simple, when we talk about word group jumps we simply refer to mentally grouping some words (between 2 and 4) to read them faster without having to go word by word.
The idea is to take mental photos of the phrase divided into groups of words and read them peripherally to save time. While this technique can be somewhat difficult at first, on the basis of practice you will notice great results.
Example: Have you ever seen a man as big and as intimidating as that? In this sentence there are 13 words. If we read them one by one, that is, “You had – seen – sometime…” with a stop between each word, we will take a long time. However, if we make groups of words, the reading time will decrease markedly. We would read it this way: “You had ever seen – a man as big – and so intimidating – like this” Time will be shortened as if we were reading 5 words instead of 13.
Subvocalization is a habit that consists of mentally repeating what we read, and although it is a natural reflection, this custom can slow down the reading process a lot … but how to eliminate subvocalization?
Occupy your inner voice
If you keep your inner voice busy, you will subvocalize less, so to begin with we recommend, for example, counting from 1 to 3 while you read to avoid that your inner voice is focused on repeating the text or visualizing with images what you read at the moment so you do not have to repeat the sentences read. Although this technique can be difficult at first, over time it will help you read much faster.
Scan before reading
The trick of scanning before reading is very useful to read a quick text without paying attention to the details, which can help you to read documents or texts that you need to contextualize quickly and for which you do not have enough time. For the scan you can make an “S” with your finger along the page, forcing your eyes to follow it. With this scan you will not get all the information, but you will capture the most important words to contextualize. This way, when you start reading, your head will tend not to subvocate everything.
Keep discipline in your eyes
If you look at how another person reads, you will see that the eyes do not move from left to right, but go from front to back abruptly. This happens by the regression process that occurs by subvocalization. If you want to eliminate it, you have to train your eyes to go from side to side with gentle movements, and something that can help you in this case is to use your fingers as a guide to force your eyes to follow in its wake. This way the eyes will not stop at a single word and you will manage to maintain a good reading rhythm.
Distract the rest of your body from reading
Ears, tongue, lips and larynx are some parts of the body that also participate during the reading process, since many people have to whisper what they read. If you are able to distract them, you can reduce subvocalization, so we recommend betting on classical music or relaxing melodies to keep your ears busy. You can follow the melody by buzzing slightly the larynx or keep your mouth busy, for example, chewing gum.
Use the technology
There are certain applications that can help you eliminate subvocalization easily. Thanks to them, the text will appear word for word at such a fast pace that you will not have time to mentally repeat what you have read, so reading will be faster and will allow you to understand the text without blocking yourself in a word repeatedly or subvocalizing it.
Use a guide
How many times has it happened to you that you have started reading the same sentence or paragraph repeatedly without being able to advance in the text? These types of common blockages can slow down reading a lot, so to solve this problem and discover how to learn to read quickly, we recommend resorting to this exercise:
Remember that when you learned to read you were encouraged to use a finger as a guide so you don’t get lost? Well, this technique recovers that habit. Use your finger, a pen, a ruler or a book point to point out the lines you are reading and don’t stop; combining this trick with techniques such as eliminating subvocalization or jumping between groups of words, you will end up reading much faster.
Try not to reread
Whether out of distraction or unconsciously, rereading slows down the pace of reading a lot and it is a custom that many cannot get rid of. If you don’t have time to finish a text and you must read quickly, try to concentrate and assimilate the most important concepts to the first pass.
To achieve this it is essential that you work with some of the tips offered above: seek comfort and surround yourself with a quiet atmosphere.
There are no quick reading exercises that work better than reading regularly. If you get used to reading daily, you will gain speed and improve all the reading techniques discussed above, which will mean a reduction in time and a gain in reading comprehension.
In addition, we propose you to take a stopwatch and measure your reading rate. Did you know that the average reading speed is between 200 and 300 words per minute? Each person is different, and reaching this speed or overcoming it will depend on how accustomed we are to reading, among other factors. If you want to improve your brand, train your eyes and practice all the techniques discussed above, you will surely notice great results!
If you want to read more articles similar to How to read faster, we recommend that you enter our Training category.