How I Increase My Reading Speed By 300%

13 Comments Posted in Personal Development

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Image courtesy of pedrosimoes7

We are fortunate that the internet was created. The internet makes life much more convenient for us and we can get any information that we want by just searching it online.

However this means that we are dealing with a lot more information. Even though the information that we want may be lying out there online but it will be useless if we are not able to absorb it in.

Here is how speed reading comes in. Imagine that you can take in information 3x faster now, does it help to make a difference to your life? You bet it does! You will be able to spend less time on learning and pick up much much more things.

So let me show you how I increase my reading speed by 300%.

Top 3 Mistakes That People Make

1. Rereading

Person A is moving towards his destination. He is moving in a way which he takes 5 steps forward and 3 steps back.

Person B is moving towards where Person A is heading without taking a step back.

Who will be reach the destination first? Person A or Person B?

Definitely Person B! Why is it so? Because all this time Person B is moving forward without taking a step back while Person A is moving forward but he take 3 steps back after taking 5 steps.

It is the same as reading, if you are reading like how Person A is walking, you are not unleashing your maximum speed in reading. You will need to eliminate the habit of tracing back what you had read in order to read faster. What you can do is to use a piece of A4 paper to cover what you had read so that you will not look back on what you had read.

2. Subvocalisation

Reading and speaking out the words physically or mentally in the same time will slow you down. This is not a habit that you can easily eliminate because we were taught to read that way since we are young. However it is not impossible to change it.

One way of eliminating subvocalisation is to occupy your mind with another thought that is totally not related to what you are reading. One example would be repeating 1,2,3,4 to yourself in your mind while reading. This will be helpful in eliminating subvocalisation.

3. Small field of vision.

If you have a small field of vision and you are reading word for word, you slow down your reading speed drastically.

Most of the words in a paragraph are not important (words such as and, be, by and etc.) and we will able to read faster by skipping through them entirely. Being able to take in more words in a glance can help you to read faster.

How To Increase Your Reading Speed By 200%

1. Calculate Your Reading Speed

You will need to know how well you are faring now in order to make improvement. Go to the web and search for any information (around 600 words) and copy it into Words. Your Words program should be able to show you the amount of words in the paragraph that you had copied.

Read through it using your normal reading speed and time yourself with a timer. Lastly, divide the amount of words by the amount of time(minutes) you had spent on reading it. You now have your reading speed in words per minute (wpm).

2. Read in chunks.

You will have to practice to read in chunks. Instead of reading word for word, try to expand your field of vision and read 4 to 5 words (as much as you can) in one glance.

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3. Use a guide.

Our teachers or parents used to tell us not to read using fingers to guide ourselves. However that is the way that will help us to keep our eyes focused and not wander around. But in this case, using your finger is not recommended as it may be too big to act as a guide and block out the amount of words we can see in a glance.

Find a pen or pencil which are thin and use them as a guide. Hold the end of it and place the tip on the surface of the book (where you going to read) to guide your eye from line to line.

4. Practice

Speed reading is a skill that you need to practice regularly. Practice it every time when you are reading and you are bound to make improvement. Check your reading speed after following the above tips and see how much faster you are able to read now.

Parting Words

I had used the above tips to help me read 300% faster and it can do so for you too.  I believe the above tips are adequate to help you to read much faster but if you are interested in further improving your reading speed, I highly recommend The Speed Reading Book by Tony Buzan. In his book, there are more tips and techniques that you can use to help you to increase your reading speed.

Cheers,
Vincent


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13 Responses to “How I Increase My Reading Speed By 300%”

  1. just wanted to say I enjoyed your article, especially the reading in chunks parts. For people who read faster that average, do you suggest reading bigger chunks?

    Thanks

    Yesh

  2. used tires says:

    Out of the mistakes you listed, I do make the mistake of Rereading, which I wind up taking way too much time reading and analyzing things. Maybe I do need to retrain the way I read.

    Till then,

    Jean

  3. ATV for Sale says:

    So what do you do if you get distracted easily? It is easy to say clear distractions, but that is easier said than done. I don’t know if there really is an easy way to become more focused and not let distractions bother you.

  4. Some good tips on how to improve your reading speed. I would also recommend maybe a text to speech reader to help with slower readers as well.

  5. Kris Madden says:

    I agree re-reading is not a good thing, and just to add to your argument:

    The following is from The Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com/article/C…..ite/31819):

    “Don’t Reread
    A central idea of Mr. McDaniel’s work, which appears in the April issue of Psychological Science and the January issue of Contemporary Educational Psychology, is that it is generally a mistake to read and reread a textbook passage. That strategy feels intuitively right to many students — but it’s much less effective than active recall, and it can give rise to a false sense of confidence.”

    On the topic of subvocalization, I have a video that’s on YouTube that goes over that same method, of counting, or repeating vowels, you can see it on my website: krismadden.com

  6. Hey Vincent!

    Awesome article.
    I recently read a page in Tim Ferris’s 4 Hour work week where her gives a cool instruction how to increase reading speed massively, using indented focus and word grouping 🙂

    Really interesting, I never knew it was possible 🙂

    Cheers!
    Diggy

  7. ATV for Sale says:

    Great tips. Reading speed likely lowers a lot of people’s efficiency levels. You should take into consideration what you are reading and at what level you need to grasp the information. For example, you probably don’t need to read every word of a terms & conditions agreement, but you may want to read every word if you are reading a textbook which you will be tested on.

  8. Vincent says:

    Hi Oscar,

    Wow! 1800 pages in 2 – 3 hours is a feat! I wish I could read like that. Imagine how much books we can devour in a week? 🙂

    Hi Megan,

    As a writer we definitely want others to read every word that we had written. However efficiency wise, reading word for word doesn’t really seems like a good choice. 🙂

    Hi Briefcases,

    It is important to clear out distractions to help you focus on what you are reading. Going back to reread the paragraph that you had just read will slow you down tremendously.

    Hi aegil,

    Passion is a key too. Nice point! We do tend to read faster when we are reading subject that appears much more interesting to us.

    Cheers,
    Vincent

  9. ægil says:

    Oscar, what is the word density (words per page)? Or (words per page) per minute *laughs*?

    When you are passionate about a topic, you’ll automatically read faster as you progress on that topic, because you are so engrossed at it!

    So your reading speed depends on your passion, but the tips above are hard to beat!

  10. Briefcases says:

    This can be a great skill to increase your online efficiency. There is so much content that you want to read, but so little time. With these tips we should be able to get more done faster. This is definitely something that I should work on because I read very slowly. My problem is that I get distracted and end up reading paragraphs without absorbing the info. So I have to reread or risk missing important details.

  11. On the one hand, I love these tips (and used some of them to read your article!). On the other hand, as a writer, I’m not sure I want people skipping the words I type so lovingly on the page!! (smile)

    Thanks for this — it was really interesting!

  12. Interesting. My girlfriend is able to read really fast. She reads only fictions so she doesn’t like to skip content but despite this she can read 1800 pages in 2-3 hours. She does so by reading in chuncks of many lines at once. That’s how she read and he always read that way.