And once that's done, you've torn down the biggest barrier between yourself and speed reading. It might not be easy at first, but once you've beaten this part, everything else is cake by comparison. Before you can measure your growth you will need a baseline. Then once you have a baseline to measure, you will need to periodically measure your reading against this baseline. A great resource for tracking your results can be found at ReadingSoft.
By regularly taking the tests here, it'll be much easier for you to recognize that you're growing, and that will provide all the motivational fuel you'll need to keep going. The problem with understanding your own baseline is that it's hard to translate it into practical terms when a program says that you're reading a certain amount of words per minute.
It's a great place to start, but from the practical perspective, it's more important to know how many minutes it takes to read an average page. If the average person takes 5 to 10 minutes per page, a speed reader doesn't need much more than 2 or 3. This means that a page book comes out to minutes for a speed reader and 1, to 2, minutes for the average reader.
However, it's not as easy as just jumping from being a hour reader to a speed reader. There are going to be various obstacles in your way, but fortunately, most of them are easily dealt with. Using a finger to guide yourself while reading is often considered to be reserved for children and then forgotten once they have the hang of reading. However, this trick comes in handy again while learning to speed read for a few key reasons. The biggest and most important hurdle in speed reading is not in learning new skills but in removing old skills that work against us.
One of these skills that works against us is our comfort in reading without a guide, but in order to learn as quickly as possible, using a guide is a must. It is absolutely non-negotiable. If you were to observe me speed reading, you would notice I do not need to use a guide, but my eyes are constantly darting from the beginning to the end of the line. What you would not notice is that I am doing so at a very consistent speed.
In other words, the amount of time that it takes me to cross a single line of text is mostly the same as I continue my way throughout the page. The exception here is when I have an epiphany or get confused, but those are both still natural parts of reading. When using a guide, your primary goal is to move the guide at a very consistent pace.
How to Learn Speed Reading. Whether you're hitting the textbooks in philosophy class or reading the morning newspaper, reading can feel. This exercise will help you learn how to read Try to improve your reading speed so it becomes faster during.
You should not stop your finger or slow it down. It should simply slide from one side of the text to the other at a very uniform speed. By practicing in this way, you're going to be able to notice when you get stuck or lose momentum much easier than if you simply tried to follow along and move as quickly as possible. When you just try to move quickly, you cannot possibly maintain a fluid and flowing form of speed reading, because you will eventually hit your limit and skip a word.
This results in backtracking, and backtracking results in confusion. If you do this twice per page, it could easily add 30 seconds to each page or minutes to a page book. That's an extra hour and a half lost to backtracking over the span of an entire book. You must learn to think of speed reading like a marathon rather than a race. When moving through text, you will come to find that certain sections of a book might be a breeze to read through, while others are too full of useful information to read quickly.
This is a natural part of reading, and transitioning smoothly from thick material to easy reading is a measure of control. Remember, speed isn't the only important part of speed reading: You still have to do the actual reading. The first book will be a thick, boring history textbook.
If we needed to find specific dates and names within the book, it would be easy to just speed read through the pages while scanning for the names. If we needed to find the significance of these people and dates, we would need to slow down and absorb the material a little bit more closely. Our second book is a fiction book.
It's a whimsical story about a family trapped on a mountain and the adventures they have trying to find the way off of it. Because our brain enjoys the book, there is no real reason to control the reading process unless we don't understand a part of the story. We may simply breeze through the text, let the story fill our mind and slow down when we feel we have missed out on something significant. In this light, speed reading obviously has different implications for different books.
The rookie makes the mistake of believing that speed reading is all about speed, but it is fundamentally about reading. The speed aspect is simply the ability to control one part of how we read. One of the biggest and easiest epiphanies in your journey to become a speed reader will be in recognizing how much your eyes move while you read.
For the average person, their eyes cannot keep moving in a single, fluid line without needing to backtrack. If you begin to pay attention to your eyes, I can guarantee that you will start to notice just how often you move back, then forward, then back again. In the long run, this adds entire hours to your reading experience, and it might even prevent you from finishing in the first place.
A great exercise that doesn't require a book is to practice moving your eyes from left to right while also moving your head from left to right.
By doing these exercises, you have just isolated all of the core components of using your eyes to speed read. We have motion created by the head that does not affect the eyes, motion created by the head that is shared with the eyes and motion created by the eyes that does not affect the head. Keeping your eyes fixed in place, like in the first exercise, helps with focusing on a single word or phrase that you might want to slow down to read.
Moving your eyes with your head, like in the second sentence, helps create relaxed and fluid motion as you transition from line to line or page to page. Moving your eyes independently, as in the third exercise, is the core of scanning from one side of the line to the next. By teaching your eyes to scan in straight lines and using the motion of your head to add that extra layer of control to the mix, you will be able to comfortably maneuver your eyes across the page at speeds you never thought were possible.
In order to understand how speed readers get so fast at moving through pages, it's absolutely crucial to realize that not every word is created equal. There are plenty of small, obscure little words that don't help you, and trying to force yourself to read them can only hurt.
You can find an excellent example of this written out in the very first tip. The article gives an excellent example text that shows certain words do not contribute very much to figuring out what the sentence is saying. It follows the same concept of saving time, but it is an entirely different skill to develop.
The best part of skipping the small words is that they do not contribute anything useful, so skipping them effectively means that you are getting more out of your reading experience. Training yourself to skip the small words is as simple as recognizing that you don't need to pay so much attention to them. Simply allow your eyes to continue moving across the unimportant words.
Over time, your brain will naturally learn to skip over them for you, and you can scan sentences while skipping a significant amount of insignificance. The best tools for speed reading practice are simple, common apps that streamline the process of learning the skill. There are a few different option to choose from, and most of them provide excellent features that makes using them both an exercise in speed reading and a way to save time. Accelerator is an iOS 8 app that allows you to import articles, documents and other texts and links into a speed-reading practice app. It doubles in value as both a practice tool and a learning tool, because by incorporating articles that you'll already want to read, the practice doesn't feel tedious or mechanical.
Instead, it just feels like reading an article while working on your speed reading. Accelerator is highly recommended.
Spreeder is an excellent tool that allows you to copy and paste anything you'd like into a small word processor. The app then takes whatever you've already pasted and turns it into its own exercise, allowing you to pick and choose exactly what you'd like to both read and practice on all in the same app.
It's a perfect choice for those looking to get a lot of value without ever spending a penny. Spritz App. Spritz as a little bit different than some of these apps. Spritz doesn't exactly teach you how to read faster it teaches us to use its software to reconfigure the things you want to read in an entirely new way. Spritz reading is all about not moving your eyes. It flashes the words in from of your eye, highlighting one letter to center each word to keep your eyes tracking the words as they flash past at what seems like light speed.
I have only tested tit using the Spritz demo. But I found I fully comprehended the text even at a blazing fast words per minute.
Being able to speed read can be compared with physical training in a metaphorical way. If you still wish to learn more, brush your eyes rapidly across the page rather than reading normally. You do not have to write them down unless that is your assignment , just recite them aloud. SL Shirley Legare Jul 31, Great post Tim.
But perhaps this reading might be tiring if you had to read an entire book worth of material. Sprita is certainly one of the more interesting speed reading tools. For those with an eReader, ReadMe! This app offers a ton of functionality, but it's specifically designed to assist with speed reading through ebooks. Since modern technology has made ebooks one of the most convenient ways to read, this one is extremely recommended for everyone from kids to professionals. And finally, Acceleread is like a swiss army knife of speed reading tools.