Speed Reading

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Speed reading isn't simply about teaching your eyes to move faster across the printed page. After all, if you're not understanding the content at a modest pace, increasing the tempo will only ensure that you understand even less. The trick is to learn how to read more efficiently, which means pinpointing why you are reading.

Most reasonable people will agree that the way you read newspapers isn't the same as the way you read business contracts or street signs. Moreover, there are times when you want to enjoy the material before you, as with a great novel or magazine article. In other instances, such as the aforementioned highway sign or a bus or train schedule, you often just need accurate information as quickly as possible.

Speed Reading Techniques

By combining the right speed reading exercises with an understanding of your intent, you get the most mileage out of your training. These drills include "block" reading, or scanning the page for clumps of text as opposed to reading individual words. The more information you take in per block, the faster you generally read.

Not only will you benefit from stuffing in more words per block than you did before, you'll also read faster by spending less time on individual blocks. Pay attention to the way in which your eyes move as you read. If you find yourself spending a quarter to a half a second on each discrete block of text, aim to cut that down to an eighth or a sixteenth of a second instead. You may not register every single word, but so long as you're getting the gist of the text you're improving your speed reading skills.


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