Imagine how much your life would improve if you could read faster. The average college student reads at about 300 words per minute.
With some practice, a reading rate of 600-700 words per minute is attainable by most folks. Reading twice as fast means you could read twice as much material or spend only half the time. Take your pick.
Here are some tips to really burn up the pages:
1. Avoid sub-vocalizing. Sub-vocalizing is when you say the words to yourself silently as you read them. You can see the words and recognize them without saying them to yourself! It’s just a bad habit that you can practice not doing. Try reading at a faster pace than usual. Then you won’t have time to ‘say’ the words.
2. Use a pacing tool. Use your finger or a pen to keep your pace. Simply move your tool along down one side of the page as you go. This technique can really help with your speed and keep you moving forward. Once you’re comfortable with one speed, then you can move the tool a little faster.
3. Read in a good environment. It’s a lot easier for most people to read faster in a quiet environment that’s free of distractions. Ensure you’re comfortable and that you’ll be left alone.
- One great tip is to practice focusing deeply on anything you’re doing – reading or not. For example, if you’re going to relax, then really focus on relaxing. If you’re going to read, then really do your best to read. Little by little, you’ll strengthen your ability to focus and concentrate on your reading material.
4. Try chunking. Your eyes can see a lot at one time. That means you can see more than one word at a time. Try reading two words at a time. Then try three. A good reader doesn’t need to look at more than one or two spots per line of text in an average novel. You don’t need to look at every word to see every word. Try it.
5. Keep moving forward. If you read slowly, it’s likely that you read a couple of words, then back up and re-read part of the same passage. Keep moving forward.
If you can’t remember what you just read, then you need to either concentrate better or find a place to read that has fewer distractions. Reading the same thing twice slows you down.
6. Be visual. Those that read very quickly report visualizing the ideas presented on the page. A lot of our brainpower is dedicated to processing information via visual processes. There’s real speed in this processing method. Try to imagine what you’re reading.
7. Regularly push your speed. Practice reading faster than you’re capable of reading. If you can only read 200 words per minute, force yourself to try to read at 250 words per minute. With a little time, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how comfortably you can read at 225 words per minute.
Learning to read quickly is a great self-improvement project. You can really save a lot of time and get more reading done faster. It can make you more efficient at work and help to keep your brain active and healthy.
Eliminate your bad reading habits and regularly push your speed. Eventually that faster speed will become comfortable.
If you’re not currently reading regularly, start. There is so much information available at such a low cost. Reading is one of the best habits you can have. When you increase your reading speed, you multiply your ability to learn, grow, and benefit.