Reading is no longer a means of entertainment. People now only read to get familiar with the subject matter of their interest. Besides, there are many distractions that can keep them away from it. Effective techniques to read faster can be very helpful in this regard.
Faster reading is critical. You can cover a lot of subject matter in a limited time if you are able to read faster, and we know well that we have actually very little time to spare for reading these days. Thus, reading something at a faster speed matters a lot today.
People usually think that acquiring the technique of reading faster is natural, which is not true. Reading faster is a skill that you have to master. Like any skill, there are some techniques you can follow.
This is true that words are the building blocks of a sentence. But, reading word-by-word slows the process and this technique makes reading material difficult to comprehend as well. The best way to read faster and without losing the grasp is to read by picking phrases.
Our eye span is usually 1.5 inches long. This means that we can read approximately 9-10 words at a time. While reading, use this technique of selecting the phrases of 5-9 words in a chunk. It requires a little practice to master this technique; however, when you ace this, your speed would increase significantly.
This is an interesting method, but can also be a bit confusing at first. This technique says that one should skim and scan the reading material first to get a feel for what lies in the texts. Some would argue why spend double the effort in scanning first, then start reading?
Actually, this method is effective. Isn’t it easy to tackle a problem if you beforehand know about the intricacies involved? When you skim and scan the materials before reading, then you would be looking for the relevant bits of information instinctively. After you start reading, you are already familiar with the main parts of the text and you will not slow down.
Subvocalisation is hearing out the words as you read them. This is done either by moving your lips or hearing the words in your head. Subvocalisation also greatly reduces the speed of your reading. Our concentration focuses mainly on sound and hearing, which affect our ability to comprehend a text. We tend to go backwards to re-read the text which we have already read earlier to grasp the meaning thus slowing the speed.
You can avoid subvocalising by keeping your mouth busy. This will increase your speed three times greater than your speaking speed (actually subvocalising is also the speed at which you can speak). You can stop this habit by being conscious at the time of reading or keeping something in the mouth like chewing gum so that it remains busy.
Quite naturally eyes play a vital part in your reading. Its effective use can add more speed to the way you read. It is advisable to keep the eyes relaxed and soften your gaze. In this way, you can pick more words from a page or a screen.
Apart from this, using your peripheral vision also increases the reading speed. With the peripheral vision, you can read the end of the sentence and you also need not focus your gaze too hard. This saves a lot of time.
Regression is an enemy to your reading speed. There are many reasons for regression in which you read and re-read a sentence more than once because you are not able to understand the sentence in a single attempt.
If you lost the place where you were reading, then it is better to run a pointer or your index finger through the given sentence at the time of reading. This will help you to keep a tab on the spot where you were reading. Running your index finger on sentences is otherwise also a great tool for fast reading.
One reason for regression is the lack of concentration resulting in an inability to grasp the meaning. The only way to avoid this is to keep yourself away from any form of distraction while reading. Distraction can be anything, reading in a noisy environment, your internal monologue, thinking about other issues at hand, ring of your mobile phone, etc. They key is to keep yourself away from these distractions to read fast.
So, when you read something next time, keeps these tips in mind and share your experiences.