This is a skill that can help u read all of your books in a very short time. It’s very useful but you must be careful when learning it, if you do it too fast you could become dyslexic or even lose your ability to read, it happened to Tom Cruise one time, apparently.
The first step in reading is called “subvocalization”, when you ‘subvocalize’ you read each word one by one, as if reading aloud, and maybe even read aloud in your mind, just one word at a time. Every word on the paper.
If you want to learn to speed read the first step is to stop that ‘subvocalizing’ (stop reading every word one by one.)
“Eye-span” is the space your eye sees, how wide and far u can see and read while retaining at least 50% of the material, before you must blink to record the information.
Eye-span is like a camera lens at open shutter, how much it can capture. the Blink ends the capture and records the information into your brain. beginning speed readers have an eye span for 2-3 words maybe, advanced speed readers have an eye span of 3 to 4 lines of text or more
Blinking is the time when your brain records what it just saw… blinking is very important in speed reading
Eye-span and blinking are the two most important factors to speed reading.
After you begin try to see more than one word at a time, maybe 2 or 3, a small part of a sentence maybe. After you have seen it (but not “subvocalized” every word), you should blink your eyes one time.
Practice capturing just a few words or key phrases between each time your blink your eyes. And later you should get faster and faster until u can capture one whole sentence between blinks.
Do it slowly, don’t try to force too much too soon. Studies have proven that capturing too much, or learning to speed read too fast could damage your brains reading ability.
The next rule in speed reading is to never re-read what you have already read, even if you feel u don’t remember it. Actually, everything you have ever seen, heard, felt, tasted, and smelled, from the time you were born until today, is stored somewhere in your brain; if you remembered to blink then you should feel confident that it is stored in your memory.
It is proven that the faster a person reads, the more he or she comprehends what is written.
If you want to be a speed reader you need 2 things:
1. Lots of practice
2. A desire to read even faster.
Don’t go too fast, if you go too fast you will fall back to the beginning level and lose your ability to speed read
Now we’re ready to start reading, here is the check list before you start to read:
1. be sure you are someplace very comfortable. A desk is not a good place to speed read, a sofa or a table is more comfortable.
2. Very good lightning, it should be quite bright, sunlight is good, or a directly under a lamp
3. Look over the ‘table of contents’ at the front of the book
4. Skim over the ‘Index’ in the back of the book if it has one (these two steps help u learn the philosophy and structure of the book, it greatly improves your comprehension)
5. Get an idea for the paper or story by only reading the first sentence of every paragraph, that contains most of the information and all the other sentences in the paragraph will be related to the first sentence. It gives you a good idea of where all the information is and you should get to understand most of the meaning of the chapter or book or paper or story.
6. Each kind of book or writing will be read at a different speed. A thesis on nano-
electronics would be read slower than a romance novel. Average native speakers read 200 to 300 words per minute; a good speed reader should read more than 700 words per minute. In competitions people read more than 2000 words a minute with more than 50% comprehension
7. You do not need to read every word on the page, usually only words that are 4 to 5 letters long or longer need to be read.
1. Drag your hand. Put 3 or 4 fingers together and slowly move it down the page, as you finish reading each line. when you begin, 1 line of text might be read in 3 or 4 sections and need 3 or 4 blinks, as you slowly become more comfortable with going faster you can read a line or two or 4 with one blink and your hand would move down the page four lines at a time.
2. Use paper. fold a piece of paper to be as wide as the text you are reading and put it on top of the lines you have already read, so you don’t go back and re-
read them, the paper can also be put under the words and used like the hand, but its not so good because the paper will cover up words on the next line and your eye needs to see them before you can move the paper down, so its better to use the paper to cover the lines as you finish reading them.
3. Sweep your hand. Put your fingers together and underline the line you are reading as you read it. Your hand lightly moves from left to right and goes down after each line. Use your middle finger under each word in the sentence as you scan it. It should move very quickly and never stop. so be sure your elbow is directly below the page you are reading.
4. Bounce your Fingers. In this technique you bounce your fingers two times on each line. First bounce is at the middle of the first half of the line and the second bounce is in the middle of the second half of the line, or about ever 1/3 of the line.. Only bounce two times and move down, your hand should be bouncing, not stopping, so it’s also quite fast.
5. Zig Zag. This technique is the fastest, you zigzag from left to right on the page going about 3 lines down in both directions. You are really just looking for the main points and main ideas with this technique, picking out important elements only.
**(as you approach the last few lines on each page you should put your finger under the page so that you are ready to turn it very quickly when you finish the page, so u don’t interrupt the flow of the sentence or its capture.)
All of the above techniques need to be practiced about 5 or 6 ‘reading sessions’ each before they become very useful and natural to you.
The main point is that you should never go back and re-read what you have already finished reading, and that you should move at a speed you are comfortable with, NEVER too fast, and never word by word
Practice, Practice, Practice… and gradually try to push your self to read faster and faster, little by little… it takes time to be good at speed reading.
And if you cannot retain 50% of the basic information in the chapter you’ve just read, then you are going too fast.
So, good luck, and remember, you can never do too much reading!