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How to Read Faster: Tricks and Tips

Person Reading

The amount of information increases every day and, consequently, many people have a fear to miss something interesting and important. However, time passes by, and every day we find ourselves having less and less time for all of information. One of the ways out is to learn how to read this information faster.

This skill helps you get maximum results with minimum time spent. We are used to call such habit "the vertical reading". How to develop it at home? And do you need it at all?

Why Should One Improve the Speed of Reading?

On average, people read 250 words per minute. This means that they spend 1-2 minutes for one page of book or document. Imagine that we could increase our reading speed to 500 or even 1500 words per minute!

A Fast reading skill is important for people who work with great amount of information every day: students, editors etc. If one develops it, not only they can gain more spare time, but also improve their attention and develop logical thinking because they start looking for essential details only.

Practice: Pieces of Advice

Here Is the List from Richard Feldman, the Fast Reading Expert from Columbia University:
  • The first half of the day is the best to perceive any important information (this is the period your mind is clear and you think more precisely).
  • Give priority to the most important texts. For that case, try to determine such texts firstly.
  • "Scan" the content before reading it. It will help you understand the structure of the text. For example, check the first and the last sentences of every paragraph in search of essential tidings.
  • Formulate questions. Turn the headings into questions in your mind and then look for the answers to them. It will help you focus on the gist.
  • Choose the right environment. Use special things for reading, such as book-holder which places book in the healthy angle of forty-five degrees. Also, do not read important material in bed as your organism knows that this place is only for sleeping and relaxation.
  • Regulate your reading speed according to the type of information and the final goal. Form/develop different tempo for publicist writing, contracts or poems.

The Experts from Mindtools Think a Little Bit Different:

  • Train your skill regularly. It may sound banal, but you need more than one week even for learning how to read.
  • Draw your finger over the page. Your eyes and brain will be sweating not to lag behind, so they will work faster.
  • Ignore your inner voice. It is common that we want to repeat those words and phrases that we do not understand in our minds, while reading them. You should not do that if you want to read faster.
Nowadays Improvements

What Are the Cons of Fast Reading?

There is always the other side of the reality. Fast reading is not an exception. What do people sacrifice in order to get more information? It turns out that there is a compromise between speed and precision. The less time you spend on reading the material, the less information you will get from it.

There were experiments that argued this fact. Participants of the experiment told that often they could not remember the content of the text they just read and could not answer the questions which were related to it. Moreover, fast reading may reduce the esthetic pleasure from texts. It is said that the faster you read, the less you read between the lines.

When you use this technique, you may not become aware of the value of the text. That is why it may give you a wrong impression of a really valuable work of literature.

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