How fast do you read?
Believe me or not, you can increase this reading speed in time! Speed reading has become more popular as it opens wide prospects.
- The Guinness World Record is about 60.000 characters per minute.
- Ann Jones read “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in minutes.
At this rate, you can master all the works of your favorite authors in a matter of weeks. In this paper, Lucy Adams, a professional from a reliable writing website, shares 7 consecutive actions that allow taking the maximum benefit from any text in the shortest time.
1. Browse the Book before Reading
Before you start reading, look through the entire text and try to catch the key points. After viewing, stop for a minute or two and summarize the main points. If the text seems to be interesting and useful, go to the 2nd step.
If not, think about whether it’s really worth reading. Maybe, you don’t need to waste time on something that won’t bring you much good.
The task of browsing is to lay an approximate route of reading using the main theses. Our memory is built in such a way that even a superficial acquaintance with the text before reading speed greatly simplifies the perception and understanding.
If you check the key points of the chosen route before traveling by car, you will easily navigate. The same can be applied to books.
2. Set the Main Goal of Reading
After browsing the text, you’ll get a few key messages. If you want to read the text completely, be sure to specify your primary target.
To quickly understand your goal, answer 3 simple questions as fast as you can:
- What do you want to learn from reading?
- Where do you manage to use this knowledge?
- How much time are you ready to invest?
The answer to the first question gives you an understanding of where to focus your attention while reading, the answer to the second question gives an insight into the usefulness of reading, and the answer to the third one sets you on the productive work in the allotted time.
Different texts provide different goals.
But it is important to have an answer because mixing reading purposes lowers the efficiency:
- Imagine that after reading the news in order to relax before work, you switch to the documentation, not reconfiguring yourself to understand the main, remember, and apply it to the work. Very often, when reading in this mode, it’s quite difficult to concentrate. This happens due to the fact that the old relaxing mood is still in your head. It is hard to immediately return to the busy schedule after the holidays, isn’t it?
3. Focus Your Attention on Reading
When you have a goal, your task is to fully focus on reading for its implementation. The best way to make it happen is to set a task for yourself to understand the text at first reading.
To do this, imagine that each sentence of the text immediately disappears or burns after you read it, and you will no longer have a chance to read it again!
After reading a few dozen texts with that mindset, you’ll understand the text much better on the first try.
Here a question arises: “Is it reasonable to re-read the text if I do not understand something?” The answer is “yes but at the right time.” If you’ve read the text to the end and do not understand some part of it, at first, you have to precisely determine the “weird moment,” and then read it once more.
If you do not understand all the text (this may happen at the beginning of your training or if the text is very complex), then you can read it again completely, but only after you have tried to comprehend it.
4. Read the Text by Blocks
When sliding the eyes over the text, try to stop the view on the blocks of 2–4 words. Include as many words into the blocks as you can clearly see. Since the basic meaning of the text is contained 80% in nouns and verbs, pay attention to these words to catch the basic meaning.
5. Use the Summary to Memorize the Text
The ultimate task of the book is to direct us to useful thoughts. Therefore, every time you find an important idea, an interesting phrase or satiation, be sure to stop reading and focus on that zest.
The information you read is stored is a short-term memory (random access memory and the Hippocampus). It will quickly leave from there, so don’t miss the chance to catch it.
The next block of the text will wash the previous information out of your head like a wave. Well, the thoughts you have voiced will be transferred into your long-term memory and become a part of you!
6. Take Care of Your Eyes Using Deeper Understanding
Since the load on our eyes is constantly growing, it is important to take measures to keep yourself healthy. To relieve the stress, give your eyes a rest and move them out of the PC or a book when you analyze the text and perform other actions than reading. Thanks to this regime, you’ll be able to read more and keep your eyes healthy.
7. Write Down the Best Ideas
Such an outline may be quickly converted into an action plan. As for me, I always find up to three ideas from this list and try to implement them in the shortest time (if it’s possible).
Because of this, I get to improve the speed almost immediately after the reading! The main trick is to start. Once you’ve implemented a few ideas in your life, the rest will be easier to make.