Many people would like to read more, but don’t have the time. Then there are those who have the time, but don’t like to read. Reading is a fundamental skill that everyone needs, and the better one is at this skill, the more enhanced life tends to be. Most people learn how to read in school, and after they leave school, their reading skills tend to stay about the same. Some are more ambitious, and look to take their reading skills to a different level. Here are five things that, if practiced, can help you double your reading speed.
1. Don’t sound out each word. This is probably the most important thing to do to read faster, and it is the most difficult thing to overcome. When we first learned to read, we were taught to sound out each word. That also helped to spell the word correctly, as well as to pronounce the word properly. It takes much longer to pronounce each word than it does to look at the word, and just understand what it means. If you look at the word, and move right to the next one, the mind will remember what the word was, as it links the current word back to the first one. When you look at 2, 3, or more words at a time, this will get easier, which leads to our next suggestion.
2. Read 2 or 3 words at a time. Looking at each word and sounding it out is a long way to get through a sentence. After you have mastered looking at the word and not sounding it out, then try doing it with two words, then three words. When you are reading multiple words at a time, the brain is able to pick up the meaning more rapidly, and you can go to the next phrase, or group of words. It is quicker to read phrases than just reading each word. With practice, this will become second nature.
3. Have good eye span. Don’t dwell on each word or phrase. Move your eyes at a good pace, but don’t move so fast that you do not understand what you are looking at. When you look at the last word in the sentence, move your eyes rapidly to the next line, and look and move along the sentence.
4. Do not regress. One of the biggest obstacles to reading fast is regressing. It is natural to want to have a clear understanding of what is being read. As your reading speed increases, the tendency to regress will be less and less. You have to make a conscious effort to move along and not go back. As you move along, the word you may miss should not interfere with the meaning.
5. Vary the speed. Everything that is read does not have to be read at the same speed. Some things that are more technical will be read slower. The mind will pick up some things very quickly and others not as quickly. Move along at a pace that is comfortable. Move as fast as you can while still understanding what is being read.
With practice, the above steps will help you become a faster reader with better comprehension, and you will enjoy reading more books.