Reading isn’t just the old concept where you pick up any other book off the rack, stick to your favourite ones and indulge in endless rereads and story characters that make it harder to let go of it.
Nowadays, as the world is improving at an unprecedented rate you also need to keep up by learning about new concepts and ideas every day. This is especially true for all the non-fiction readers who can’t afford to stay behind in the knowledge that is impossible to find anywhere else.
There are certain skills that can help you read books faster can be a game-changer when you have bulky 800-page sci-fi series books that will keep you up all night but you actually end up finishing just a few chapters. To help eliminate that, here are the top 10 best tips you can use to effectively read books faster.
So let’s dive right into it!
1. Read book reviews before starting the book
We have been there: it takes some solid 50 pages to understand books as complex as Game of Thrones. Watching its trailer can help you get an idea of the movie. Likewise, reading the book review can be helpful to grab the general idea to help read faster without compromising the quality of your read.
You can also simply scan the book, look at the images and the about author section to generate curiosity and we all know what happens when we are curious.
Also read: Book Reviews
2. Be Mindful
To read quickly with good comprehension you need to ensure that you are dedicating your full attention and focus to it. This means you must eliminate all distractions, noise, and though you may have while reading. A common mistake I’ve seen many people making is they wander off to their own thoughts during the read and come to re-read those sections. This method called regression and can only slow you down.
Thus, just like in meditation, pay attention when your mind is fantasizing about other things rather than the book itself. It will also make it harder for you to grab the big picture and can be time-consuming.
3. Don’t thoroughly read every word
If you read more often, you’d understand what I mean by this here. Instead of reading each word, scan the text in 1.5-inch chunks which can easily fit three to five words at once. If you think it will deteriorate the quality of the read, wait till you find out how wrong you are.
Where reading each word at a time can help understand each word, by covering three to five words at a time you get to have a better bigger picture of the story and thus read books faster. Focus on blocks rather than reading word to word.
Also Read: What Common Challenges Do Readers Face
4. Use a Pen
This point is subsequent to the one mentioned above. You are struggling to move your eyes faster, you can surely count on a good ol’ pen to speed up your reading. Point your pen at each chunk of the text and move as you read. The faster you move your pen, the faster you are going to read each section. Here, try not to subvocalize or silently pronounce the words. In fact, it is proven that subvocalizing runs the risk of not understanding the author’s main point.
You don’t necessarily java to read in straight lines, simply going through the text in saccadic movements (jumps) is just enough. You may not be able to get it right the first time. Keep using the pen until you see a difference in your reading speed and can do the same without the pen. However, if you don’t want to go for the pen, you can always use your fingers for the same purposes.
5. Use horizontal peripheral vision
To find out your speed, you need to figure out the average words per line that you are able to read. Simply lay your book flat on a table. Count the number of words in 5 lines and divide the answer by 5.
This is a practice that you need to carry out without worrying about comprehension. The ideal speed should be 1 second per line and you can eventually increase it as you read the subsequent pages to 0.5 seconds.
Focus on speed reading for 3 minutes and go back to the original one where you can actually comprehend the text. This trick works as you use your peripheral vision to get a wider view of the book rather than centering your attention on a single block.
Once you have mastered this initial stage, start practicing it to get a better comprehension of the text. This also does wonders in improving your contention and focuses on the context of the book. Other than that you can try using speed reading tools like Swift Read which ensures you have a clutter-free environment and is only focusing on boosting up your reading speed.
Thanks to its timer, you also get to see your progress and be compelled to continue the training. Best of all, you don’t have to spend the whole day on the tool, simply carry out a 30-minute session each day is more than enough to improve speed.
6. Set goals with deadlines
As with anything, strategizing can be a killer method to get anything done. According to Parkinson’s law, work expands to fill the time allotted. This means until you set yourself a deadline to finish the book, you can expect it to drag on longer than it should have been. It is also an excellent way to increase efficiency and be more productive.
7. Read More
No one is born a fast reader. The more you read, the more you are likely to read books faster. And it is not just limited to that; you also improve your speed for reading other professional material as well.
Sure, they may be times in the beginning when you may find it hard to comprehend the context, but with time you will gradually start to see a rapid increase in your overall performance.
8. Improve Your Vocabulary
The only thing that can interrupt your flow of reading is when you stumble upon a word that you aren’t aware of. Now either you skip it, think about it, or search it up. Regardless of whatever actions you take after that will only slow you down. Thus, work on improving your vocabulary can make a huge difference here.