A comprehensive guide to speed reading in modern life.
Is reading consuming too much time? Do you have a lot to read in a short timeframe? Or do you simply want to get through more reading material for your own amusement? If the answer is yes, then speed reading is a skill you should start practising today.
The average person has an average reading speed of 200-400 words per minute. With speed reading, you can reach approximately 600 words per minute – doubling your speed. Anyone can shorten their reading time by countless hours this way, all it takes is practice.
When we make our learning more efficient and streamlined, we can open up more time for hobbies and interests. That’s why speed reading is perfect for people with busy schedules in today’s modern life.
So what exactly is speed reading? It is a skill that involves a trained eye and the following actions:
The absorption of meaning without reading every single word in a sentence. This is especially useful with conjunctions.
The absence of inner vocalization as you read. Our mind tends to sound things out as we go. But if you can stop this, reading will become a lot faster.
This may be difficult at first, but over time you will be able to revise paragraphs accurately.
Because speed reading requires cognitive multitasking, it takes a great deal of concentration.
In this blog, we will give you a useful study method for speed reading. This method will harness the above, accompanied by tried and tested tips. Keep reading for a how-to guide on speed reading!
Speed Reading: The Method
In order to harness the capability of scanning, seeing, comprehending, and concentrating, we must learn how to learn. A useful method that’s widely used in classrooms is the REAP method. This speed reading technique is something we might already do subconsciously. But if it’s used purposefully, it can help us learn much faster.
REAP stands for:
- Reading –The first step is to take in the information you want to learn. It’s the act of simply recognizing the material in your own language.
- Encoding –Also known as paraphrasing. This is where the student summarizes the text in their own words, from the author’s perspective. It is a strong sign of complete comprehension
- Annotating –Get critical. What do you think about the text you just read? What notes do you have on the information?
- Pondering –Elaborate on what you’ve read by discussing it with others, doing this will engage your “zone of proximal development”.
Now we know the psychological processes the brain must perfect to speed read, we need to know where to begin. The REAP method can be exercised in various contexts. As previously mentioned, this method of reading requires cognitive multitasking.
Below are several effective reading strategies you can use to enhance your REAP capabilities. These speed exercises can be used in any manner, with some being more effective than others for you. It’s important to keep a journal on what personally works best along the way and keep track of your current reading speed. Keep reading to learn effective training methods for a faster process of reading.
Speed Reading: Tips and Tricks
Celebrate your successes. It’s important to make a note of how much you’ve improved during this process. Begin by reading a paragraph exactly how you would normally read, then begin using the techniques below. You will be amazed at how much faster you’re reading after a few small changes to your methods. Keeping a record of how far you’ve come will entice you to keep up the good work. This could involve using comprehension tests at the end, or noting when you’re reading at a faster pace in these speed exercises.
The enemy of speed reading is subvocalization (the act of vocalizing words in your mind as you see them). This has been shown to take up the most time during reading. When we sound words out in our minds, we waste time learning the same thing twice. You can prevent yourself from doing this by maintaining your eye movements and recognizing instead of absorbing the material.
Practice Eye Movement
This can be accomplished sitting at your desk, moving your eyes from left to right in smooth, effortless motions. Once you have the hang of this, you can pick up some light reading (a to-do list, a post on Facebook, or even a receipt) and carry this motion through the sentence. Starting small with uncomplicated reading material will ease you into this method. If you were to skip this step and go straight to speed reading a dense paragraph, you could experience very little progress. So sweep the eyes and keep the pace.
The untrained eye will take in everything that’s on the page, including margins and space between words. In fact, half of our field of vision is registering this empty space while we read, which substantially slows us down. By moving this way through the page, we can spend up to 50% of our reading time learning nothing. Luckily, we can train our peripheral vision to stick to the word content and move through it much faster.
You can train yourself to eliminate peripheral vision distractions by firmly adhering to the words and the content. Using the eye movements you’ve been practising, you can skim over filler words and spaces to keep your focus where it belongs. Try this by allowing your eye movement to guide your reading. Keeping yourself disciplined may sound unenjoyable, but in the long term, it prevents burnout and brain fog.
Skimming and Scanning
Skimming is the action of omitting filler words in sentences, focusing on the beginning, middle, and end. This can be extended to reading full paragraphs in search of specific material. Simply concentrate on your eye fixation, and read the first and last sentences to get a vague idea of what you’re about to read. However, this isn’t always effective when reading for personal amusement. While this can speed up your reading to 700 words per minute, it may leave you with less information.
This is why scanning must accompany your skimming. Scanning requires the eye movements you practised at the beginning. With this method, you aren’t omitting words from your reading, your eye is simply drifting over them, absorbing only what it needs. When combined, skimming and scanning can become second nature to your reading process. This dynamic duo substantially increases your speed.
This is one of the most useful methods of speed reading because it prevents you from revising what you’ve just read. By using your finger or a pen, you can keep the pace of your fixation duration. This aids your pace while blocking out old information. This has also been a key method of preventing subvocalization. Your eye is forced to speed over the text to keep up with the pointer. This may be one of the most simple and effective methods of speed reading scientists have observed.
This is a branch of meta guiding for effective speed reading, except instead of using a pen or a pointer to guide your speed and comprehension level. By physically blocking passages you have read, you’re able to stop your eye from re-reading. Save your recall for the end if you feel like you have missed something. Don’t stop your flow while you’re in progress.
Covering can be accomplished by using your finger, hand, piece of paper, or page scroller. This depends on if you’re reading an ebook or a paper one. It’s important to experiment with this method to find the easiest object for covering. Otherwise, you might spend too much time trying to cover instead of actually reading.
Peace and Quiet
For first-time speed readers, there must be no additional distractions. Learning new habits always takes a lot of focus and multitasking. You can’t expect yourself to fully grasp a new skill with the TV on in the background and the dogs barking outside. Make sure your environment is quiet, secluded, and geared up for fixation efficiency.
Sometimes a quiet environment is hard to find. If you feel that your home environment is too noisy to properly focus, try your local library, or schedule time for reading when you know the house is empty. If all else fails, try using some earplugs!
Pace and Track
While using a pen is a great way to set a pace for yourself, it might be beneficial to go digital. Set an alarm or timer to keep on track with your desired speed. If this is 700 words a minute, take note of how many pages that should be. This is especially useful if you’re reading an ebook, as paperback books are difficult to quantify by length. Run a simple word count on your ebook, set a timer, and see how close you get!
Rest and Recuperation
Even excellent speed reading can take multiple hours out of your day. This can be physically and mentally taxing, especially if you are sitting upright in an office chair during this time. Make sure you take time to stretch, eat a snack, walk the dog, and rest your eyes. A proper night’s sleep, along with the correct glasses, blue light filters, and good lighting can go a long way. Our eyes experience a lot of strain when we are reading, so investing in the proper care will help our reading in the long term.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you read books like a pro?
Here are a few tips on how to read books like a pro:
-When starting a new book, take a moment to skim through the table of contents and read the brief description of each chapter. This will give you an idea of what the book is about and help you to follow along as you read.
-As you read, take note of any important points or key concepts. If you come across something that you don’t understand, make sure to look it up so that you can fully grasp the author’s argument.
-After you finish reading, take some time to reflect on what you’ve read. Write down your thoughts in a journal or discuss the book with a friend. This will help you to remember the important points and solidify your understanding of the material.
How do I become a strong reader?
There are a number of ways to become a stronger reader. One is to read regularly, as this helps to build fluency and comprehension. Another is to choose interesting and challenging books, as this will keep your mind engaged and help you to learn new vocabulary. Additionally, it can be helpful to ask questions as you read, either aloud or in your head, as this will help you to focus on the text and understand its meaning. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling – there are plenty of resources available that can assist you in developing your reading skills.
How does a literature professor read differently from a lay reader?
When approaching a text, a literature professor brings a critical eye to the reading process. They are trained to analyze the craft of writing, paying attention to things like point of view, simile and metaphor, and foreshadowing. They also consider the historical and cultural context in which a work was written. A literature professor tries to understand how all of these elements come together to create meaning. In contrast, a lay reader generally reads for enjoyment or personal growth. They may still pay attention to some of the same elements as a literature professor, but they are less likely to analyze a text in such depth.
What are the three items that separate the professorial reader from the rest of the crowd?
While the average reader may be able to get through a text with relative ease, the professorial reader stands out from the crowd in three key ways. First, the professorial reader is able to read at a much higher speed. Second, the professorial reader has a much better comprehension of what they are reading. Finally, the professorial reader is able to retain far more information from what they read.
How do I study like a professor?
Many students believe that the best way to study is to cram the night before an exam, but this is actually one of the least effective methods. A better approach is to spread out your studying over a longer period of time. This gives your brain a chance to gradually absorb the material and recall it more easily when you need it. Another way to improve your study habits is to take better notes in class. Pay attention to key concepts and ideas, and write them down in a format that you can understand and reference later. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re confused about something
What are the steps to take in becoming a good reader?
In order to become a good reader, there are a few steps that should be followed. First, it is important to find material that is interesting and engaging. This can be done by exploring different genres and subject matter, and by seeking out recommendations from friends or trusted sources. Once a suitable book has been found, it is important to set aside some time each day to read. It is also helpful to create a comfortable reading environment, free from distractions such as loud music or television. Finally, it is necessary to actively engage with the text, whether through taking notes, discussing the book with others, or writing about it in a journal.
I struggle a lot with reading. What can I do about this?
There can be a number of reasons for this, including poor eyesight, difficulty understanding the material, or simply not being interested in the subject matter. However, there are several things that can be done to make reading easier. For example, if you are having trouble seeing the words on the page, try using a larger font or brighter light. If you are struggling to understand what you are reading, try looking up unfamiliar words or rereading sections that you found confusing. And if you simply don’t enjoy reading, try finding material that is more interesting to you. With a little effort, anyone can improve their reading skills.
Speed Reading with LillyPad
With traditional forms of reading material like magazines, books, and newspapers, it can be hard to measure your progress. Paper-based reading material can be run through a word count. To keep track of your success, try taking your reading digital! LillyPad is an online reading platform designed for readers of all ages.
With hundreds of free books in our library, you can delve into the worlds of classic literature. We also have a wide array of books you can purchase through our store. But If you already have ebooks you would like to read on the app, you can simply upload and start reading! This app is designed with flexibility for the reader in mind.
Learn from History – Follow the Science – Listen to the Experts
What’s the one thing that makes LillyPad so special? Lilly! She is an artificially intelligent English tutor, and has people talking all over the world! Lilly makes improving your English easy. With Lilly you can read in four different ways, and you can read just about anything you love. And learning with Lilly, well that’s what you call liberating!
For learners of all ages striving to improve their English, LillyPad combines the most scientifically studied and recommended path to achieving English fluency and proficiency with today’s most brilliant technologies!
Additionally, the platform incorporates goal-setting capabilities, essential tracking & reporting, gamification, anywhere-anytime convenience, and significant cost savings in comparison to traditional tutoring methodologies.
At LillyPad, everything we do is focused on delivering a personalized journey that is meaningful and life-changing for our members. LillyPad isn’t just the next chapter in English learning…
…it’s a whole new story!
Do you want to improve your English? Visit www.lillypad.ai.
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