As i sit here in my living room, looking at the stack of books i have for my own reading pleasure this week i am spending more time thinking about speed reading. Not people in this instance but books.
The modern day Deductionist will have to swallow an awful lot of information on their road to awesomeness. The average human reads between 200-300 words per minute and when speed reading is once mastered, it is possible to get up to 750-850 words per minute! I top out at around the 500-600 mark myself. Now why is it that this is a technique that needs to be learnt? It is because we don’t do it properly, simple!
Through a combination of eye movements and periphery, sub-vocalization as we read (mouthing the words as we read), and going back over words we have already read. It is infrequent that those that don’t speed read will do all of this but, at least one or two traits combined. These will slow you down and decrease retention due over thinking and a lack of focus.
Now then, one valuable technique we can all master,right from the get go is that of meta guiding. This is simply using your finger to guide your eyes along the sentence as it is being read. This can reduce sub vocalization and speed up reading speed. It is a very simple technique that will often go over looked. If you worry about not remembering as much because you are reading too fast, then remember this, you can read the same text a number of times, in the same amount of time as everyone else who doesn’t speed read. Once you come across a sentence of awesome importance, you can stop to take the time to store it into your palace fully! then you continue along your speedy journey.
Once you are aware that your eye will take in several images and words at once, thanks to your peripheral vision, you can use another technique but it does mean defacing your books. If you draw a line horizontally down every page of your book. You will do one 3 words in to lines on your book and 3 words from the end. You can combine this with the meta guiding as well or you can read as normal but either way it will improve your speed by getting the periphery involved in the beginning and final words of each line.
Practice, practice, practice! This way, your retention and comprehension will not suffer. For me, i use different reading techniques for different reading books, for books of an educative back ground i opt for speed reading methods and read the same book over a couple of days. Whereas for something of a narrative flavor i simply read it, for the sake of complete ingratiation into the world of the book. All in all, i find the techniques of speed reading invaluable! I can get through around 5-7 books a week, depending on the size, with around a 70% retention on the first read. That is thanks only to the practice i have done and have trained my brain to take in information this way! Same rules apply for whatever technique you use, whether referring to speed or comprehension, or anything in between.
Don’t be a stranger!