5 Tips for Faster Reading

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bookworm.gifI didn’t quite make my goal of reading 100 books this year, but I got close enough. The more you are in school, the more you have to read.  Here are some tips that have helped me read faster.

1. Use a bookmark or your finger.
    Studies show that the split seconds it takes for your eye to find the next line on the page add up and eventually slow you down. By reading with a bookmark going line by line, or with your finger at the start of each line, you can increase your speed.

2. Read the Introduction and Conclusion first.
   
This doesn’t work for novels and works of fiction, but it is very helpful if you are tackling an academic book. By knowing where the author is going, you can fly through the material at a much quicker pace.

3. Read blocks, not words.
   
Most people who read slowly are still reading word-for-word like a child who learns to read in elementary school. Faster readers are able to take in whole lines at one time. This is easier on the eyes, and it also helps one hurry down a page and still retain all the information.

4. Concentrate.
     Don’t try to do two or three things at once. Turn off the stereo. Turn off the TV. Shut out the noise, and focus on what you are reading. The faster you are able to read, the more you can concentrate. And the more you concentrate, the faster you can read.

5. Read a lot.
   
Don’t get out of practice. Always have a book in your hand. Don’t waste the time you spend in the doctor’s waiting room, or stuck in a traffic jam. Have a book handy, and keep the habit alive.

And I have one more (unofficial) tip to add. Learn a new language. For some reason, I began reading much faster in English after I had become completely fluent in Romanian.

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