Want to have a LOT more free time? I’m going to show you how by reading faster. I have gone through the ringer. I have tested out a lot of B.S. “tactics” that do not work and looked over the scientific research.
Now, let’s get started.
Why Speed Reading Helps You Read Faster
Speed Reading Helps Eliminate Eye Inefficiencies
This video from Thomas Frank goes into great detail to explain why speed reading can supposedly help. Basically, there are numerous eye inefficiencies that speed reading might be able to fix.
This video goes into detail debunking the fake inefficiencies that speed reading experts try and teach. This was eye-opening.
I had gone through a lot of material about speed-reading and was always a bit skeptical about some of it. Yet Thomas’s video was the first to really debunk it with science and facts. Everyone else I came across was trying to sell a course or ridiculous claim that you could read a 1,000-page book in 10 seconds (like Howard Berg).
It changed my opinion on speed-reading techniques that I was previously using like peripheral vision reading or scrolling down a page too fast and trying to get a snapshot (which is essentially skimming).
Speed Reading Myths
Speed reading does not happen overnight. It takes time to improve your reading speed. Be careful of speed reading techniques that do not work. These include:
- You may have heard, “Fancy Page Reading Techniques Like Swirling or Zig Zags Work.” But in reality, these fancy speed reading swirl movements don’t work. I’ve seen this all the time. There’s literally hundreds of different “techniques”. Some people swirl down the page, some people, read from the bottom up, some people windshield wiper the page, some people read in a triangle, and so on. I was always a bit skeptical about this, but was almost tempted to believe it. Luckily, this is debunked. Studies show that we need to read the line to understand it.
- Peripheral vision techniques aren’t as helpful as we thought. Studies show that we only comprehend words within our focal point. Having said that, I think slightly pushing ourselves outside our peripheral can be helpful.
- Sub-vocalization elimination doesn’t matter. Speaking the words in your brain is important.
- Research shows RSVP systems don’t work. RSVP is basically where they flash the words in one spot using an app or program so we don’t have to waste time moving our eyes.
- Eye regression elimination (when we go back to re-read a line) isn’t as useful as it seems since studies show that re-reading a line and regression are important for comprehension and retention.
- Studies show that there is a negative correlation between comprehension and retention versus speed. You will do better by reading slower. Beware of what speed reading experts say.
How much more could you do in life if you read what you were assigned and what you wanted to read in a fraction of the time?
What if you could learn skills you wanted to much faster and become better than everyone else?
Most of these techniques you can exercise immediately and some of it will take practice to get better at over time. There is very little loss of retention and comprehension if you do it properly. Take your time with it and slowly increase your reading speed over time.
The information from this video is obtained from my own research on scientific techniques of speed reading from the top speed readers including those who give paid courses on them.
Foundation Speed-Reading Techniques
- Read often. Read more challenging books. Reading diverse topics. Source: Elizabeth Schotter – Postdoc
- Become a more skilled language user.
- Find the best, most comfortable environment to avoid distractions and daydreaming.
- Don’t read just to show off that you read a lot. Read to actually create long-term wisdom that will create tangible results towards your goals. That may mean going for quality rather than quantity.
- Pre-read. Read the table of contents. Skim the book quickly to be aware of important headings, headlines, and paragraphs to know where to focus more on. Pay attention on the first and last sentences.
- Take notes and outline what you don’t want to forget.
The following video is more specific to non-fiction and textbooks. These techniques work more for this since fiction books, you kinda have to read almost all of it to get what’s going on in the story line.
The big takeaways are:
- Highlight, outline, or take notes.
- Use the table of contents and skimming to skip the unimportant paragraphs that you don’t need to read.
For further reading, I suggest How To Read a Book by Mortimer Adler to really better understand how to approach reading different genres and types of books.
What’s the most awesome thing you learned from this video?
I challenge you to let me know and take action on it immediately.
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