Remember learning to read in early grade school - holding your index finger over each word as you struggled aloud to pronounce each word correctly?
Although those days are now long gone you still might be hanging on to the old habit of perhaps committing a little too much time on each word.
Once you realize that it is is no longer necessary, your reading speed will increase and your comprehension will improve.
Below, get up to speed with expert readers who enjoy flying through books or articles with the greatest of ease! Once you know the secrets of speeding reading, you will be too:
1. To begin, simply try to increase your speed while reading something really enjoyable such as a favorite newspaper or magazine. (If you are trying to get through "War and Peace" for a homework assignment by tomorrow morning realize now that these tips won't work overnight.)
2. Any distractions will slow you down at first, so be sure to turn off the TV, radio and the iPod in order to devote more concentration to what you're reading.
3. Take note of your reading habits and if you tend to read one word at a time, try a different approach. That is, reading whole blocks of words. It's often hard to break long-held habits, so make a conscious decision before you begin to concentrate on groups instead of single words.
4. To help you see in word groups, use a small ruler or index card to skim down the page. Take in reading material line by line to force your eyes to begin seeing in the new way.
5. Go slowly at first. As your mind becomes adjusted to the method, push yourself to skim faster to comprehend complete sentences or even small paragraphs at a glance. Holding the reading material further away also helps you to see the "big picture".
6. If you finish reading and find you have no comprehension of what you've just read - you're going too fast. Try to drag the card in a steady motion and increasing your speed as you feel more comfortable. After a time you won't even need a reading aid, and your speed and comprehension will increase naturally with practice.
7. Practice, practice, practice! In the morning, try scanning the ingredients on the cereal box, or speed read the junk mail. During the day, always carry a novel or magazine to read while you wait at the train station or post office. It will not only make the time fly it will help increase your reading speed, as well.
When all is said and done, speed reading only becomes a solid habit through - you guessed it - practice.