Whether it’s a paragraph, a pamphlet or a book, the speed at which you read depends on not just your grasping power but many other aspects too. I, personally, realised that I am a slow reader just a few years ago. It was after observing a couple of people around me. This self-realisation sort of hit me hard. Because that explained why I couldn’t complete my novels at the same rate as my friends did. To find a solution to this, I did a little research and figured out a few of the tips to pace up my reading speed.
This helps in breaking down the text that you’re about to read. Lightly skimming through a few paragraphs and understanding the hook will give you context to the subject. So, it’s easier to assimilate the words once you start reading and hence increase your speed.
I am guilty of doing this! Subvocalising is when, instead of saying out loud, you speak out the text in your head. Though it’s useful at times, it does affect your reading speed. That’s the reason why on an average our reading speed and talking speed is equal. You can’t completely eliminate this habit but can reduce it. Your reading speed is inversely proportional to how much you subvocalise. The faster you read the less you subvocalise and vice-a-versa. Remember it’s more about the idea of the text, then reading the text out loud.
This generally happens when you take long breaks between your reading sessions. Just to get the context of the previous pages. This, in turn, affects your reading speed.
If you’re distracted by the different elements around you then chances are that you’ll end up re-reading for context. The less distracted you are, the more speedily you can read.
If an idea or a story of a book or paragraphs is heavy then it’s helpful to summerise what you’ve just read. This also helps when you take long breaks in between your reading sessions, as you just have to go through the summary and not re-read the whole thing again.
This can be done when you’re a pro at reading a genre of books or know the style of writing of a particular author. Because you immediately know which parts you can skip out on without hampering the integrity of the story or idea behind the text.
Unless you don’t start practising the above methods, you won’t see the results. So, start speed reading by practising one thing at a time and develop the habit over a period of time.
For me, I really need to tackle subvocalising and avoid distraction to pick up my reading pace. Which of these points makes you a slow reader? Tell us in the comments below and share your advice to read speedily.
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