Adjust Your Reading Speed

This tip may come as a surprise to you. But believe it or not, you want to adjust your reading speed based on the material itself.

There are actually varying degrees of speed reading. It’s not all ONE speed. In fact, there are quite a few speeds. For very technical journals, you’ll probably choose the slowest speed reading speed.

For average textbooks, you’ll read a little faster. If you’re reading comic books or very light material, you will probably use the fastest speed available to you.

Why is this?

Because no matter how quickly you can physically read, the brain can only process information so fast. And the more technical the information, the slower the brain processes it.

That’s why, after speed reading a Captain America issue, you can retain almost everything you’ve read going at breakneck speed while reading a technical journal at the same speed produces maybe one quarter of the comprehension.

By analyzing the material you’re going to read before you actually sit down to read it, you’ll get a pretty good idea, before even opening up the book or paper, of how quickly you can attempt to read it.

Speed Reading Preparation

This is probably another head scratching moment for you.

How do you prepare to read something? Do you have to do yoga? Is there some kind of energy drink you should be chugging? Should you be wearing certain clothes?

Actually, preparation has nothing to do with any of these things.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about without using reading. I think you’ll be able to relate to this.

You’re thinking of going to see the new Harry Potter movie but you haven’t read any of the books yet nor have you seen any of the previous films. You don’t want to seem like an idiot when you watch the movie, and you certainly don’t want to be totally lost when you watch it, so what do you do?

Well, you have several options. Probably the least painful is simply to read the Cliff Notes versions of each book and/or movie. This will at least give you some background of the Harry Potter world. That way, when you see the latest movie, you won’t be totally lost.

It’s the same way with reading. Whatever it is you’re going to read, especially if it’s something totally foreign to you like reading about how tell fortunes by reading somebody’s palm, you want to get some background on the subject so that you’re not going into it stone cold.

Many times we read faster simply because we’re more familiar with the material.

Think about it. When you read a book for the second time, you read it faster because you’re already familiar with the story. In fact, on the second reading, you’re able to go more in depth because you’re going beyond the surface level of the material. That was covered on the first read through.

The more familiar you are with the subject you’re reading, the quicker you will read through it. So do your preparation first.

You’ll find that one thing alone can almost double your reading speed.