Posted by: wordsmithsuk | February 27, 2010

What is speed reading?

World Book Day logoIt’s world book day on March 4th – an opportunity for schools, community groups, libraries, book clubs and families to read more. But many people find it hard to make the time to read all those reports, emails, business books, journal, newspapers and novels that are published daily. If you are drowning in a sea of information, it may be time to consider learning how to speed read.

Speed reading aims to help you learn the techniques of reading faster with good comprehension. If you practice these skills you’ll harness the huge reserve capacity of your mind – and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.

The way you read at the moment is just a habit acquired over several years. Some of your approaches may be useful, but many more will be counterproductive. Speed reading involves first understanding how the eyes work to take in information – and how you can make them work better and faster. A number of speed reading techniques and approaches, should help you to improve.

Speed reading is about learning some new, more useful reading habits including:

  • Glancing through the material before starting to read
  • Looking for key words across and down the page
  • Using a pen or pencil to guide your eyes
  • Skimming over material that is familiar or not relevant
  • Improving your concentration so you don’t have to keep re-reading

To do this confidently you have trust in the power of your fantastic eyes and brilliant brain to absorb and process huge amounts of information at a single glance. It sometimes feels scary at first but gets easier over time.

The average person reads at between 200 and 240 words per minute, so a typical 250 page book, with about 500 words per page, would take you nearly ten and a half hours to complete. You can expect to double your reading speed in the first few days of speed reading practice with a slight drop in comprehension at first. If you practice  regularly, you may eventually attain 800 -1000 wpm with good comprehension. This would mean that you could read your 250 page book in a couple of hours.

If you’re interested in learning more about speed reading, email me for the download link to our free ebook The Secrets of Effective Speed Reading.


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