Increasing the rate in which you can process and understand a document, paper, book, or essay is called Speed Reading. Speed reading has become a necessity to many as a tool to manage time and information. Especially for those in the fast-paced business world, and students who must get through heavy reading class loads. For the practiced speed reader, a lengthy document or a stack of papers, will cause no trouble as they are able to extract the most important of details just by skimming over and picking out the vital information and ignoring the rest.
Speed reading is not just about being able to read faster but about understanding the text as you begin to increase the rate as which you read. This takes practice and it can be a challenge. But not one to be intimidated by, think of it as the next step. Speed reading is the type of skill that once mastered, you will have it for the rest of your life.
When we first learn how to read we start with learning the alphabet and the sounds that accompany each individual letter. Once learned we are then taught to then combine and blend letter sounds to make words. This is referred to as letter-by-letter reading. After practicing you find that you begin to recognise words without having to read the individual letters or sounding out each letter one by one, this is referred to as word-by-word reading.
As you continue to practice, common words and sentence structures start to be more familiar and your eyes begin to take in blocks of words at a time. Differences between average readers and speed readers is in the blocks of words that their eyes take in at one time. Larger blocks, the faster your eyes will move through the text. Speed reading instructs you on how to take your reading and your comprehension to the next level.
In teaching speed reading the techniques used focus on your individual abilities; where you are right now, and if there are any factors that may be keeping you from reading faster. For example, you may be a slow reader, for this there are several factors that could be holding you back, but not limited to, moving your lips, reading out loud, or holding the text too close.
If you are someone who moves their lips, reads out loud or whispers while you read you are slowing your reading rate dramatically. You can only move your lips so fast. You will find that you are able to read almost two to three times faster than you are able to speak. You are effectively keeping yourself at the word-by-word reading stage.
Being able to speed read makes a significant difference in your life, especially if reading is a major part of your day. Therefore, using some speed reading techniques in your life can help you read faster and give you some of your time back.