- Being a quick learner can give you an even greater edge. Science proves there are ways you can read and retain it. This post outline those techniques.
- More learning: Six Brain Hacks To Learn Anything Faster
You got that right, there is a way to increase your reading skill and comprehension by 1000%. On average, the reading speed of American adults is in the range of 200 to 300 words per minute, which is a half to a whole page per minute. With the internet containing more words than ever, and with the written word being extremely important for business or recreational activities, the ability to collect, store, retrieve, analyze and get value out of more words in lesser periods of time can improve not only your efficiency but also your enjoyment by leaps and bounds.
- Get the bird’s eye view first. How? By hypothesis and the table of contents.
The first technique is to make a hypothesis of the contents of the book by using the clues provided right away. Make an opinion and a conclusion for technical books and a prediction for the ending for stories. The title of the book can be very revealing for the contents.
The author can also be a great source of theories, especially if the writer is not alien to you. Another extremely important source of possible information are the references in the book itself, usually in the glossary. Of course, this is only for the non-fictional technical books. For reading fictional ones, there are usually reviews behind or inside the book covers, and while they give only vague descriptions, those said vague clues are useful on making hypothesis since the descriptions reviews are surely accurate. The table of contents will give you not only theories but also a structure which is more straightforward, where you can validate or change your theories on. Chapter titles and names are extremely relevant, not only for the structure but forgetting the theme of the book, where you can prioritize your reading.
By making your brain ask questions and form hypothesis before reading and then getting a structure and anchor points for references from the table of contents, your reading speed can actually improve. An added bonus is the fact that your brain is working also, which forms better neural networks which makes remembering what you have read easier and much better. Not only will you read more in lesser time, but you will understand and remember better.
- Practice reading books quickly.
Some readers just skim pages and pages in a structured way. This technique is aptly named as speed reading. Speed readers can read 3000 words per minute, our home 10 pages a minute. Of course, those are trained individuals who have undergone scientific processes and exercises to reach that level. But do not worry, since you can actually increase your reading speed by yourself. Imagine if you became a self-trained speed reader; the world of words would be your oyster!
The practical benefits of moving from the usual reading methods to the faster speed reading process definitely is worth the time and effort. On average, people read around 5 books a year, with time as the main restricting point. In another survey, around 3 quarters, specifically 74.9%, said that they would like to read more but they are limited by their schedule, time which they cannot control. By using speed reading, you can read books more than twice the rate at just the same time period. Burning through books can really help; more than half of respondents regarding business travelers said that reading business books improve their business sense, while it was found out that serious readers who read around 20 books a year usually earn at least $100,000 annually.
- Do not make overly complicated processes; simplicity is the best policy.
You may be reading complex themes and topics, with chapters being loaded with jargon and unfamiliar words, which is why you would think that reading is a complicated matter. That is far from the truth. It is actually your thinking that does the complicated work but the act of reading itself actually relies more on your eyes rather than your brain. One great way to further speed up your reading pace is to actually read through your eyes. Reading aloud maybe good for those who are starting to learn a language, like children or people taking up another language, but for those who already have a good standing with the language, particularly the grammar in the vocabulary, reading aloud will actually slow you down.
Another thing that you should not be doing is to read word by word. Speed readers do the reading process by looking at lines or phrases instead of just words. The average reader can read around 1 up to 4 words in one glance. A speed reader who has good training can read 12 words at the glance and with faster comprehension. In fact, most will read 19 itself in one page, which could range around 24 to 30 words. They do this by training their kinetic vision, basically the scope of what their eyes can capture. If you want to start doing this, try to make time for at least 5 to 10 minutes each day off reading at least a quarter of one line, which should be around 6 to 8 words. After a week or two perhaps, you will notice that reading by phrases and not by words will be faster for you and you will understand and remember better.
In conclusion, you can improve your reading abilities by making flexible general conclusions, making a mental outline through those hypotheses and the table of contents, speed reading and lastly by making the art of reading a simple as possible. Try to do the 3 recommendations listed above, and you will see your reading pace and memory retention improved by leaps and bounds.