I have been told that I read fast. I don’t know if I should consider that a compliment or a doubt from them. Are you guys questioning me if I really read the book? Honestly speaking, I don’t mind the time I spent on reading a single book. You may find me laying in my bed all day reading and it is okay, it doesn’t matter to me because I regain my energy with it. I never recognize how I read, how fast I read or how loud or inaudible I am when reading. It won’t make sense anymore especially when you have drown your mind and attention to the story that would end up reading till you run out of pages to turn.
Should people consider rapid-readers a big deal?
Indeed, speed reading requires practice. First, you have to begin with making reading a part of your habit in order for you to get used with words. A lot words. Taking myself as an example, reading has been part of my days. I’m not saying that I read every day because I’m working and obviously, I would not be able to comprehend whatever it is that I’ll be reading once I attempt to multi-task. So to be able to read comprehensively and thoroughly between the lines, I’m saving the weekends for it. Afternoon is the best time for reading (for me) because that’s when I feel peaceful, and I feel like that is the only time that I’m ready to embrace the upcoming feels from different fictional characters and events. Lastly, you must not mind your surroundings once you have opened a book and start reading.
To begin this post, let me state different techniques that some readers utilize to finished reading in a short period of time. I would also be glad sharing which of them/one I use. You might also find your technique in the following so go ahead and share your reading experience by commenting down below.
First on my list is,
- Skimming and scanning
It is a process of speed reading that involves visually searching the sentences of a page for clues to meaning while scanning is the process where one actively looks for information using a mind-map (organizing information in a visually hierarchical manner that showcases the interrelatedness of the information for better retrievability) formed from skimming. These methods are said to be used by meta-guiding your eyes. Okay, I remember using this method back when I was in school preparing myself for an unexpected exam. To be able to have myself equipped in the upcoming test, I visually read only the words that appeal to be important details on the current topic. Those that I think would have 95% chances of appearance on the said exam. Once I have enough information, I rapidly scan the rest of my notes because of the fact that I’m running out of time. I’m certainly sure you’ve done the same thing before, right? It worked for me. I’ve been doing that strategy till college and I’m quite surprised that I didn’t get failed in any exams. Sounds exaggerating, right? Focus is the main factor in this technique. Of course, you have to be focus when skimming and scanning especially when you know you have a limited time. Now, if you tell me that you did this method and you failed, chances are you’re simply daydreaming and you can’t blame the method for that.
It is also a speed reading technique wherein you use a finger or a pointer (a pen or a pencil whatever you think you could use) in order for your eye to move faster along the length of a passage of text. Meta-guiding has been claimed to reduce subvocalization, thereby will speed up reading.
According to spreeder.com, Chunking is a technique wherein you have to group words into “thoughts” instead of reading the entire grammatical correct form of it. Meaning to say, this method could help increase your speed reading by shortening sentences in a way that you’re not losing the essential sense of it. The more you cut out words without losing the sense of a sentence means an increase in reading speed. Practice is always the proven way to come up with a successful skill. Let’s take this one as an example:
- Avoidance of Vocalizations
Honestly, avoiding vocalizations while reading is quite difficult to stop especially once you get used to it. Have you tried reading as if you’re making a duet with yourself and the author? Exactly! You’re vocalizing. When we speak of vocalizations, it means that you are forming the words with your lips soundlessly or through mind. Subvocalizations mean saying words in your head rather than grasping the idea. You have to begin avoiding this habit because obviously it’s making your speed reading constant through exerting efforts in uttering the words that you read little by little. You have to remember that when you read, your mind is supposed to be on the reading itself.
Furthermore, there are three types of reading or readers: Mental, auditory, and visual.
- Mental Reading- This is classified as the slowest form of reading. Why? Because you are sub vocalizing, you’re sounding out each word internally, like reading to yourself and you don’t get to comprehend what you are reading thoroughly. Therefore, you will end up having a regression.
- Auditory Reading– Like when we use audio books, we hear the words the speaker reads but the difference is we do not sub-vocalize to ourselves. Audio books are great, aren’t they?
- Visual reading- It is considered as the fastest way to read. They neither hear nor subvocalize what they read but simply understand a word that they see. Visual readers approximately read 700 words per minute.
Among these three, I classify myself in between the mental reader and a visual reader. I don’t know if that’s even possible. Does that conclude that I’m a rapid-reader? The other way around? Or just the standard reader who neither fast nor slow? No matter which of them is it, I already mention earlier that it doesn’t matter to me. I read in accordance to my time and that would be weekend so it’s free.
One thing, I want to tell everybody, THERE IS NO BIG DEAL, IF ONE READS FASTER THAN YOU DO. It should not suppose to matter in the first place. What counts and matters here is one’s capability to read a lot that it turns out to be its passion and habit. We all know how fascinating reading is, right? Why don’t we just drown ourselves on the habit and forget the standards. No matter what techniques you do whether you chunks or skim and scan a book or a simple passage, it doesn’t matter as long as you comprehend what you have read you should simple appreciate that. There’s no need to try being a fast-reader but if you think you have the need to acquire the skill which I think will soon come, then PRACTICE. It’ll take a lot of time and patience but surely it’s worth it.
“For Our Purposes, I define “reading” as looking at printed words and getting enough meaning from them to satisfy your purpose.”
― Peter Kump