How to read faster

How to read faster

You may have noticed I read a lot of books, around 2 per month. A lot of what I read is non-fiction and this is where this article will focus as I prefer my fictions books from Audible. That said I have also read a number of non-fiction titles on the platform as well.

When it comes to getting through books faster there is a lot of crap on the internet that basically boils down to skimming. Skimming is not reading as you are not fully processing the text and the level of understanding is lowered as a result. This is an important definition as there is no point in reading non-fiction if you are not understanding or learning.

Read Often

The first way of reading faster might sound a little boring but reading often will over time increase the speed at which you read. Reading and reading quickly is a skill and like any skill the more you practice the better you get.

Yes, just like typing fast comes from typing often reading works the same way. This is because as you read more you increase your vocabulary and your eyes will skip over a lot of the words they know the shape of. This skipping of common words happens at a subconscious level and doesn't mean you don't see or understand them. Your brain can process common words really quickly allowing you to move onto the next word in the sentence.

Minimise Distractions

Another common thing with reading is getting distracted from the book you are reading. It happens, you settle in and start reading and the kids call you, you put the book down mid-sentence and when you return you start reading from the top of the page again. Re-reading like this can take time and when I am reading in the school holidays I can sometimes struggle to even do 1 book in the kid's 6-week summer break.

I have found the perfect time for me to get through a good number of pages in a book without distraction is in an afternoon between 1 and 2 pm but this is not practical for everyone and I suggest you try reading in different places and at different times of the day to see what works best for you.

Conclusion

As you may have guessed there is no shortcut to speed reading, like every other skill you have to practice reading to do be good at it. One thing to mention again because it is important is speed reading faster than your brain can comprehend the words on the page is build a level of understanding about what you have just read is pointless.

The whole point in reading is to expand our knowledge and understanding in new areas and reading too fast can limit this ability.

One good way to build an understanding of what you have read is to take good notes and even write a blog where you can break down your learnings for other people. A lot of the content of this blog comes from the understandings and ideas I have gained from reading books at a pace in which I can take in information and process my thoughts on the subject at hand.