Whether you read for pleasure or for school or work, most of us would love to be able to read faster. Knowing that you won’t have to spend weeks and months to plow through books would make the task of picking up a book to read easier.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could read a book in a day or two? How many books could you finish in a month or a year?
This list below has helped me go from reading a book in two weeks to being able to read books in a span of 2-3 days. It used to take me months to read books sometimes and I would dread picking up a new book because of the amount of time it would take me to read it.
Most of the books that I read span 300-600 pages and range from middle grade books to adult non-fiction. I created this list because I wanted to find a way to read books faster. I, like many have goals to read many books throughout the year and I wasn’t able to reach my goals with the way that I had been reading.
If you have any desire to read faster then try out some of the tips that I use below:
- Cover words you have already read. Sometimes when looking at a big page of words, your eyes will wonder. One thing I do is use my bookmark to stay on track with the line that I’m on. This helps me not only stay on track but it also saves time because I’m not having to reread paragraphs and passages I have already gone through.
- Train your eyes to read more. I know that sounds silly but what it basically means is…predict the text based off of your own prior knowledge. Look at the whole line instead of just the word that you are currently reading. This may take some practice but it will help you ingest more words at a time.
- Skim(if possible.) This tip doesn’t apply in all situations, but if you can skim through part of a text or page then you can shave off a few minutes of overall reading time. I will skim through predictable parts of a book and conversations between characters and just pick up the gist of what is said. It doesn’t pull from the context at all and I can just pick right back in once the dialog is over.
- Remove distractions. I get that multitasking looks cool, but it isn’t very practical. When reading, try to be in a peaceful, quiet environment. If you are constantly surrounded by noise or other people, then do your best to zone in on what you are reading and push everything out. Reading will take you twice as long if you are constantly distracted.
- Have a designated time to read. If you only read when you have time to, then there is a good chance that you won’t reach your goals. I have designated times throughout the day that I set aside just to read. Just like working out and going to work, reading needs a place in your schedule. Giving myself a start and stop time to read kicks my brain into high gear and pushes me to have a mini reading marathon everyday. Even if its just 15 minutes, give whatever your reading your undivided attention for that timeframe.
- Focus on increasing your speed, then worry about comprehension. This may seem backwards but the idea is to be able to read fast. Use magazines or news articles and time yourself reading each one. Don’t stop to think of what you are reading but instead focus on how fast you can get through the page. Once you get to a place where you can “read” through something at a pace that you are happy with, then focus on actually looking at what you are reading. Give yourself a lot of time to perfect this tip.
- Don’t subvocalize. As a mother it is almost second nature for me to come up with voices to read different characters in my head(my son really likes when we read with “voices.”) But when I read books for myself, I had to learn to shut those voices off. Instead all the characters have one voice and that is my own. When I read over dialogue I don’t try to create an elaborate scene in my head but instead read it monotone and in my own voice. It doesn’t take away from the story and it helps me shave off time.
- Skip small words. Skipping small filler words lets me easily work my way down a page faster. We all know the connective words and so skipping them won’t make much of a difference.
- Practice, practice, practice. Time yourself over and over. Reread until you can hit your goals. It took me over a year to get to where I am now with reading and I still have a long way to go.
I hope this list can be somewhat useful for you. These are just tips that I use to help me read books a lot faster. I still enjoy books the same and I don’t feel like I sacrifice any of the story just to get through the book faster. Reading is a very personal thing, so always do what works best for you.
Here are some other reading related post:
If you have any additional tips that you would like to share that have helped you, please leave a comment below. Thanks!