If you have a pile of books to read as big as mine, you’ll understand the desire to read them as fast as possible. I have always been a slow reader, and it was only recently I considered learning how to speed read. But something stopped me. I felt that I wouldn’t get as much depth out of what I read and it turns out, my instincts were right.
While you may physically look at more words when speed reading, it turns out, you won’t actually be taking them in. Here’s why it doesn’t work.
The first suggestion for speeding up your reading is to take in more words than we naturally would. That means aiming for consuming whole lines instead of individual words. This is possible but we don’t really take in the sense of the sentence. It’s like trying to eat three mouthfuls at once. -Hard to digest.
The second is to get rid of your inner voice that you hear when reading. The difficulty with this is that it’s a large part of reading. And if you’re not reading then what are you doing? Just looking at a bunch of words.
The third idea is to control your eye movements so that you don’t scan back over what you have already read. This is another fabulous way to increase confusion over what you’ve just read. When we reread a sentence, we take it in more, and we have the opportunity to understand what we might have missed. It’s a natural part of reading, without which we’d be left frustrated and befuddled.
So, in the end, what we already knew was always true. What comes naturally to you is probably the best. And, if you really like the idea of increasing how fast you can read, the only way to really to this is by reading more. Better get started on that pile!