How to 2X your reading speed in a week

Have you ever thought to yourself: wouldn’t it be nice to read faster and retain even more?

WARNING: Don’t read like this.

Baseline

To see the progress, we need to measure our WPM (word per minute) as each training progresses. Since I read a lot, my base rate is 400 (while Chris’s is 200.) To accurately measure your performance, you want to calculate your WPM when you are most alert and prepared. You can do exercises, meditation, or whatever works for you to get into the best state.

Increasing Speed

  • Use a visual pacer: Use your finger (without touching the paper) to trace the lines as you read. Since your eyes are attracted to movement, you are going to read faster with the visual pacer.
  • Get rid of subvocalization: Have you ever noticed the little voice that is trying to spell out every word as you progress through the pages? Many of us are trained in school to read out loud. This poses a huge limit to our reading speed because most people speak 100–130 WPM, which is way below an ideal reading speed. Try counting “1–2–3” as you read to suppress the little voice in your head.
  • Activate your peripheral vision: Your peripheral vision enables you to grasp the full context without fixating on each word. You can train your peripheral vision by indenting the page on both sides. Try drawing two indented lines as you read.

Increasing Comprehension

  • Ask good questions: Asking powerful & curious questions is the best way to prime your brain for better focus. Be a detective. Lots of questions will get you lots of answers.
  • Skim it first: Look at the pictures and graphs of the chapter to get a big picture first. With this context, you will be able to quickly collect the information as you read it later.
  • Capture to create: To internalize information into knowledge, you can engage in debates with the author or progressively summarize each essay or chapter in your words, or teach your friends or pets what you just learned.

These are some of the basic principles of speed reading. If you are interested in learning more about the advanced speed reading techniques (speed reading drills, in-depth comprehension, skimming, reading technical information, and more!), send me a note 🙂

Happy Reading!

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