I am a voracious reader; a gleaner really. I have developed practices that allow me to read and comprehend nearly 100 books this year and remember the remarkable and useful in equal measure. I didn’t know I was following a process until I read this article, with 7 tricks, by Karol Krol. I don’t use all the suggested techniques but use 4,5,6, and 7 regularly and the last 3 almost all the time.
As a destination person, #5 makes complete sense – “not reading every word separately” was reflex. Pulling back to 500 feet and observing the page as a map is something I have done for as long as I can remember. I zoom in and out on the page gathering information still in a mostly left to right, top to bottom direction. With the advent of camera phones I think we are all better at reading snapshots. Take a mental picture of this Dr Seuss quote and then notice which words you drill down upon.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
Practice scanning and noticing – this passage makes me smile so it is a good one for me to experiment with. Use Seuss or find something that puts a smirk on your face and give it a couple of tries a day for the next week.
My impatient imperfectionism makes #7 ” start too fast” an easy assignment. This might be my epilogue ” He Started Too Fast but He Did Get to the End” (I don’t think I have ever experienced negative splits).
I love Krol’s analogy “if you’re doing 90 and slow down to 70 it feels slow, but if you’re doing 50 and speed up to 70 it feels fast”. This isn’t just a pacing technique it is a repacing practice. By jumping off the start line and racing down the track you give your eyes and brain a break when you slow to 500 to 600 words, it feels like a walk in the park.
Try this free speed reading test and use it as your measure of improvement. What Speed do you Read?
Most importantly, read from a book every day – make it a daily habit.
Check out your local library this afternoon,