Blogging 101: Speed reading tips

Hey readers! Today I want to talk a bit about learning how to speed read - or at least to be able to read faster than you do already. I am currently in the process of learning this myself, since I am not the fastest reader, but there’s some really practical good tips that I have picked up recently and I think these would be helpful to anyone who loves reading - especially if you have a lot on your TBR piles!

Stop Reading To Yourself

When we read, we sub vocalise the words, or hear each of the words in our head. We don’t actually need to do this to be able to comprehend the words we’re reading, and really - this actually slows us down considerably. One tip that I’ve found is that if you repeat the numbers 1,2,3,4 in your head, or hum to yourself as you’re reading you’ll still be able to read and comprehend what’s going on in your book, but you’ll then be able to just focus on doing it much faster since you’re not pronouncing all the words in your mind as you read along. If you’re the type of reader who moves your lips as you read along, you’re sub vocalising in another way, and to help, cover your mouth as you read. It might sound silly but it works!

Use a Marker

Sometimes when we’re reading, I know at least I do this - I go back and re-read sentences to make sure I have understood them correctly. We don’t actually need to do this, and it wastes a lot of time. Some sites recommend using your finger as a guide to set and keep a reading pace. Let your eyes stay with your finger and move over each line without stopping. You will be blown away by how much more you read in the same amount of time just by following this one. You could also use a piece of card if you find it hard using your finger as a guide and move the card along the page as you read. Don’t allow yourself to go back, just keep plowing through.

Time Yourself

I definitely recommend you time how fast you read before you start doing any of this. There are sites online that will time how fast you read at the moment, as well as test you on how much you comprehended at the same time. And then most importantly, speed reading is about practice. So make sure you are in a quiet room where you are able to focus. Make sure you’re in the mood to read as well and that you’re not going to have distractions. And just practice the two above tips. I guarantee they do work, they have been working for me at least, but they do take a lot of time and patience, and I am definitely a work in progress personally. I would recommend re-timing/testing yourself every now and then to see how you’re improving too.

This is a huge benefit if you’re able to make better use of your time, by being more productive and reading faster. We all know reading can be time consuming, and with so many books on our lists to read, I know I am always looking at ways I can make the most of my time. There’s plenty more tips out there too guys! I have just given you three today. I’d be happy to share more if you’re interested - but if you jump on Google like I did, that’s where I picked up most of these tips, and they’re really easy to just get started too!!

Does anyone out there use these techniques already? Are you finding they help you read faster? Or are you like me, a little slow at reading and wanting to improve your reading speed?

If you have any questions or ideas for topics we can discuss next week leave them in the comments below and Kristy or I will make sure we answer them for you - possibly in a new post next week!

What do you think?

  • Julie S. says:

    Thanks, I’m going to have to try this. I’ve been trying to speed up my reading since I keep increasing the amount of books I want/need to read in a certain amount of time.

  • Carolyn says:

    Firstly I need to learn how not to relax so much that I doze off even when reading a book I am absolutely loving. No matter how gripping and interesting the book is, I nearly always fall asleep because I am so relaxed.

    But yes I need to read quicker as my TBR. Pile is growing bigger and bigger

  • I didn’t realize that I do the whole hear the words in my head while I read. But I totally do that. Thanks for the tips!

  • Ariel says:

    This is really hard to get used to. I’ve been slowly trying to add it in for years. I got to the point where I would use the techniques with blogs because I read so many and I find that I read them quickly, but I still don’t retain anything from them for longer than a few hours. I also find that it messes with my vocabulary afterwards. I start misspelling words I know I know how to spell. I blame my dyslexia. Maybe speed reading isn’t something a dyslexic can do.

  • Whoa there! Counting instead of vocalizing actually helps! I tend to move my lips when reading difficult texts. Just tried the counting tip on a couple of paragraphs of my uni readings. I am stumped. I kind if didn’t believe it at first. Although, I think it works even better when repeating numbers in a different language from the one you’re currently reading. At least it does for me :)
    Joséphine @ Dudette Reads recently posted…Review: “The Book of Broken Hearts” by Sarah OcklerMy Profile

  • I think I’m already a pretty fast reader. I don’t think I’ve ever done the ‘read to yourself’ thing. I still want to time myself to see how fast I really read :D Thanks for sharing!

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