Speed Reading

Does reading pose a challenge for you? Have you ever wished to read faster and thus save time? Speed reading might be the ideal solution for you. In the following article, we will also discuss whether speed reading is a reality or just a myth.

What is Speed Reading?

Speed reading is a technique very similar to regular reading, but instead of delving into individual words, we only connect what our eyes perceive during reading. This allows us to read larger amounts of text in a shorter time than if we read each word separately and pronounced it in our heads. With speed reading, we can significantly reduce learning time, making it especially recommended for professional literature. However, if you urgently need to read some fiction (e.g., home reading, reading badge) and are running out of time, speed reading proves excellent here too. With regular training in reading techniques, one should read up to 5 times faster than with regular reading. Reading strategies are also essential for optimal reception of new information. It also helps some who previously had trouble understanding what they read due to slow reading.

The beginnings of speed reading started in the late 50s when Evelyn Wood, a teacher, challenged herself to read faster every day. One day she noticed that her reading speed accelerated when she read with the help of a finger, following the text. This observation later evolved into the technique of using a finger or pointer during reading, which we often see in children learning to read. However, few know that it enables faster reading.

Methods and Techniques of Speed Reading:

  1. Skimming – We skim the text when we search for specific data, which we notice during the skimming. This way, we extract essential data and create an idea or message of the entire paragraph, in other words – we extract the essence by noticing key words and not entire sentences.
  2. Scanning – It involves arranging key words in a hierarchical pattern to make sense. During this, we also remember all the titles and subtitles of the text and connect them with the appropriate text.
  3. Finger Reading – Reading with the help of a finger or another tool (e.g., ruler, pen), where we follow the text we read with the tool. This method allows for faster reading.

There are three types of reading:

  • Subvocal – We pronounce words in our minds while reading; this is the slowest form of reading, reading up to about 250 words per minute.
  • Auditory – We hear words while reading, reading approximately 450 words per minute.
  • Visual – We understand the words we read, not just hear or pronounce; this is the fastest form of reading, reading about 700 words per minute.

But is All This True?

Some believe that speed reading is careless reading. Important information can be lost, or sentences can be scanned incorrectly. Often, details are overlooked, and for inexperienced readers, such reading can be quite strenuous, both mentally and for the eyes. However, if we use an app like Bralko, where we can set the desired reading speed, we essentially switch to auditory reading, thus moving from basic reading of 250 words to 450 words per minute. Since we only use the auditory channel and not the visual one, we can process information even faster, as we quickly move to visual reading, where we continuously visualize what we read or extract only key information. Additionally, Bralko can be used during any task, saving time or helping as a tracker to easily follow the text read by Bralko. This is also a great aid for children just learning to read.

Several studies have been conducted, refuting the possibility of reading several thousand words per minute. However, experts have agreed that it is possible to read up to 600 words per minute, which is still more than the average reader (200 words per minute) reads. The world’s best readers have managed to read 1000 words per minute, but they understand only up to 85% of what they read (compared to average readers, who understand 60% of what they read at 200 words per minute). This is entirely feasible when reading fiction, especially if the goal is to finish the book as quickly as possible, but not so convenient when reading complex professional literature.

Other Positive Aspects of Speed Reading:

  1. Better Memory – Speed reading trains the brain to accept information faster, causing our brains to develop faster and better, improving memory.
  2. Greater Concentration – Most people struggle with a lack of concentration, not just reading. Their minds wander during reading, making it hard to extract the essence. Speed reading increases concentration as it’s a demanding activity requiring a lot of attention and energy.
  3. Higher Self-Esteem – With speed reading, reading becomes more interesting, motivating us to read more in less time, expanding our horizons and gaining knowledge, boosting our self-esteem.
  4. Logical Thinking – Training the brain not only improves memory but also the ability to think logically.

achieve an enviable 2000 words per minute, but if we can significantly improve our reading speed and save time, why not?

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Bralko is available on Google and Apple stores for mobile applications. Just type ‘Bralko’ in the search bar or scan the QR code.

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