How to read a book really fast?

Alex Williams
4 Min Read
  1. Skip the intros

    Most books have intros that don’t really add any information. Start reading books where the page numbering starts. Today authors try to make their books at least 200 pages in order to look good on the shelf, even if it means frustrating their readers.

  2. Learn how to scan for the right information

    Fast readers scan pages. They don’t read them word by word. The ability to scan a page will come through practice.

  3. Read the table of contents first

    When you read the table of contents you will be able to realize which chapters are worth your time. This is not an invitation to skip chapters but it’s a tip that can help you know the time you should spend on each chapter.

  4. The more you read the faster you will become

    Speed reading can be learned by practice. The more books you read, the faster you will get. You will notice a significant change in your reading speed after some time. (See How to Read 52 Books a Year?)

  5. Never read out loud

    Your eyes are faster than your mouth. If you read the words out loud you will slow yourself down dramatically.

  6. Never read word by word

    Don’t read word by word but learn to look at a few words together and understand the meaning behind them. Again this might sound hard until you read a lot. The more you read, the easier this will become.

  7. Scan for important titles

    The header can give you an indication about the information present in a paragraph. Some sections might not be useful to you at all. The key to speed reading is to read what you need to read, not everything.

  8. Make sure the environment is perfectly suitable

    To speed read you need to be sitting comfortably in a calm place. Noise and other external factors such as poor ventilation can prevent you from reading fast. Make sure the external factors are optimum before you start, at least until you get used to speed reading.

  9. Begin with perfectly organized books

    Books that are well organised, such as ‘Zag’ by Marty Neumeier, can be finished very quickly. When you read such organised books you will be able to understand which parts to skip in disorganised books. (See Why some people prefer Books over Movies?)

  10. Ignore footers

    In most cases, footers will just sum up what was previously written. You don’t want to read the same text twice, so you should skip footers.

  11. Learn when to slow down

    Speed reading is an art. You should learn when to slow down when needed. The idea of speed reading is getting the most info in short periods of time. Sometimes you must slow down to read a very important part, and then offset this by speeding up during useless sections.

  12. Read a bit faster than you can understand

    In the beginning, forget about understanding things perfectly. Just read a bit faster than you can understand and shortly your mind will catch up with your reading speed. You can sacrifice understanding in the first few books until you increase your mind’s speed.

  13. Never feel guilty

    Guilt & speed reading are opposites. You need to learn to never feel guilty when you skip a paragraph or even a page you don’t find worthy.

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