How to read faster
Some people have asked me how to read faster.
So I wanted to share a few of my own tips and methods with you here.
You’ll often hear me say that learning to read faster has allowed me to “read a book a week.”
For a lot of people, reading just ONE or TWO a YEAR is a chore. Let alone a book a week.
So HOW do you read a book a week?
Let me show you.
But first, let me clear one thing up.
I DO read a book on AVERAGE, once per week.
Admittedly though, there are some weeks I don’t read one.
So in reality, over the course of a year, I’m probably reading about 45 books give or take.
For the sake of argument, we’ll just call that a book per week, okay? 🙂
Even reading 40 books or so a year seems outrageous, right?
But if you follow along with me here, you’ll see it’s not that difficult.
An average book has 64,000 words in it.
The average person reads about 200 words per minute.
Breaking that down, an average book would take the average person 320 minutes to read.
If you break down 320 minutes over 7 days, that’s only 45 minutes PER DAY you are reading.
You CAN read 45 minutes per day, can’t you?
THAT ALONE should be an aha for you.
Now that book doesn’t seem so daunting after all, does it?
Let’s Get You To Read Faster
The first thing I did was enroll in a speed reading course.
My friend Jim Kwik has one over at https://kwiklearning.com/
I don't get paid for linking to it. I just think he’s the best in the business, and totally recommend his training. I paid for my own training too, so this is not a freebie promotional thing.
The tips on how I read faster are ones that personally work for me.
When you go through a speed reading course, you’ll definitely pick up a few tricks that will resonate with how you personally read.
For me, the first thing I do to read faster is scan the entire book.
I let my subconscious absorb the pages.
It’s important to know here, that I’m NOT reading…I’m scanning.
However, there are times when I stop and read some of the parts that stick out.
That gets me even more excited to read. I’m looking forward to learning more and how everything relates.
Because if you’re not excited about reading, then you’re just not going to read much are you?
In fact, a lot of people use reading to put them to sleep.
If you’re brain associates reading with sleep, guess what happens when you REALLY want to read?
Yeah, you start getting drowsy. And before you know it, you’re asleep.
OK, so now that I’ve scanned the book and picked out a few places to read and “foreshadowed” what’s to come, I go to the contents.
I know, it’s back-asswards, but this just gets me to read faster.
Once I’ve glanced over the contents, I’ll skip over to the END of the book.
I’ll read the last few pages (or section). The reason I do that is that a lot of books will summarize the entire book in those last few pages. So I get the gist of what the book is all about right there.
In fact, if the author is good, you’ll get some kind of checklist (in point form) of all the cool things you just learned. Sneaky, right?
Now I’m ready to dive in.
Here’s a few things I want you to know.
Get whatever you NEED to get out of a book.
There’s no rule that says you have to read every word.
For me, when a book gets into history and deep research, I skip most of it. I hated history in school. I really don’t care about where the information came from – UNLESS it’s REALLY important. And for the most part, a lot of the history stuff isn’t, in my opinion.
That method alone, allowing myself “permission” to skip parts of a book that doesn’t interest me, made me immediately read faster.
Now. I’m NOT cheating. It’s not that I’m just reading a chapter here and a chapter there and patting myself on the back for “reading a book a week.”
But at the same time, if there are parts that bore the hell out of you, why should you SUFFER when you read?
In fact, in MANY of the books I read, the author TELLS you to skip this or that if you are X or Y.
Because they know parts of the book just aren’t meant for you.
The point here is you do NOT have to read every last word, cover to cover. I sure don’t.
One point to make though – if you’re reading a novel…it’s probably a good idea to read every word.
To read faster, I use my finger.
Yup. Any speed reading course will RE-teach you to use your finger. Really, ANY type of pointing device to “underline” the words as you read will work.
The reason is, your eyes naturally follow movement.
Which makes you read faster!
So when we were taught as kids to STOP reading with our fingers, it totally went against our natural way to read.
And the result is that the school system makes us BAD readers.
So there you have it.
A few extra tips on how YOU CAN read faster, and even a book a week – if you really wanted to 🙂
Always remember, leaders are readers!