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  1. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    How to become a faster reader?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Man in the Box, Mar 2, 2014.

    There are people who can read 400-page books really fast, and I'm not one of them. How do they do it? I was never very fast, be it academic or fiction.
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that in large part it's about how much time you spend reading--the more you read, the faster you get. At least, that's my theory.
     
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  3. Darkcula
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    Darkcula Member

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    Try skim reading and avoid regressions at any cost, but this will only work if the language is simple.
    For complex pieces of writing you must follow the below advice,
     
  4. Auratus
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    Auratus Member

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    Maybe try some advices from spreeder.com. they say most of us read in the same way we did when we can reading and rarely bother to go faster. I didn't recommend you to buy their product or idea. BTW.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    By reading faster, you're not getting the full reading experience. Reading is not just about finishing a book. It's also about remembering what happens and reflecting on it as you read. (This doesn't include people like Kim Peek, who can read 2000-3000 words a minute and has a 98% retention rate (the average human's retention rate is half that).)

    Sometimes I like to reread beautiful passages or take my time with a particularly difficult section. So my advice to you would be to take your time and enjoy the book. There's no rush. :)
     
  6. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I remember that many years ago there used to be lots of advertisements for speed reading courses. I haven't seen any in at least the last 10+ years, so I don't even know whether they still exist. I know that at least part of the "system" was to read groups of words at one time. I have found that I sometimes do this naturally in books that I end up categorizing as "quick reads" or "easy reads." It doesn't work so well (or come naturally) for me if I'm reading some sort of literary book or very dense prose. I don't know whether I could train myself to always read this way, and I'm not really all that interested in doing so.

    I think that it is true that you may read faster if you read a lot, but I also think that it's not necessarily worth spending much time trying to read as fast as possible. Sometimes it is nice to savor the book.
     
  7. Auratus
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    Auratus Member

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    If you ask me, You can read it as you can. If you really want to read faster, you might find some books or articles to "train" on . It come with the risk to not always got what you read, but also with chances to improve your speed.

    Not all books should be digest. BTW.
     
  8. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    One thing to consider: Tell an author that you read her 400-page novel in a day and she will get really upset! ;) Considering how much time it took to write it, we kind of expect the readers to not finish it in less than a weekend, if it's good.
     
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  9. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    I'll have to second the idea that practice makes perfect. If you're a slow reader, the est way I've found to boost your speed and comprehension is to read more. And when you read, the books should be a little challenging. After sometime, you'll realize you settle in to the rhythm of each book on an individual basis, but you also spend less time analyzing vocabulary and structure. In short you gain a sort of muscle memory for language.

    I do notice that after some time, one's speed may stop as they find a natural pace for their internal voice. But generally speaking, the more you read, the better you become at it. Also, as mentioned above, the point of reading is not the speed, but the comprehension and retention. I was never the fastest reader growing up, but I always found a rhythm and pace that allowed me to fully understand what I read.

    Another thing you might find is that you may be trying to read books at a more challenging level (which is good). Often, we read more slowly when the book is at or above our reading level. It is a challenge designed to make you slow down a bit. Pick up an "easier" book and you'll fly through it. Another point to mention would be the voice and language of the author, some people write so naturally that reading is easy, while others use such dense prose it's a chore to get through each paragraph. It depends on who/what you're reading.
     
  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't necessarily agree -- I've seen this given as high praise. "I could not put this book down! I read it in a day!"
    Sometimes being able to read something quickly is a function of the prose being very clear, or not wanting to put the book down to such an extent that, for example, you bring the book with you into the kitchen to read it during the four minutes while you heat your lunch in the microwave.

    Now, I realize I am bringing up two slightly different issues -- reading it in a day could mean either that it was very easy to read, and a fast read, so it didn't take as long to read as some other books. Or it could mean that during that day, you gave up everything else that you would otherwise have done on that day in order to read the book, so, if the book would normally have taken 12 hours to read, instead of reading an hour a day for 12 days, you read 12 hours straight.

    But, sometimes if there is something really exciting or suspenseful going on, I find that I do sometimes speed up and concentrate harder.
     
  11. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    For me it depends on the book. Plus, I tend to skim sometimes. I read The Stand in one day. Ulysses took over a week. The Stand - 1152 pgs. Ulysses - 700. One however is a page turner, the other is more difficult. I had to keep stopping to absorb what Ulysses was showing me ( not to mention open a dictionary ) while the Stand all I had to do was imagine things and enjoy the ride.
     
  12. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know, I know. It was mostly a joke. ;) But it could also mean the reader was skimming most of it and didn't bother reading it thoroughly. I've been guilty of that recently, I read a book in a day, but I only read one or two sentences in each paragraph to get an impression what it was about. (it was incredibly boring)
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  13. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for your posts, I enjoyed reading them.

    I guess there's not a "right" way to read and I shouldn't regard myself as "too slow". The speed of reading is as the occasion requires.
     
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  14. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I've read some really long reads: "Moby Dick" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls".

    Took me well over a month to read either of those two and I had to take a break somewhere in there. I'm reading "One Hundred Years of Solitude" now and I've had to put that down for a bit.

    Big books: I'm happy they are written well.
     

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