Saturday, June 11, 2011

Speed Reading

Photo by Martha Ramirez

The other day, my fabulous cp (Daryl Ouellette) shared with me how she once read a nine-hundred page book in college in one day. 900 pages—in ONE DAY! *Bowing down*

Wouldn't that be nice?

That would be like reading three books/manuscripts a day! Amazing.

So I decided to do a little research on how to gain some speed to my reading because after all, the faster I read, the faster I can get things done and, well, time is a precious gift we all could use more of. Wouldn't you say?

Here are a few quick tips:

1. Use your finger or the tip of a pen to guide your eyes as you read. A book mark will work too. This allows you to scan more than one word at a time. You perceive it as a whole sentence rather than word by word. Thus, allowing for a more faster read.

2. Do not read aloud. Did you catch that? I repeat: Do NOT read aloud. Okay, let me make this clear. I am talking about reading fiction works for enjoyment—not our own work to spot problem areas. It is very much recommended to read work aloud when editing our own work. But for other reading pleasures, allow your eyes to do the work.

Every time you whisper or move your lips as you read, it slows you down. Make it a habit to shush yourself when reading. The person next to you at the library may appreciate the gesture. *wink wink*

3. Distractions/interruptions can slower your pace. Sorry, no Facebook or Twitter. Not now anyway. Not if you want to speed read. Find a nice, cozy quiet area and immerse yourself in somebody else's world. You'll be surprised how time flies when you're submerged in drama.

Below are a few videos I hope you find helpful. It was extremely interesting to learn when reading on the computer, if the background is black and the letters are white, it is easier to read faster. You'll see what I mean if you watch the short flick.

I'll have to warn you though. It does make your eyes go a little on the weird side. I probably wouldn't recommend long passages.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Excuse me for a moment while I get back to reading :)

How about you? Are you a fast reader? What tips have you found that has helped you up the pace?


Brenda said...

A 900 page novel in one day!!! Holy doodle, LOL. No way could I do that. I would have a headache for sure, and my eyes would feel like someone rubbed them with sand paper.
I do however like to use a book mark when I read. And yeah, I did notice I read faster when I do.

Michelle Massaro said...

Wow, Marta-- I found this very interesting. This is something I've never seen blogged about but would be such a great skill for a writer. Of course, when we're editing we have to slow down and pick apart every word, but when we are reading within our genre it would be invaluable. Or for book clubs, etc. Thanks! =)

Martha Ramirez said...

You are very welcome. Thank you Brenda and Michelle for stopping by!

Angie Cox said...

I'm no where near what Daryl is reading, but I normally can read an average well written printed book a day. Those are about 350 to 400 pages. I find that if there are typo's or to many things that don't flow well, they take longer to read.
I notice that I skip over the little words like and, the, a, in my reading as well. good to get in as much reading as possible, bad for trying to catch your own mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Martha. I found your post on speed reading very interesting. I'd like to increase the speed with which I read, so I think I'll have to give the techniques a try.
: )

D'Ann said...

Wowsie, that's something else! I don't want to read that fast, though. I want to savor my books as I go, really enjoy them.

Sheri Fredricks said...

Back in my college days I did a lot of speed reading (Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics anyone?). While cramming for exams was a norm, I could do it in half the time. But now that I don't have to do it, I enjoy immersing myself, totally and fully, in the novels I choose. I have the opportunity to BE THERE. One thing I still speed read over? The newspaper :) Great post, Mart!

Tory M said...

I've read most of the Harry Potter books in a day (individual days, mind you - I can't read all seven in a single day). Can't do that so much any more (twins take a lot of time! go figure). I can't imagine not reading like this, but it drives the hubby crazy because he doesn't like to buy books for me any more (thinks it's a waste of money since I'll usually read them in less than a day).

Martha Ramirez said...

Very impressive Angie and Tory!
Thank you all for stopping by. Enjoyed reading your comments:)

Angela Breidenbach said...

I was actually taught speed reading in the 6th grade. We were taught to skip all small words that were just place holders, learn the outline of common words (they all have certain shapes), and read for content based on the main words. I doubt I can read 600 words a minute any more, but I can still go pretty fast when needed. It's just not as satisfying. Thank you, Mr. Del Pakiser, for deciding a few of your class really needed to be challenged. I've used this skill all my life!

Martha Ramirez said...

That is awesome, Angie! I wish I had Mr.Del as a teacher:)