Speed Reading – What Is It?

Speed reading is a collection of techniques that are designed to help you read text faster and with greater comprehension. The two things go hand in hand. Any time you think to sacrifice comprehension and clarity for speed, you are making a huge mistake, and you’re not actually learning how to speed read, you’re learning how to waste your own time. If you’re not getting close to 100% comprehension, then why should you have bothered to read the document in the first place?

Speed reading is not about reaching insane reading speeds just to say that you can. Anyone who claims that they are reading with 100% comprehension at speeds of over 4,000 words per minute is lying, performing a parlor trick, or simply very lucky. The human brain is a very advanced piece of machinery to be certain, but it is not a computer. It is physically and mentally impossible to perform such a feat.

What’s it About

Speed reading is not about reading novels as quickly as possible, it should be should be saved for non-fiction documents, and more specifically, things that you have to read, not things that you want to read. There are millions of books out there to read for enjoyment, and as others have stated many times before, speed reading is not going to make a book any more enjoyable. In fact, it often has the opposite effect, turning reading into a chore.

Speed reading is about using your brain while reading, and can have the effect of making you a better writer. The techniques that increase reading speed the most are actually going to naturally require you to engage your mind in analyzing text from the point of view of the author, and help you narrow down the meaning of the words in the passage while reading them, and will certainly increase your ability to paraphrase and summarize. While this is sometimes common knowledge about speed reading, most speed readers also notice that they will increase their vocabulary as they learn these techniques as well; making it the perfect skill to be taught in the high school English classroom.