Speed Reading

Techniques for faster reading.

words you don't know slow you down
when you don't notice the words and you're just experiencing the story you're doing quite well.
when first learning to read one follows a pointer such as a pen or finger. Later this is discarded. However, having a pointer (finger, or whatever can speed up the reading and help push up the speed.
Try not to go back when you miss something. Not entirely sure why this is supposed to work, but most sources (which I don't have to hand) suggest this. it may work because of the redundancy in most human languages.


Train your self to find the one word or phrase as you quickly run your eyes over the page. Useful for re-finding information you read before.
I'll often skim a journal article to get a good sense of what point is being made, what areas are being talked about, as I decide if I want to really study the equations and double check their math.
use a speed reading trainer like http://readfa.st or http://www.spreeder.com to train your mind to see the words in chunks and phrases, and to stop subvocalizing.
Skim texts from the end to the beginning. This gives you a new view of the overall text structure and can make you aware of the conclusions rather than the preliminaries. I find regular skimming hard, as there's always the temptation to start reading at regular speed, which usually leads to never finishing the text.
A way to scan the text very fast that can be executed without thinking about what's important on the page. Should get you both the gist of what the text is about and improved retention if you decide to read the text properly next. Assuming a line is about 13 English words, adjust length of read text accordingly if text layout is different.

What About Visually Impaired People?

Good lighting is lots of light on the (paper) page, none directly in your face. Good lighting can be as effective as magnification. Also, if there is a choice about this, then non-shiny paper is better than shiny paper (specular reflections are removed), and paper that is sufficiently thick that the text on the back surface is not visible is better than the thinner paper.
An extremely posh name for a piece of black card with a slot cut in it, a typoscope reduces glare coming off the page, and helps you track along the line you are reading. You read the page through the horizontal slot in the card.



I don't know why this didn't make it into MindPerformanceHacks like MindPerformanceHacks/WriteFaster?. --Someone

It was planned to be in there from the start, but I saved writing it until nearly the end. When it came time to cut hacks, this one had to go because it was still in a very early draft. -- Ron Hale-Evans [[DateTime?(2006-09-01T15:48:20Z)]]