—Edmund Burke, political philosopher (1729-1797)
So, you want to increase your reading speed and still be able to comprehend and remember what the passage said?
You must first know what your reading speed is. To get started:
- Find a selection to read and mark the beginning and end of it. Use a stop watch to time how long it takes you to read from beginning to end.
- Count the number of words in the passage and divide by the minutes spent reading it. This is your rate of reading in words per minute (WPM).
Tips to increase your speed:
- Set a new target slightly higher than the rate you just determined.
- Use easy to read materials and practice each day.
- As your speed and comprehension increase, increase your target.
What will help me remember what my book said?
- Read in a quiet place, no background noise or other distractions.
- Use a pen or index card to help you keep your place in the reading
- Read for ideas and concepts, not just the words.
- Think, interpret, and analyze the first time you read a passage.
- At the end of the section, write down main points.
- Practice your speed and comprehension together. If you read for three minutes, you should remember three main points. Five minutes, five points.
- Underline or highlight main points in the passage, but don’t highlight just for the sake of highlighting.