Read Faster, Read Smarter

Read Faster, Read Smarter was written by Michael Southon from ezine-writer.com

The Internet is a new continent where the maps areconstantly changing. What was a small stream becomes aroaring river. What was a desert becomes a lush greenvalley.

To keep up with the changing landscape of the Internetyou must read. And the best place to read about newdevelopments on the Internet is in Newsletters orEzines.

But you may not be reading efficiently.

Did you know that most of us use only 4% to 10% of ourmental abilities?

Speed reading is not just about reading faster; it'sabout learning to use much more of the extraordinarypowers of the Mind.

When you read, are you aware of an inner voice that follows the words as your eyes move across the page orthe computer screen? This inner voice is called'subvocalization'. You probably experience it as aslight movement in the tongue or throat region. Aslong as you subvocalize, you limit your reading to thespeed of normal speech, to about 300 w.p.m.

The Mind is capable of thinking much faster than that.So when you subvocalize, you're literally holding backyour mind.

Try this exercise:

As you read, count to yourself, silently, from one toten. Or, repeat the sound 'Eee', 'Eee', 'Eee'. It willbe impossible to do this at the same time assubvocalizing, so this is an excellent way of breakingthe habit of subvocalization.

As you do this exercise, you'll become aware thatyou're no longer processing the words in thetongue/throat region but in an area called 'thoughtstream' that you experience in the top of your head.

Thought stream moves much faster than subvocalization.And that's why people who subvocalize often havecomprehension problems.

There's a mismatch between reading speed and thinkingspeed. The Mind is constantly racing ahead of theinner voice and so it gets bored. You experience thisas an inability to hold your attention on what you'rereading. You have to back-skip words, or read the sameline twice.

As your reading speed catches up with your thinkingspeed, reading becomes much less tiring and yourcomprehension improves.

Once you've got a feeling for reading in 'thoughtstream', the next thing to do is speed up your eyemovements. This will also help break the habit ofsub-vocalization, since your eyes will be movingfaster than you can possibly subvocalize.

Your eyes move across the written page in a series ofquick jumps. Between each jump there's a stop lastinga fraction of second, called a 'fixation'. Thefixation is when the eye actually takes in the writtenword.

The untrained eye takes about a quarter of a second ateach fixation, and takes in 2 or 3 words per fixation.

By speeding up you eye movements, you'll learn to makefewer fixations per line and take in more words perfixation.

Try this exercise:

If you use a glass 'anti-glare' screen, draw 2vertical lines in felt-tip, 5 cms apart, so that youhave a strip 5 cms wide located over the middle of thetext you are reading.

Now move your eyes in a 'Z' pattern down this centralstrip, at a speed faster slightly faster than iscomfortable.

Because your Mind is not reading each word, it isforced to 'fill in the gaps'. This engages much moreof the Mind, since it has to build associations andpatterns in the written material. This in turn leadsto greater comprehension and increased memory of whatwas read.

This technique takes advantage of the fact that muchof written English is highly redundant; a lot of wordscan be skipped without any loss of meaning.

When your eyes move down a central strip of the text,you also engage much more of your peripheral vision.And that in turn brings the right hemisphere of thebrain into the reading process. You make much more useof the right-brain's ability to synthesize and buildrelationships within the material.

So speed reading is not just about reading faster; italso allows you to access much more of the brain andthereby increases your comprehension and creativity.

For an excellent, free, speed-reading course, visit:

  • The Speed Reading Coursehttp://www.trans4mind.u-net.com/speed_reading/index.html
Here are some more free speed-reading sites:
  • The Study Hall Free Speed Reading Programs http://www.studyhall.com/sread.htm
  • Road To Reading Home http://www.roadtoreading.org/
  • University of Texas Speed Readinghttp://www.utexas.edu/student/lsc/sprdg.html
  • Speed Reading Linkshttp://www.readingsoft.com/flinks.html
  • ReadRace: Free Java application for speed readinghttp://supershareware.co.uk/Apps/8080.asp
  • WannaLearn.com: Personal Enrichment : Speed Readinghttp://www.wannalearn.com/Personal_Enrichment/Speed_Reading/
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