How to Read Faster?

You like books and ask yourself how to read faster? Find out how to increase the speed of reading with the help of the useful tips below.


Every person interested in self-development wants to know how to read faster and remember the things he read about.

A person, who doesn’t read books, suffers from different psychological diseases, has lower self-esteem, lack of confidence and his depression grows faster.

In order to live in the modern world happily and successfully one must read as many books as possible, but there is no way one can read everything.

If you have time to read few books every month and you are satisfied by the short-term insights, but you don’t use anything you read about – be sure – you’re just wasting your time.

How to read more and understand everything, remember and use it in life – this is the subject of the discussion in many researches.

Everyone from them considers it a duty to find and suggest his unique reading technique, which will help to become more perfect in this matter. However, all of them agree on one thing – when you read books, you open plenty of possibilities for growth and success.

How fast can you read?

The most transparent answer to the question “How to read more books?” is to learn how to read faster.

The topic of high-speed reading is so popular that some companies (such as Staples, for example) use it in their marketing campaign.

Besides, in order to promote e-books the above mentioned Staples developed and implemented the technology, which lets to define how fast you read.

However, Staples don’t just provide their visitors with such widget, the company gathers and analyses the received data. According to the data, 300 words per minute is an average rate of an adult.

Do you want to find out how fast you read?

Chose an unknown text, read it and note down the time. Write the complete retelling of the text in order to evaluate the quality of memory.

Count in the number of signs without spaces in the initial text (you can find the statistics in Microsoft Word) and calculate your rate according to the formula:

  • The look transfer rate = The number of signs in the text x 60 seconds / The time you read in seconds
  • The speed of reading = The look transfer rate x The quality of  memorizing in percentage

What books to read to become smarter?

The average rate is about 500 signs per minute. The maximum speed, which a human can possibly perceive with 100% of memorizing, is 6 000 signs per minute.

It means that when we ordinarily read, we use less than 10% of our natural abilities.

Nevertheless, will the high-speed reading help you read more? Is this the right path and is it worth it? Not always.

During the process, when you read, the most important thing stays understanding.

It’s not a secret that people, who can easily cope with 1500 words per minute, actually remember very little from the text and understand almost nothing at all. That’s why if your speed is on the middle lever, don’t be disappointed.

Increase the speed step by step, without loss of understanding. Only in this case you’ll discover the right path to succeed in reading more.

The myths linked to the high-speed reading

It has been connected to the numerous myths.

The books about the outstanding people – Balzac, Lenin, Kennedy, Roosevelt and others – say they needed only few seconds to understand the essence of the whole page.

They learnt how to do it on their own.

Unfortunately, there is too little information left about how they read.

  • This is one of the reasons for delusions connected to the high-speed reading.

    For example, this technique goes down to the fast looking through the text and doesn’t help to understand its main idea.

    Actually, it’s not so: the human brain is able to read and remember 100% of information from the text on three pages (6000 signs without spaces).

  • The next myth: the human brain is able to learn the whole giant volume per minute.

    This mythical ability is sometimes called photo-reading.

    Just as well as high-speed reading, it exists for real and it makes you remember up to 6000 signs per minute, but not 600 thousand.

  • One more myth: there is a magical way, which you use and you can read much faster without any training.

Actually the high-speed reading is a complex of methods and techniques when you read fast and manage to understand the text. All of them must be practiced.

Pay attention that the point is not to transfer the look very quickly. This skill is important on its own, but it doesn’t guarantee the qualitative memorizing of the text.

So, is it effective to read the text and don’t understand and memorize nothing at all?

How to learn to read faster or the algorithm of increasing the reading speed

Let’s have a look at the simple plan which allows looking at the first results after one week of studying:

1. Refuse regressions, i.e. coming back to the things you’ve read.

It’ll increase the attention, because you’ll know you won’t be able to reread it. Maybe, the look transfer rate will decrease a bit. Nevertheless, the time spent on text will shorten, because you’ll read it once but no 2 or 3 times.

2. Broaden the visual field by the special exercises.

They are the Schulte Table, exercises with the lines, which widen, “pyramids”, “firtree” and other exercises. All of them can be easily found on the Internet.

Devote 3 – 5 minutes to the development of the visual field every day. Soon, your speed will increase, because you’ll read by blocks of several words.

Later, you’ll come to the reading of the lines vertically. Don’t perceive word by word, but focus on the middle of the line.

If the visual field is well-trained, you’ll see the whole line and read it for 1-3 seconds.

High-speed reading is useful for your eyes. To widen the visual field one may use the same exercises that are used for the eyesight correction.

They are also used to train the pilots.

Learn how to read faster and you’ll be able to take off the glasses!

3. Develop the conception thinking.

Our brain is settled in a way that it perceives the images faster than words. That’s why, when you read, try to visualize the described pictures and scenes.

The research has shown if you can’t imagine the word, you are more likely to forget it. That’s why with every new or difficult word (for example, some professional terms) you must fix the unique picture.

4. Measure the rates.

Measuring improves the result and it became the copy-book maxim long ago.

Then, why the reading parameters are measured only in school? An adult person, who works with the giant amount of information, is also interested to know how fast he reads and whether he effectively perceives the texts.

Best Books on Logic

Tim Ferriss’s wonderful technique, which helps to read faster

Tim Ferriss is the author of the book “4-Hour Workweek” and many other best-sellers. He is ready to present you the unique method, which is sure to fasten the speed you read with at least 3 times.

His method has 2 hooks:

  • Follow with the pen or pencil along the line you read, as children do, when they are learning to read.
  • Every new line start to read at least with the third word and the first two try to capture by the peripheral vision.
    Turn to the next line also at least when there are three words till the end of the line left.

10 more effective methods, how to read faster

Ferriss calls the method “perceptive broadening”:

“Unprepared readers waste the half of the possibilities of their peripheral vision on reading…the margins. If you read the lines from the beginning to the end, you’ll waste 25-50% of your time.”

You may have heard that to improve reading speed you must use the peripheral vision.

Fast look transfer, the so-called saccades (a rapid movement of the eyes, which are strictly coordinated and follow one direction), happen all the time, while we read (from the margin to the new line, for example).

Minimizing the jumps is a sure-fire way to fasten the speed.

All in all, using the peripheral vision will help you to improve the reading speed. You won’t gain the serious changes in the speed, but will definitely read faster.

Three effective methods to remember things you read about

In order to memorize better and store the information for many years, one must understand the specific character how the memory works. So that you do it, remember 3 keywords:

  • impressions
  • associations
  • repetition

Let’s assume you’ve read the book and you liked it so much that you want to remember as much as possible.

What should you do? Work at three levels.

1. Impressions.

You’ll remember much more, if you study the book emotionally.

For example, you can play some chapters in your mind, try to feel those emotions the author tried to transfer or described.

Imagine you are the main character of the chapters you read.

You must create and control your emotions. Thanks to them you’ll keep most of the information in your mind.

If visual images don’t help, you may try to read the chapters you liked aloud. Make the book evoke your feelings.

2. Association.

effective-methods -how-to-read-faster
The association method is familiar to many people, but it can’t be left without attention in our list, because it stands out by its effective results.

The essence is simple: the sense of the information read must be linked to the things you are familiar with and correlate with each other.

Besides, this method will let you better and more accurate memorize the texts and you’ll understand them better as well.

Here works a rule: it’s easier to explain something new, if you compare it with the things you know.

3. Repetition.

Repetition is the mother of learning. And that is all.

The more you come back to the books you like most of all, the better you’ll remember them.

Remember the major rule: books cannot be read, they must be learnt. Every person must see in books the investment in the education, and consequently in the personal success, but not only how to read faster.

Craze for the techniques, which let to increase the reading speed may seem salvational at the first sight, but they won’t be useful, if the information read will not be understood and used.

Learn how to read correctly and you are sure to achieve great results.

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