Billionaire Bill Gates wishes if he had one superpower, it would be to read faster. But reading faster is not the same meaning with effective reading. So, how can you improve both your reading speed and quality of reading? Well, here are 3 steps that you can do to actually read faster and effectively.
1. DETERMINE YOUR GOAL
What is your purpose of reading? To help you figure out your comprehension and speed balance, here are some suggestions:
If you read a textbook, you can skip paragraphs and sections that are not important. You just focus on bolded words and sections as well as surrounding context. You should pre-read section heading, bold terms, vocabulary to save time in the long run and summarize the section or page in your own words to increase retention.
If you just read for pleasure, you should read slow down to enjoy nuance. Sometimes, you speed up to get the main points and gist of the story. It is no right or wrong here, it is totally up to you.
When you read research articles, it is important to read the abstract slowly and carefully. You need to approach each section (introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion) to reach your goal.
2. BE FLEXIBLE READING SPEED
Constantly change your speed from moment to moment to get motivation and interest. Focusing on the first and last sentences of a paragraph are the way to get information quickly instead of reading the whole paragraph.
3. USE A PACER
A pacer is a visual guide, such as your finger or a pen, that marks where you read on the page. You have to run your finger down the page or use a pacer when you speed read. This is the best way to control exactly what and where you read.