When I was on a retreat with my church community at the beginning of November 2013, I took part in a speed reading experiment.
I read the works of Saint Thomas Aquinas during that time.
I took the book and read as fast as I could (and still comprehend the text). Before then, I had been measuring my reading speed only with small chunks of text, reading for one minute with the timer.
I was curious as to whether my reading speed is reduced when I read for longer periods.
Firstly, I was reading for 35 minutes straight, using the pointer.
Then I read 16.5 minutes without the pointer.
The pointer won. I read about 293 words per minute (wpm) using it. That was 17% improvement over my reading speed one year prior.
I read only 259 wpm without the pointer. It meant only 3.6% improvement over my basic metric.
I was reaching about 400 wpm during my 1-minute exams at that time.
1. You can focus better in a short time span and uprate your result.
(By the way, yesterday I beat my speed reading record – 575 words per minute; it was a 1 minute test, of course).
In that case, the results may not reflect your average reading skills.
To reliably gauge your reading, you should measure your results over longer periods of time.
2. Practice makes perfect.
As you can see on the photo above, the font in that book was really fine. The subject was complex. The kind of language used by Saint Thomas was sophisticated.
But even so I was able to read faster than a year ago.
3. The pointer is THE speed reading technique.
It’s easy—you can use even your index finger for this technique (however, I recommend a pen).
You can use it in your normal lectures; you don’t need special circumstances or reading material to practice this technique.
It works. Immediately.
I read twice as long with the pointer than without it, but my result was still 13% better.
The next time you take a book in your hand, use the pointer. It should boost your reading speed at least by 10%.
Interested in speed reading? Check out 7 Ways to Gauge Your Reading Speed.
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