The Internet is a new continent where the maps are
constantly changing. What was a small stream becomes a
roaring river. What was a desert becomes a lush green
To keep up with the changing landscape of the Internet
you must read. And the best place to read about new
developments on the Internet is in Newsletters or
But you may not be reading efficiently.
Did you know that most of us use only 4% to 10% of our
Speed reading is not just about reading faster; it’s
about learning to use much more of the extraordinary
powers of the Mind.
When you read, are you aware of an inner voice that
follows the words as your eyes move across the page or
the computer screen? This inner voice is called
‘subvocalization’. You probably experience it as a
slight movement in the tongue or throat region. As
long as you subvocalize, you limit your reading to the
speed 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 back
Try this exercise:
As you read, count to yourself, silently, from one to
ten. Or, repeat the sound ‘Eee’, ‘Eee’, ‘Eee’. It will
be impossible to do this at the same time as
subvocalizing, so this is an excellent way of breaking
the habit of subvocalization.
As you do this exercise, you’ll become aware that
you’re no longer processing the words in the
tongue/throat region but in an area called ‘thought
stream’ that you experience in the top of your head.
Thought stream moves much faster than subvocalization.
And that’s why people who subvocalize often have
There’s a mismatch between reading speed and thinking
speed. The Mind is constantly racing ahead of the
inner voice and so it gets bored. You experience this
as an inability to hold your attention on what you’re
reading. You have to back-skip words, or read the same
As your reading speed catches up with your thinking
speed, reading becomes much less tiring and your
Once you’ve got a feeling for reading in ‘thought
stream’, the next thing to do is speed up your eye
movements. This will also help break the habit of
sub-vocalization, since your eyes will be moving
faster than you can possibly subvocalize.
Your eyes move across the written page in a series of
quick jumps. Between each jump there’s a stop lasting
a fraction of second, called a ‘fixation’. The
fixation is when the eye actually takes in the written
The untrained eye takes about a quarter of a second at
each fixation, and takes in 2 or 3 words per fixation.
By speeding up you eye movements, you’ll learn to make
fewer fixations per line and take in more words per
Try this exercise:
If you use a glass ‘anti-glare’ screen, draw 2
vertical lines in felt-tip, 5 cms apart, so that you
have a strip 5 cms wide located over the middle of the
text you are reading.
Now move your eyes in a ‘Z’ pattern down this central
strip, at a speed faster slightly faster than is
Because your Mind is not reading each word, it is
forced to ‘fill in the gaps’. This engages much more
of the Mind, since it has to build associations and
patterns in the written material. This in turn leads
to greater comprehension and increased memory of what
This technique takes advantage of the fact that much
of written English is highly redundant; a lot of words
can 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 the
brain into the reading process. You make much more use
of the right-brain’s ability to synthesize and build
relationships within the material.
So speed reading is not just about reading faster; it
also allows you to access much more of the brain and
thereby increases your comprehension and creativity.
For an excellent, free, speed-reading course, visit:
– The Speed Reading Course
Here are some more free speed-reading sites:
– The Study Hall Free Speed Reading Programs
– Road To Reading Home [http://www.roadtoreading.org/]
– University of Texas Speed Reading
– Speed Reading Links
– ReadRace: Free Java application for speed reading
– WannaLearn.com: Personal Enrichment : Speed Reading
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