Speed reading articles and online games

Five types of reading

Scanning type of reading

For example, scanning a telephone book:

  • You are looking for it quickly.
  • You know what you are searching for (key words and names).
  • You 'see' every item on the page, but you don't necessarily read the pages - you ignore anything you are not looking for. Thus, when you discover the key words being searched for, you will be unable to recall the exact content of the page.

Skimming type of reading

When you read quickly to gain a general impression as to whether the text is of use to you. You are not necessarily searching for a specific item and key words. Skimming provides an 'overview' of the text. Skimming is useful to look at chapter/section headings, summaries and opening paragraphs. The purpose of skimming:

  • To check relevance of text.
  • Sets the scene for the more concentrated effort that is to follow, if the text is useful.

Light type of reading

Reading for leisure tends to be 'light':

  • Read at a pace which feels comfortable.
  • Read with understand.
  • Skim the boring, irrelevant passages.

An average light reading speed is 100-200 words per minute. This form of reading does not generally require detailed concentration.

Word by word type reading

This type of reading is time consuming and demands a high level of concentration. Some material is not readily understood and so requires a slow and careful analytical read. People use this type of reading for unfamiliar words and concepts, scientific formulae. It can take up to an hour just to read a few lines of text.

Reading to study type of reading

A method of reading for study is called SQ3R2, (SQ3R, SQ4R, PSQ5R) the aim is to understand the material in some depth. The method involves five simple steps; Survey, Question, Read, Recall and Review.

  • Survey: skim through to gain an overview and not key points.
  • Question: devise questions you hope the text will answer.
  • Read: slowly and carefully.
  • Recall: from memory, write down the main points made by the chapter.
  • Review: revisit your questions - compare these to your recall and establish how well the text has answered them; fill in any gaps by further reading and note-taking.

Practice and speed reading

Question: I'm currently interested in speed reading, a possibly useful augmentation on my natural state, I'm not sure about it's effectiveness (or even possible effectiveness). A bit curious about the experiences of others, and of possible studies into the subject.

So, the question is, do you happen to have some information that might help me?

Answer: A few things to look at:

1. How much do you read?

2. How often do you read?

3. How much do you enjoy reading?

Speed reading is a skill that is acquired after much reading. I started heavily reading at the age of 10 and by the time I was 12-13 I could speed read flawlessly. That skill has not degraded at all over the years. I think the more you read the more your mind adapts to it, to were eventually it will pick out the most important words, naturally to were with less words you understand it as well as if you read every word or the whole sentence.


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