Read and count
Stop talking to yourself when you read. People talk to themselves in 2 ways, by:
- vocalizing, which is the actual moving of your lips as you read, and
- subvocalising, which is talking to yourself in your head as you silently read.
Both of these will slow you down to the point in which you find that you can't read any
faster than you can speak. Speech is a relatively slow activity; for most, the average
speed is about 250 WPM (words per minute).
Reading should be an activity which involves only the eyes and the brain. Vocalization
ties reading to actual speaking. Try to think of reading as if you were looking at a
landscape, a panorama of ideas, rather than looking at the rocks at your feet.
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 sub vocalizing, so this
is an excellent way escape the habit of sub vocalization.
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 sub vocalization. And that's
why people who subvocalize often have comprehension problems. 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 line twice. As your reading
speed catches up with your thinking speed, reading becomes much less tiring and your
Psychology of speed reading
Articles about theeyes and speed reading
Understanding the role of speed in the reading process is essential. Research has shown
a close relation between speed and understanding.