Speed Reading: How to Read Faster and Understand More

Discover how to read faster and improve comprehension with effective speed reading techniques in this educational article.

Speed Reading How to Read Faster and Understand More

Importance of Speed Reading

In today’s busy world, every second counts. Efficient information processing is a critical part of our daily activities. You may have experienced situations where a pile of paperwork or multiple tabs on your browser turn into a huge mountain that seems overwhelming.

Education iconIn those moments, you realize that the ability to read quickly and understand what you are reading is key to successfully navigating the ocean of information.

News, articles, and professional materials – all of these sources require us to process information quickly, but at the same time, a deep understanding is equally important.

Fortunately, there are ways to not only speed up reading, but also maintain a high level of understanding. Let’s take a look at some techniques that can help you master the art of speed reading and open new doors to the world of knowledge.

«Read What You Love Until You Love to Read»

— Naval Ravikant

Skimming and Scanning

Skimming and scanning are two techniques for quickly scanning the text to find the most important information. These practices allow you to familiarize yourself with the main points of the text, allowing you to read faster and more efficiently.


Skimming is the process of quickly scanning the text to get an overall idea of its content.

Brain iconThis technique is useful for understanding the main themes, key ideas, and structure of a text without the need for in-depth study.

Skimming is effective when you need to decide whether a text is relevant to your needs, or when you want to get an overview before reading more thoroughly.


Scanning, on the other hand, is the technique of searching for specific information within a text.

Brain iconInstead of reading the entire text, the reader scans for key words, dates, names, or any other specific information they are looking for.

This method is particularly useful for finding precise details within a large body of text.

Advantages of Skimming and Scanning

  • Time Efficient: Skimming and scanning help save time by allowing individuals to quickly identify relevant information without having to read every word.
  • Effective for research: These techniques are useful in research because you can quickly identify relevant sources and information.
  • Improved Comprehension: Skimming and scanning can improve understanding by providing an overview of the text before engaging in detailed reading.

Skimming and scanning are valuable skills that can significantly improve reading efficiency and information search, making them essential tools for students, researchers, and professionals as well.

Eliminating Subvocalization

Subvocalization is the habit of silently pronouncing words in your head as you read. Although it’s a natural part of the reading process, some techniques can help reduce subvocalization and increase reading speed.

Techniques to Eliminate Subvocalization

  1. Practice with distractions: Reading with instrumental music in the background or in a slightly noisy environment can help reduce subvocalization by forcing your brain to focus more on the text and less on internally vocalizing the words.
  2. Using your finger as a guide: This technique involves using your finger or a pen to guide your eyes along the lines of the text. This physical guidance can help maintain focus and prevent subvocalization.

Benefits of Eliminating Subvocalization

  • Increased reading speed: By reducing subvocalization, individuals can process information more quickly because they are not internally vocalizing each word.
  • Improved Understanding: Some readers find that by eliminating subvocalization, they can improve their overall comprehension. This is because they are less likely to get slowed down by the speed of their internal voice.

While subvocalization is a natural part of reading, practicing techniques to minimize it can increase reading speed and potentially improve comprehension.

Reading in Chunks

As you read to improve your understanding, shifting your focus from individual words to larger phrases or blocks of text may be more effective. This strategy can help you take advantage of your peripheral vision, allowing you to process more words at the same time.

Benefits of reading phrases or chunks of text.

  • Increased speed: Reading in chunks allows you to cover more material in less time.
  • Improved Comprehension: By processing multiple words together, you can better understand the context and meaning of the text.
  • Reduced Subvocalization: Focusing on phrases can help minimize the tendency to subvocalize each word, which can slow down reading speed.

By adopting this approach, you can potentially improve both your reading speed and comprehension, making your reading experience more efficient and enjoyable.

Avoid Re-reading

Rereading can have a negative impact on productivity and reading speed. Instead of repeatedly reviewing material, it’s important to focus on the initial reading and use reflection and summarization techniques to reinforce learning.

Productivity Implications

  • Waste of time: Constantly revisiting material is a waste of valuable study time.
  • Slow Progress: Frequent re-reading can delay the learning of new information.

Comprehension Problems

  • Illusion of Understanding: Rereading can create a false sense of understanding without actually reinforcing learning.
  • Insufficient Retention: Actual comprehension of material may not be achieved by rereading alone.

Effective Strategies

  • Concentration: Emphasize full concentration during initial reading.
  • Reflection and Summarization: Use these methods to reinforce important points and improve information retention.

Avoid over-reading and focus instead on efficient reading and reinforcement techniques to maximize productivity and improve comprehension.

Improving Reading Understanding

There are several strategies you can use to improve your reading comprehension.

  1. Skim the text first: Before you dive into the details, take a moment to skim the text. This can give you a general idea of what the text is about and help you prepare for more in-depth reading.
  2. Focus on the main ideas: Instead of getting caught up in every detail, focus on understanding the main ideas and key points of the text. This can help you maintain a big-picture understanding.
  3. Use context clues: Pay attention to the surrounding sentences and paragraphs. Often, the context provided by the surrounding text can help clarify the meaning of a particular sentence or paragraph.
  4. Avoid unnecessary re-reading: Try to resist the temptation to re-read sentences or paragraphs unless it’s absolutely necessary. Reading on can often provide the context needed to understand initially confusing parts of the text.
  5. Engage with the text: Actively engage with the material by asking yourself questions as you read. This can help you stay focused and retain information more effectively.

By implementing these strategies, you can work toward improving your reading comprehension and getting the most out of the material you are reading.

Improve your vocabulary

Improving your vocabulary can have many benefits, including improving your reading speed. Here are some tips to help you expand your vocabulary:

  • Read regularly: Engaging with different types of reading material exposes you to new words in context, which helps with retention and understanding.
  • Use context clues: When you encounter unfamiliar words, try to infer their meaning from the surrounding text. This can help you understand the definition of the word without having to look it up.
  • Learn root words: Understanding common word roots, prefixes, and suffixes can provide valuable clues to the meanings of unfamiliar words.
  • Keep a Word Journal: Write down new words you encounter and their definitions. Reviewing them regularly can help strengthen your memory.
  • Use vocabulary apps: There are many apps available that offer word of the day features and interactive games to help you learn and retain new words.
  • Engage in conversation: Discussing various topics with others can introduce you to new words and provide opportunities to use them in context.

Remember, expanding your vocabulary is an ongoing process, but the rewards are well worth the effort!

Pencil iconThe art of speed reading isn’t just a skill — it’s the key to effective navigation in the information age.

Whether you’re reading professional texts, literature for study, or simply want to master large amounts of information more efficiently, these techniques can help you overcome obstacles and improve your reading skills.

Keep in mind that this process takes patience and practice. But it’s well worth the effort in terms of time saved on reading and a deeper understanding of knowledge.

Be smart,



Want to learn more about this topic? Here is my short list of recommendations.


Speed Reading with the Right Brain. David Butler

Speed Reading. Kam Knight

Speed Read Anything. Peter Hollins



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