How to read novels faster, top 5 easy steps
Being a book lover is as interesting as hiking on a mountain but can be equally harder if nor done correctly. Let us say you get recommendations of great books such as the subtle art of not giving a fuck and then you get eager to read the next recommended books. The question to be asked remains to be, how are you going to read the novels as fast as you can while understanding them well. So you try out several solutions to your problem which are not pleasing. Do not worry, here are top five easy steps of how to read novels faster.
1 - Choose an interesting novel to read
Hold on, you did not expect this to be the first easy step? Well, keep reading, you shall get the hang on it. Before you start reading any book, you always get to choose which book to read. Choosing a boring book can be frustrating for you may spend hours and hours just to find out that the book is not catching your attention and now you have to start reading another one hoping for it to be a little bit catchier. This may give you a hard time if you want to read novels faster. There are a few ways that can help you choose an interesting novel to read, which include reading the novel’s reviews or introduction, asking a friend who has read it, the store keeper or finding online resources that act as good suggestions to what books to read. This saves you chunks of hours which can be used to read more novels and make your life as a book reader better.
2 - Choose a time to read novels
One thing most successful people will tell you is to be consistent. Consistency is key when you want to be successful in anything, driving, playing soccer, programming or whichever activity there exists. Choosing a specific time and being discipline to follow your schedule will make your mind to adjust and it will always get prepared by itself when your novel reading session is about to begin. Let’s say your novel reading time starts within the next 20 minutes, automatically, you will start remembering where you left the story from. That’s just a sign that it has become a habit for you to read. If you choose to read novels at any time, your mind will have a hard time trying to adjust each time you try to read, thus reducing your reading speed. Consistency creates habit and having a positive habit leads to a positive lifestyle.
3 - Be an active reader, avoid distractions
Active reading is a wide field that a lot of people have talked about and there seems to be controversies but all in all, it is someone’s opinion. That means if it worked for him, it might or might not work for you and it might work for another person as well.
First of all, eliminate anything that might be a distraction. The first one that affects most people is laptops and smartphones. Try to get away from such devices if you know pretty well that a text message from anyone might distract you. An empty room or a quiet shade under a tree might be one of your options. There is an article that suggest you control your eyes using something like a pen, you let your eyes to follow the pen. So that means you try to increase the pen’s speed so that you can also read faster. This is recommended when you are just starting out, but you should consider quitting because later on it will be a tiresome experience moving your hand over each line in a novel over five hundred pages. Once you get the hang on it, try to get comfortable using only eyes. Read phrases but not words because reading each word in a sentence will really slow you down.
Try to let your eyes move faster through the text while maintaining the concentration. Once you feel like you cannot go any faster, calm down. Immediately you finish reading your current novel, start reading at least fifteen pages of the next book. This will prevent you from breaking a healthy habit that you are cultivating. Note a few catchy sentences down to your note book or simply underline them. That way, content will stick in your mind.
4 - Enjoy the novel
Just like when you are enjoying your favorite movie, you won’t have to get up every ten minutes to grab a cup of coffee or check your messages. Simply because you are enjoying the movie. No difference when it comes to reading novels. Be open minded and let the author lead you through his/her world. Expect what happens next without skipping pages just to find out. Allow yourself to get into the flow state. The flow state is a state of mind when you let go off of the expectations and enjoy every second of what you are doing even without thinking about it. This is where you just flap pages and keep going, getting deep into the adventures of the author. Seems like a dream, doesn’t it? Free your imagination, give the storyline a chance to capture your attention and thus enable you to have the natural will to read novels faster. Do not quit a book earlier on just because it is not becoming interesting. It is suggested that you read a third of a novel before quitting reading it. This prevents you from switching from novel to novel, just to find entertainment.
5 - Avoid subvocalizing
Subvocalization is something that can really slow down your reading process. This is where you speak your words out loud in your brain or mummering them while going through the novel. This slows you down in such a way that let’s say you have started getting the momentum, your eyes start going through text faster than you can spell out the words. The brain will start to create a flow that has no turbulence, that is trying to let your mouth’s speed go hand in hand with the eyes’ speed, which is a slow process. Your eyes approximately span one and a half inches which gives you the ability to read nine words at time, which is good. Just read silently and let the brain process content automatically as you go on and on reading.
- Do not stop at words or terms that you do not understand just to check your dictionary. This is not the same as reading a textbook where you need to understand each and every work. Just go on for you will probably meet the words several more times and understand their meaning depending on the context used. Just like kids get used to their mother’s language, they just understand the meaning of the used based on the context their mother uses.
- Quit re-reading when reading novels. If you did not understand a sentence, stop reading it several times to understand it. This will disrupt your flow state. It is not the same with movies where if you miss a part of it, you will have missed a lot about how the movie is proceeding. If you find yourself rereading, just let go off of the need to read faster, read at your own pace and adjust it as time goes by.
- Use a timer to track how your novel reading speed is growing. This will be a great way to motivate yourself, if you find out that you’ve read a few more pages compared to your last novel reading session. This will even help you approximate how long will it take for you to complete the novel.
- Try to apply what you read in your day-to-day life. This will make your novel reading more meaningful apart from the enjoyment it provides. It won’t make sense if you are reading a novel just for the case of entertainment without applying what your read. It is not a must to act exactly as the characters but, if you know a character who is considered by people to be a good person, try using the character’s way of living or way of doing things.
- Go through the main points first. Read main points and introductions to chapters. You can also go through the summary of several chapters before starting the reading the novel faster.
- Just keep on reading