How to Read Novels Faster while Understanding

How to Read Novels Faster while Understanding

How to Read Novels Faster while Understanding

Every day, you probably read something, whether it's a blog post, files for work, or a book. Slogging through dense passages of text, on the other hand, can be time-consuming, mentally exhausting, and difficult on the eyes. Check out these reading tips if you want to read faster while maintaining reading comprehension.

First and foremost, we hope you enjoy the book...

Enjoy what you're reading; our time is too valuable to waste on dull books. There are many books being published, so there are many good, entertaining, and impactful books to choose from.

However, keep in mind that some heavier books are slow to get going – here's a good rule of thumb to keep in mind: read at least a third of the book before giving up. If you haven't been captivated by the book after reading one-third of it, then the time hasn't come. No problem, just put it back on the shelf and pick another book to read at least one-third of.

Don't hold on to the old myth – that most of us were taught at a young age – that we must finish a book that we begin reading. As a result, the book usually sits on the bedside table – unread – for two to three months. We don't take out another book because we want to finish the other one first, as we were taught.

Enjoy books – read material that piques your interest and that you enjoy – if the book hasn't captivated you after reading a third of it, put it away and select a new book.

Keep your eyes under control.

It's natural for your eyes to want to move all over the place – we're constantly moving around in our daily lives, after all. This movement is known as saccade, and it goes unnoticed in our daily lives. The eyes are attempting to create the perfect image that is stored in our minds. To capture changes in our environment, such as a bird flying, a car suddenly approaching, or a child running, so that our minds always have the most up-to-date information to work with.

When you read, there are no changes in the reading material, but your eyes continue to jump around on the page. We must recognize that our eyes are no longer gathering information from our surroundings, but rather that the information is now in straight lines (8-12 word lines) right in front of us. It is extremely difficult for our eyes to restrain themselves and relinquish control. The best method is to use a finger or a pen to guide our eyes – to pace them along and thus have a little more control over the saccades and how our eyes move through the text.

Stopping subvocalization

Subvocalization is by far the most common cause of reading sluggishness. It's how most of us read – by mentally "speaking" the words. This reduces our reading speed to that of a conversation, which is usually around 300 words per minute. Slow as molasses!

Your eyes and brain can process words much faster than you think. Simply try the following as an experiment:

You can nearly double your reading speed by quieting that voice in your head.

To learn how to read faster if you're a subvocalizer, you'll have to force yourself to stop. I've been attempting to break this habit for some time. The simplest thing to do is to be aware of it and distract yourself in some way. You can follow the words with your finger, listen to music, or chew gum.

Try to move your eyes through the text at a faster and faster pace.

When you've gotten used to reading the words above your finger, try increasing the speed with which you move your finger along each line. We are slaves of habit, and once we find a speed that is comfortable for us, we stop and let that be enough.

It's similar to training for a marathon. We want to improve our stamina so that we can run longer distances. The only way we can do this is to keep running farther than we did before, increasing our stamina in the process. This does not happen automatically; rather, we must make a conscious decision to continue running even when our bodies tell us to stop. We won't improve if we don't get out of our comfort zone.

This is why you must make a deliberate decision to move your finger faster. Your eyes can read faster than your mind can. You must push your reading speed to the limit – until your sense of reading says, "Stop – I don't understand." Rather than drastically slowing down, try to maintain your current speed.

Before you know it, you'll be acclimated to the increased speed and ready to test your limits once more.

Read the phrases, not the words

Learning to take in phrases or chunks of text at a time, rather than individual words, is a similarly difficult skill to master. However, your eye span is 1.5 inches long, which means you can read up to nine words at once!

Looking at every fifth word or so allows you to take in more information at once and reduces subvocalization. To do this well, however, as with everything else, some practice is required. I wouldn't recommend starting with something as important as textbooks.

Allow the storyline of the book to captivate you and increase the pace even more.

When the book begins to captivate you and you become interested in the lives and situations of the characters, you will naturally begin to read faster. When we are interested in something, our pupils dilate and let in more light, broadening our field of vision and allowing us to read faster.

This feeling usually doesn't appear until the middle of the book, but it grows stronger as the book progresses. The reason for this is that it takes time for us to form an emotional connection with the characters and situations in the book. That's why the first part of a book, particularly the first quarter, is usually slower to read, unless a book series or characters are used repeatedly – we know the characters and don't need as much time to connect to the new story. Among many examples are the Harry Potter series, Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt series, and the Twilight series.

Make it a point to understand why you're reading.

What exactly is the purpose of reading? Do you read for pleasure? Are you keeping up with new trends in your studies, job, or personal life? Are you attempting to expand your vocabulary?

That list of questions is far from exhaustive, but it should give you a good idea of what you want to and need to consider. You must ask yourself these questions while reading and keep the answers to them in mind – because the question determines how you read.

If your goal is to simply enjoy the book – read for pleasure? Great – have fun with it – don't get too caught up in the details – keep reading and let the author take you to new places. Don't read the book like a textbook, getting stuck on words and terms you don't understand – just keep reading. These 11 pointers are designed specifically for this type of reading. They can also help you with other reading because the basic principles are similar in many ways, but there are some differences – important differences.

You may be reading a manual related to your studies, work, or private life, which is often referred to as non-fiction, and the goal of reading is not to learn like a student – who must take tests, complete projects, and do other things related to the reading. Instead, you're looking for pointers, useful tidbits that you can use in your daily life. These 11 tips will help you in some ways, but there will be some things you should do differently, and I will discuss tips on reading manuals and non-fiction books in another article.

Stop re-reading

One of the most time-consuming aspects of reading for me was constantly going back to re-read sentences or paragraphs that I either didn't understand or wanted to understand more thoroughly. I used to believe that if I didn't fully grasp or comprehend every single line of a novel or text, the entire book would be meaningless.

I eventually realized that when I re-read, I wasn't gaining much comprehension. The perplexing passages or words either made sense in context or were unnecessary for my enjoyment of the book.

"The untrained subject engages in regression (conscious rereading) and back-skipping (subconscious rereading via misplacement of fixation) for up to 30 percent of total reading time," writes Tim Ferriss, author of The Four-Hour Work Week. That is quite significant. Allow yourself to let go of the need to fully comprehend everything that is said or happening, and you will no longer waste time retracing your steps.

Allow your imagination to run wild.

One of the most important things we can do is allow our minds to wander – to let our imaginations run wild and give our minds the rest they require to tackle any project. Reading is both an exercise and a relaxation for the mind; it allows the mind to run wild while also allowing it to relax and recharge.

Those who are used to regular exercise will recognize the feeling you get when you finish, as well as how nourished your body feels. The same thing occurs in the mind. Our minds are renourished and ready for anything after stretching the imagination – taking a little trip to unknown places. This is one of the reasons why it is critical that we do not solely rely on heavy textbooks in our studies. Just 10-15 pages of light, interesting reading material before bedtime provides the mind with the rest it requires to be nourished and ready for the next project.

Read more novels

Reading, like all worthwhile endeavors, takes time to master. The more you practice, the better you'll get. Setting daily or yearly reading goals used to seem absurd to me. Reading should not be a competition. However, I've discovered that setting goals forces me to make more time for reading. And the more books I read, the quicker I read them.

Of course, remember that reading at your own pace is the best way to enjoy a book. While playing John Travolta in Phenomenon may sound appealing, I would never want to be someone who reads 1800 words per minute just because I can.

Literature is meant to be savored, and who cares if you spend countless hours on a truly great story? There will always be too many books in the world, and only so much time in which to read them. It's better to savor the books you really want to read than to rush through a bunch of ones you don't.

Don't get stuck on words or terms that you don't understand.

You are not reading a textbook, so don't get bogged down by unfamiliar words and phrases. If you want to improve your vocabulary, keep a pencil nearby and circle the word you want to look up later. But don't stop reading the book while you're doing it. The author will guide you through the material, and you will gradually come to understand what that word means.

One of the most common issues that readers face is that they apply the same reading habits to all texts – and read everything in the same way. The goal determines how you read – with novels, the goal is to enjoy the book, and pausing at words you don't understand slows you down. The only thing a new word should tell you is that you have an opportunity to expand your vocabulary – circle the words with a pencil and when you are finished reading, go back to them and use them in everyday conversations or in something you are writing to ingrain them in yourself.


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