Get rid of distractions
. Even if you think you read better when you havemusic playing or when you're in a crowded coffee house, you can probablyincrease your speed if you reduce distractions to a bare minimum. Try to finda solitary place to read, and turn off the TV, radio and cell phone.
Evenbeing in a room of people talking is distracting.
If no solitary place isavailable, try using earplugs to block out any distractions around you. Inorder to maximize comprehension while reading quickly, you will need tofocus on the material at hand as closely as possible.4.4
Adjust reading speed depending on the material
. Often, we must tradeoff comprehension for speed, so an important part of increasing readingspeed is deciding how thoroughly you need to comprehend a particular pieceof writing. So before you even start reading, decide how fast you intend togo. If you're reading a newspaper article, chances are you just want to getthe main ideas, and you can skim through the passages quite rapidly. If,however, you're reading a mathematics textbook or a demandingphilosophical treatise - and you need to fully understand the material - you donot want to rush.5.5
Learn to separate the wheat from the chaff with pre-reading
. Nomatter what you are reading, there is frequently a lot of "filler" that you canread quickly through or even skim over. With practice, you will be able toidentify the most important parts of a book as you skim through it. When youget to such a passage, slow down. Before you begin a chapter or book, lookover the entire piece very quickly. Try to find patterns of repeated words, keyideas, bold print and other indicators of important concepts. Then, when youactually do your reading you may be able to skim over large portions of thetext, slowing only when you come to something you know is important.6.6
Train yourself not to reread
. Most people frequently stop and skip back towords or sentences they just read to try to make sure they understood themeaning. This is usually unnecessary, but it can easily become a habit, andmany times you will not even notice you're doing it. One exercise to help youavoid rereading is to take a sheet of paper or index card and drag it down thepage as you read, covering each line once you've read it. Try to drag the cardin a steady motion; start slowly, and increase your speed as you feel morecomfortable.