May is Get Caught Reading Month. Nothing says summer to me like spending an afternoon under a shady tree with a good book. But if you’re trying to get caught, I recommend you read in a public place with a large flashy book. Maybe try the dictionary or a thesaurus. Even more impressive would be actually completing these giant tomes, and here are a couple tips to speed through your reading.
- Stop subvocalizing every word
When we are learning to read, we sound out every word that is in the sentence, and vocalizing all those sentences has stayed with you. When reading, some people subvocalize, which means they think the word in their mind or even mouth the words. While this is a fine way to read, it slows you down. Try to speed up your reading faster than you can talk to stop yourself from subvocalization.
- Using your finger
It’s not just for people who need glasses. Using your finger to underline the sentence you’re on can help you keep a steady pace and not flick back to words you’ve already read. Try to move your finger along gradually faster in order to speed up your reading ability.
- Sight for sore eyes
To really speed along on that list of books you’ve been trying to get through, try using your peripheral vision to read. Instead of focusing on one word at a time, try to take in a couple of words at a time at first and work your way up to whole phrases or sentences. This way you’ll be able to read entire sections of pages at a time. The easiest way to do this is actually with a newspaper. Try staring at down the center of an article’s paragraph and, without moving your eyes from side to side, read the article. This will help develop your peripheral vision by using the narrower paragraphs of a newspaper.