Do Strong Readers Need Speed Reading?

Do Strong Readers Need Speed Reading?

If you're a strong reader, do you really need speed reading? If you're a student or professional, the answer should be obvious; it can only give you an edge. But more to the point, why keep your reading level at basic comprehension and average speed? If it's obvious that making a small change in your life results in a big difference, it's worth investigating. This is the case with speed reading.

Photographer: Yuri Efremov | Source: Unsplash

When you are small you learn how to read by a method called letter-by-letter reading, which essentially is exactly what it sounds like. You sound out each letter and over time you can form them into entire words. Children learn this process very young when they are shown the letters of the alphabet and the sound associated with each letter.

You wouldn't stop at letter-by-letter reading if you knew how much more you would get out of reading by moving on to word-by-word reading, which is the ability to recognize entire words. So why limit yourself to block-by-block reading that involves short blocks of words when you can increase that enjoyment and understanding even further by learning how to increase those blocks?

Speed reading is more than getting through a stack of words at high speed. It increases the text you take in at one time, which gives you a better grasp of what you've read which in turn increases your ability to understand what you're reading in bigger, faster doses. We all shift gears when we read, depending on what we're reading. We automatically read text containing familiar words and ideas fast and slow down when we come across the text with new ideas. Speed reading gives you another gear to shift into, saves you time, increases your reading comprehension, and gives you an automatic edge.

Having the ability to speed read allows you to read as quickly through unfamiliar text as you do with text that you have seen before. For the professional or student who needs to get through large pieces of text quickly, this is incredibly valuable. They can pick up a book or document, spend no more than a few minutes going over it and have the same comprehension and absorption that someone reading at a regular speed would have after spending several hours reading it. The time saved is remarkable and for someone who is a busy professional or for a student who is faced with many classes as well as other responsibilities, the difference in their lives can be substantially better.

Although learning to speed read takes time and patience, it's an investment that is well worth it. Having the ability to grasp and retain information that is read at a fast speed can make a significant difference in a person's life. If your reading skills are strong now, you can quickly and easily adapt to speed reading. Take some time to learn the techniques, make a concerted effort to employ them, and then reap the many benefits of being able to speed read.

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