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Speed reading - can it be learnt if you can't do it naturally?

(8 Posts)
Katisha Fri 31-Jul-09 18:10:28

I speed read, skip through the dull bits of books, can find the info without having to read every word and I think it's something that has come naturally. I don't know how to explain how to do it.

I have a friend who can't do this - loves to read but has to read every word - she says she would love to be able to speed read. But it's complicated by the fact that she has issues with OCD. Do you think she'll be able to learn how to read less laboriously?

Pruneurs Fri 31-Jul-09 18:12:06

You need to practice to get your reading speed up. One exercise which can help is to read while drawing your finger downthe centre of the page. Apparently it helps you to use your peripheral vision more.

FreewheelinFranklin Fri 31-Jul-09 18:21:06

I can do this too Katisha and have been able to since I was v young. Wierd isn't it - I wouldn't know how to explain to do it either.

Pruneurs Fri 31-Jul-09 18:29:27

I do it too. Partly it's to do with knowing what you are looking for. Your eyes can find key words and you then read 'round' them. If it's what you want, or what interests you, you go back and read in a more linear way.

If you see people reading, they don't go left-to-right, left-to-right, they go up and down and all over the place until they have settled on what they want to know, even when reading novels.

(I used to try to teach people to read English for exams, picing out the right information and speeding through a text....it is quite hard to do but you can improve with practice.)

Jux Fri 31-Jul-09 18:42:19

I didn't realise that people couldn't do this blush. I just thought that people who read faster tended to be those who read more, ie me and my bros are great bookworms and all read fast, pick and skip. Some of my friends don't read books at all and are slower. Always assumed it was down to practise.

Katisha Fri 31-Jul-09 19:19:02

Thanks all who have replied.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has deliberately taught themselves how to get faster at reading.

Sam100 Fri 31-Jul-09 19:21:42

We had lessons when I started secondary school! I remember being "taught" - can remember sitting in the library for the lesson - but cannot remember how they taught us!!!

singersgirl Fri 31-Jul-09 19:26:41

I had lessons too in my first year of secondary school - you could go on a speed reading course in one of the holidays. There was something a bit like an opaque ruler that you put over your page and you could set it to move down the page at different rates, obscuring the lines of text as it went. So you started off slow and then they speeded the thing up. I remember having to answer comprehension questions before you could move up to the next speed.

I'm a very fast reader now, but don't know how much it helped. I've always read a lot.

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