The answer is “yes” … if you know how to speed read, that is. Digital gadgets such as e-readers and tablets are making reading on monitors an increasingly tempting habit. And as with any new habit, speed reading on tablets or e-readers requires some skills and knowledge you need to possess in order to successfully speed read the new fantasy book you just downloaded.
The requirements and must-have techniques you need to master e-book speed reading
Setting the scene. Reading on e-readers, and especially smaller tablets, can be much more difficult than reading an actual book. If you’re using a tablet or notepad with other browser or e-mail features, you’re bound to be interrupted a million times, should you not take some measures against that distraction. Switch of any e-mail notifications and browsers, and log off entirely from your social media accounts and other chatting programs.
Timing. Having people who want or need your attention, like kids who are hanging around and lurking over you looking all hungry and grumpy, doesn’t really set you up for quietly but ravenously reading your book cover to cover. Once you minimize such distractions, you’re ready for the next step.
Avoiding common reading mistakes. Even if you’re 100% dedicated to your book, there’s still a good chance that you’ll end up losing your reading pace or letting your mind start to wander. It happens. You can, however, save a lot of time and improve your reading speed by avoiding reading habits that prevent you from reading as fast as you can:
- Regression is one of the most persistent bad reading habits, which we (mostly) unconsciously practice when reading. Avoid re-reading at paragraph and sentence-level simply by increasing your awareness of the present moment. Learn to identify the moment before irrelevant thinking creeps up in your mind and steals away your attention from the page.
- Subvocalization is the second culprit leading to slow reading. It takes practice to master but once you do, you will be able to speed read without compromising reading comprehension. Suppress your urge to speak or form the words you read either in your mouth or your head, as both tend to slow you down.
Practicing visual reading.What do you look at when you read a book? Words stacked side-by-side, or mythical images and the imaginary landscapes and creatures that those words evoke? Visualizing your reading is a great technique which enhances the pleasures of reading. It also forces you into a faster reading pace, as your mind constantly seeks more images to visualize.
Developing speed reading promoting techniques. Targets such as increasing your per fixation word number, that is the number of words you focus on each time, are useful focused speed reading exercises that will end up increasing your overall reading speed. Another foolproof little secret for speed reading is pacing, using a pen or your finger to move forward down the page and forcing yourself to not linger more than you need to on each line.
Getting a speed reading software program. Until e-reader manufacturers come up with ways to accelerate speed reading on monitors, you can turn to a speed reading software program to effectively learn how to speed read. Look for a program that offers tips on how to best integrate e-readers and modern technology into your speed reading practice.
As a preliminary study has shown, reading on e-readers tends to be up to 10% slower than print reading. Given this, it only makes sense to work on enhancing your reading speed. At the very least you’ll be able to make up for that 10% slower pace you could have with e-reading.