We all got allot to read, and while it is virtually impossible to reach Kim Peek’s level, anyone can meaningfully improve their speed and comprehension.
1. Speed-up your Inner Reading Voice
We are psychologically predisposed to synchronize our inner voice with our external, but there is no reason to limit our inner voice to normal speaking words per minute.
2. Avoid Subvocalization
This is a vestige from our early introduction to reading, and these training-wheels become a big liability as we grow. While there are many ways to fight this urge, try chewing gum or subvocalizing something trite like “cicicicici” while reading.
3. Process Text Like you do Images
We early learn to think of text as a series of individual letters, but take off those training-wheels now. Try henceforth to think of text in terms of entire paragraphs, sentences, and words. This puts you in a speed reading mindset.
4. Prioritize your Reading… Sentences are Not Created Equal
Many textbooks have specific “key lesson” sections, summaries, etc. More, it is common for authors to put more thought into the start and the end, while the part in the middle gets less attention… this is true for all levels i.e. of the entire book, chapters, paragraphs, etc.
5. Use your Eyes More Efficiently
Train your eyes to process more words at a time. This avoids eyestrain, and it is also what Kim Peek did.
6. Find a Middleground between Speed and Comprehension
Yeah, there are many scam artists in the “speed-reading” business, and there certainly is a tradeoff between speed and comprehension! This perfect middleground is very individual, since it relates to your general information processing abilities.
7. Use a Pen or Finger to Regulate Speed
A great method that makes you visually alert of your speed.
8. Read in an Ideal Environment
Your reading speed will likely differ between environments, e.g. it might be very quick in the library, but much slower on the bus.
9. Remind yourself of Headings
Similar to high-speed driving, you need a supportive infrastructure to speed-read safely. Hence, it is very fortuitous to remind yourself of the texts infrastructure.
10. Do not Doubt Yourself
Doubt will only slow down your reading speed. Remember that ambition always precede actual results.
11. Use Speed-reading Software
There are too many to list here, though as with everything, try to get as much bang for your buck.
12. Combine Speed-reading with Memory Tricks
Reduced comprehension is the biggest risk for speed-readers, hence it is a good idea to hedge by also learning memory tricks.
So, there you have it. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.