It’s been a really LONG time since you learned how to read. Back then, your teachers instructed you on what they thought were sound ideas. And at the time, they were helpful. However, as you matured, the ideas became outdated and inefficient for your ever-growing reading and learning workload. You may have become mentally stuck with these ideas preventing you from improving your reading abilities.
It’s time to rethink some of these ideas to modernize your thinking and improve your reading experience.
With the massive amount of reading available to you, both on paper and on-screen, everyone can benefit from a few mental adjustments to make your reading more effective and efficient. I’ve listed the top 10 commonly held beliefs and then my simple reasoning for reconsidering them. Which one(s) could you let go of and then update?!
- I have to read every word. Seriously, who’s got the time??! Learn to read using keywords to let some of the less important ones go.
- I need to sound out every word OR hear each one inside my head. This encourages word-for-word reading which slows you down to around 150 to 200 words-per-minute. Not very efficient or effective. Learn to read in phrases.
- I shouldn’t use my hands or fingers to read. The eyes naturally follow movement so moving your hands appropriately DOWN (not across) the lines of text can help you move your eyes faster and help you focus. Also consider using a blank white card.
- I need to completely understand everything I read. Sometimes getting the gist is enough! Besides, who’s testing you on it now?!
- I need to remember everything I read. You remember things when you use active, mindful and conscious reading strategies as well as through repetition over time. That is why it’s unrealistic to try to memorize something on a first read. It’s helpful to read with the intention of remembering while also having a great system for refreshing your memory (hint – good notes OR a good filing system!).
- Go for quantity – the more the better. If you have all the time in the world, great, but try quality instead! Learn to say “NO” to material that doesn’t interest you.
- I shouldn’t skim – that’s cheating. Some material should only be skimmed. I call it “smart reading”. Before reading, ask yourself “why am I reading this” and “what do I need it for?” Sometimes an effective skim is all you need.
- I shouldn’t write on reading material. Schoolbooks were the property of the school but now that you buy your own and/or read online, make it your own. Just like an animal marks its territory, so should you mark your books and online pages with effective highlights and margin notes. Consider Evernote and Evernote Clipper to catalog useful materials.
- It doesn’t matter what I read as long as I read. See #6.
- Speed is not important. Not only does reading faster help you read more in less time, it also greatly increases your concentration, which in turn improves your comprehension which ultimately helps retention. A great argument for increasing reading speed!
Every one of these ideas are addressed in the Rev It Up Reading Online Course. So if you’re looking to update your reading skills, consider investing a little money and some time (just 5 hours to complete the course) to help you become a smarter, more modern reader. Now’s the time.