How to Boost your Reading Speed by Over 300% in Minutes

Reading quickly means you can both finish books faster and learn more in a shorter period of time. With the average person reading around 200-300 words per minute (somewhere between half a page and a full page), think of all the time you could save by reading 2-3 times faster. Here are three techniques used by Tim Ferriss to help people increase their reading speeds by 386% in just three hours.

1) Use a Pen or Your Finger

Use a pen or your finger to trace each line you read. This will encourage you both to stop saying the words out loud in your head (which slows your reading speed to speaking speed) and stop rereading the same words subconsciously- something that normally takes up to 30% of total reading time. 

2) Don’t Read Everything

When we read, we often don’t make use of our periphery vision and this slows us down. Rather than looking at every word, try chunking them together. Move your eyes in a scanning motion between chunks (3-5 words). You could also try focusing on the third word of each sentence and the third last. Both methods will engage your periphery vision and dramatically speed up your reading. 

3) Practice Reading Too Fast

First figure out how long it takes you to read a certain number of words on a page. You can do that here. For example’s sake, let’s say you can read 300 words per minute. Now you should set a goal- perhaps 600 words per minute. The best way to attain it, according to Ferriss, is to then practice reading three times the words of your goal. This means you should try to read 1800 words per minute. Although it’d be hard, stretching yourself in this way will make going back to 600 words per minute feel like a relief. 

Speed reading is a useful skill to acquire. Not only will it help you absorb information faster, it’ll improve your memory too. Try out these methods and within minutes, you’ll notice you can read a lot faster. And of course, the more you practice them, the faster you’ll be. So try to keep it up! 

Annie Lennon

Writer with an insatiable curiosity for people, facts and places. Currently interested in learning more about making our way towards a blue economy.