Speed reading means exploiting your eye’s and brain’s potential to the maximum. Here are some thoughts on that…
More unexploited potential
In my last blog entry I addressed the unexploited potential of your eye muscles. That’s not all the potential that slow readers fail to exploit. Your eye is capable of sending a wealth of signals to your brain. If you want to speed read you should also take advantage of that. Let’s illustrate this with a little numbers game:
A little number’s game
Say, your reading speed was 240 words per minute, meaning that your eye perceives only 4 words per second. Now try to imagine you’d have to watch a movie with only 4 pictures per second instead of the usual 24 pictures. You probably wouldn ‘t enjoy that movie very much. I bet you’d even have a hard time following and pretty soon you would find yourself not knowing what the movie is all about.
In fact, several research studies have found, that your eye is able to perceive up to 125 pictures per second. Applied on reading this means: Your eye is capable of perceiving 125 words per second- that would be 7500 words per minute! Now, that’s of course unrealistic- not even the world record holder can do that. The reason for it is a certain inertia of the information transfer process between the eye and the brain.
It is realistic though, to read 6 words per second. So, even if you kept reading word for word you could still improve your reading speed by exploiting your eye’s potential. Instead of 240 words per minute you would be able to process 360. But even this is still too slow. You could significantly improve your reading speed if you concentrated on word groups instead of reading word for word. For example, would you be able to read 3 word groups of each 3 words (3×3 words) per second your reading performance would increase to 540 words per minute. This can easily be done!
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