Even in our era of social media and mobile devices, it is still important to read. But statistics show that people today read less, partly because they don’t read well and partly because they don’t memorize the information. It’s not so important to know who or what is to blame for that. It is more significant to learn what to do with that and how to improve memory skills while reading.
Tips to Read with Good Speed and Understanding
Know Your PurposeThink about your purpose while reading. It will help you remain on task and focus better on the text’s relevant parts. Identifying your purpose is rather easy, you just need to ask yourself, “Why am I reading this?” You can get a number of answers to that question, such as:
- To entertain yourself
- To understand the dynamics in a certain group of people
- To identify your position on a certain issue
- To complete a reading assignment in a educational institution
Skim FirstPay attention to the headings, tables, graphs and key paragraphs. Afterwards, read the parts that will help you fulfill your purpose. Skimming has multiple benefits, such as:
- It makes easier memorizing information when you read it
- It helps you become aware of the most important content
- It provides you with the general understanding of the book
Understand the MechanicsYour eyes need to move in a certain way to ensure in-depth reading. Snap your eyes from one fixation point to another, from left to right. Fixation should be on a phrase, not on a letter or single word. You can use such tactics as:
- Fixate your eyes on multiple words
- After you have learned to do it, expand the area of fixation
- Move your eyes from one fixation to another (do it horizontally or vertically)
Highlight and Take NotesDon’t highlight too much. Be sure to highlight only the key points of the text you’re reading. While doing this, keep on understanding the meaning of what you’re reading. It’s good to have only a few words highlighted on each page.
VisualizeWhen you imagine some pictures while reading, it helps you capture the meaning of words better and memorize the information. Use the words you highlight as starting points for these mental pictures. Afterwards, when you see the key word, you will immediately recall the images you associate with it. It’s also a good idea to turn all these images into a story.
Rehearse While Reading and After ThatTake short segments to read (several paragraphs, several pages etc). See how many mental images you’ve created. Ask yourself questions about the content to reinforce the pictures. Do the same thing right after reading the whole text, several times later that day and once within the next couple of days.
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