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It doesn't take a lot of time to learn how to speed read. It can take as little as 15 minutes practice per day for 30 days to see good results. Like with any other skill, you will get better at it the more you do it and having some from of motivation will help you stick with it long enough to get good. There is a basic one minute speed reading exercise that you can perform a number of times in those 15 minutes.

The basic steps of this one minute speed reading stretching exercise are:

  • Read for one minute and then count how many lines you have read.
  • Next, read for another minute, this time reading two lines more than you did the first time.
  • Continue doing this adding 2 lines more each time, (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.)
  • Continue doing this until you are unable to comprehend what you are reading or unable to recall what you have just read.
  • Then, stick at this level until your reading comprehension and recall improve. And then speed up again.
One important point about speed reading is this. Speed reading is called speed reading so people seem to think it's all about reading as fast as you possibly can but if you're reading so fast that you're unable to comprehend what you read you're wasting your time. Speed comes in time so just remind yourself of this key principle of speed reading:

“Always read for good comprehension and recall.”

You need to concentrate to speed read well. If you're unable to understand and remember what you read you'll find that your concentration will drift and as a result you'll become bored and want to stop reading.

As you do this exercise regularly over time, your concentration ability will improve. As it does you can extend this exercise to 2 minutes, then 4, then 6 and so on for as long as you are able and comfortable to do it.

Another big piece that's important to work on in order to become a fast reader is to boost your speed reading stamina. Your speed reading stamina is the amount of time you're able to read at speed with good comprehension and recall. Boosting your speed reading stamina will help you to train and recondition your brain for reading at faster speeds.

A speed reading program can teach most people to increase their reading speed significantly above and beyond their current speed of 'skimming' text. Traditional speed reading programs are based on something that we all do naturally - instead of reading a passage in detail, there are times when we just scan it, letting our eyes travel down the page quickly. With simple scanning, most people can read up to 600 or 700 wpm (words per minute) as opposed to 200 - 400 wpm when we are reading carefully, for comprehension and study. It's generally true that a certain amount of material can be skipped without losing very much comprehension.

Some of the newer speed reading programs work on a different principle. They argue that scanning the page in a linear manner, whether or not you read every word, is completely unnecessary. In fact, they claim that it even wastes time. Rather, they believe that the human mind is capable of mentally 'photographing' a complete page of words - taking in everything that is on it in its entirety, in a very short period of time. Some speed reading programs claim incredible success rates based on this principle.

It's important for anyone who wants to improve their speed reading skills to improve their vocabulary. It's difficult to read faster if you keep coming across words that you don't understand or do not know the meaning of. Improving vocabulary requires continual effort.

Ways to increase your vocabulary include:

1) Pay attention to new words you come across and learn there meaning;
2) Use you new vocabulary;
3) Familiarize yourself with the roots of words.

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