BREAKING A BAD HABIT
In grade school, your teacher sat you in a circle called a reading
group. What did she have you do? She had you take turns reading
aloud. You sounded out each word as you read, and when it wasn't
your turn reading, you practiced saying every word to yourself,
so that when it was your turn you'd read well. You probably even
moved your lips or throat while you were sitting there silently
trying to say every word to yourself. Your teacher then sent you
back to your seats and said, "Read silently to yourselves."
What was reading silently to yourself? As a little kid, this meant
saying every word silently to yourself while coming as close to
reading out loud as you could, sometimes moving your lips and throat.
This is a the first stage of reading -- the slowest stage.
The second stage of reading is where you say every word mentally
to yourself as you read, but you don't move your lips, tongue, or
throat anymore. Most people are in this stage. When you are in the
second stage, you keep yourself from reading faster. If you say
every word to yourself, you can only read up to 300 words a minute,
because that's as fast as you can say the words. This is the reason
why the whole population is reading so much slower than they can;
they are limited by how fast they can say every word to themselves.
The third and final stage of reading is where you just see the
words and they register in your brain. You don't have to say every
word to yourself, you just have to see them. In this stage, you
can read a lot faster -- 1,000 words a minute and more.
You're going to push yourself to read faster than you ever have
before, using the techniques you are about to learn. I will show
you how to break the habit of saying each word to yourself as you
read, and show you how to enter into this final stage of reading.
You will find that as you read faster, you will make better connections
to what the author is saying. When you read slowly, word by word,
you get lost in the words, lose the bigger picture, and your comprehension
drops. As you practice these techniques and start reading faster,
you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that your understanding
of what you're reading has increased.