Ever found yourself wondering how all those uber-successful people somehow find time to read?
The average person reads 2–3 books a year. The average CEO reads 4–5 books a month.
And if you think it’s because they’ve got time machines tucked away in their closets, think again. Reading more has a lot less to do with extra time as it has to do with average reading speed.
The secret to ticking those books off your summer reading list? It’s upping your average reading speed. And these tips will help you get the job done.
How To Accelerate Your Average Words Per Minute Reading Speed
Your average reading speed is a calculation of how many words you can read in one minute.
Most adults read at a rate of 300 words per minute (wpm). The average college or university student reads 450 wpm. And those CEOs gobbling up four books a month? They’re averaging a whopping 575 wpm.
That’s nearly double the reading speed of most adults.
Average reading speed can make or break an attempt at tackling a long or challenging piece of reading material. If you’d like to find out how many words per minute you read, try out an online speed reading test to find your reading speed.
3 Tricks To Help You Boost Your Average Reading Speed
One of the coolest things about your average reading speed is that it’s not set in stone. If you’d like to increase your reading speed, you can! It just takes a little practice.
Here are three tricks that can help you drastically increase your average reading speed in just one hour.
1. Avoid Back-skipping
If you really want to become a reading machine, you’ll have to master the urge to back-skip.
Back-skipping is just a fancy word for re-reading. You know when you find yourself reading the same sentence ten times over and still have no idea what it says? That’s back-skipping.
Now, if you’re learning something new and are tackling entirely unfamiliar concepts, a little back-skipping here and there is perfectly okay. But if reading for pleasure or general interest, try to subdue the urge to back-skip.
Onwards and forwards, friends!
2. Learn To Scan
Here’s the thing: not every word you read is going to be an indispensable component of the message.
And that’s where learning to scan can become incredibly valuable.
Many people resist scanning while reading because they fear they’ll miss something important. But when reading factual non-fiction material, scanning can (and should!) become your new best bud.
3. Eliminate Distractions
Too often, our reading environments are chock full of distractions. Learning to increase your reading speed means setting yourself up for success. And that means kicking those distractions to the curb!
Auditory distractions can be pretty frustrating when you’re trying to read. And before you stick some earbuds in to drown out the barking dogs, chatty co-workers, or bickering children, you should know that music isn’t necessarily the answer.
It all depends on what you’re listening to. Music can help us focus, but it has to the right kind of music. Specifically, music without vocals.
A recent study discovered that music with vocals drains our powers of concentration. Ambient sounds and binaural beats, however, can help you dial into what you’re reading for optimal focus and absorption.
What’s on your reading list this summer? Which of these reading tips will you try? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!