Speed Reading is a method that consists in reading the whole text, word-by-word or in groups of adjoining words at a speed higher than 500 words per minute (wps). The usual reading speed is about 250 wps. Optimized speed reading starts at 900–1000 wps.
Read and discover in this article what are the differences between common reading, fast reading and optimized fast reading. What is characteristic of these three ways to read is how it unfolds. Each of us has his own way of reading and this is kept unchanged whether we read normally, quickly or quickly optimized. What differs are the parameters we read: reading speed and also memory and understanding.
1. Common reading is done at a speed of approximately 250–300 wpm and is a slow reading, with repeated returns on the text, to understand its meaning. The memory capacity is about 60%.
2. Fast reading is done at reading speeds between 500 and 900 wpm. The storage capacity is about 70%. Texting is faster and text returns are rare but still necessary. Getting into this area of reading it is only through training or intensive reading.
3. Optimized speed reading is done with reading speeds ranging from 900–1000 wpm. The storage capacity is about 80% and can be improved by increasing the reading speed to 2000 wpm. Reading is continuous in this case and the returns to the text are completely removed. There are some features specific ONLY for optimized fast reading:
- the meaning of the information read is perceived very quickly, making unnecessary the returns on the text
- the eye muscles involved in viewing the text and focus on words work at the optimal parameters
- peripheral vision helps us to go through groups of 2–3 adjoining words that have a clear meaning grouped so
- the imperceptible movement of vocal cords or the phenomenon known as somatic sub-vocalization disappears definitively
- working memory functions better because it receives unaltered visual information from the sensory memory at a convenient pace
- thus interfering with the useless environmental stimuli at the time of reading is removed from working memory that is now only processing and understanding of the useful information for the reader
All of these phenomena described above are only possible in the field of optimized fast reading. It is also worth mentioning here that the eye muscles are able to normally support reading speeds up to 2000 wpm at word by word reading. With the peripheral vision you can read 2–3 adjoining words grouped with meaning. In this way the reading speed can go up to about 4000 wpm.
All these performances are possible through proper training.
Also keep in mind that optimized speed reading is NOT a reading technique. It is a personal skill that develops through training and can be used anytime after it has been acquired.