How to “chunk” when reading
Some time ago I talked about maximizing reading speed by balancing the rate at which you’ll be reading, that is, your speed. In this post I’ll be focusing on the best way at least in my opinion, to improve your reading speed. All through my life I’ve been a very slow reader. It was terrible, I would often regress or slow down even more by going back to words I did not understand just to try to understand everything all at once! Talk about moving at snail’s pace!
Now, there are obviously several ways you can increase your speed. Since we’re all different, what might work for me, may be ok but not necessarily work the best for you. Taking that into consideration, I suggest you look out for more speed reading tips. The only reason I’m posting this is to help make the reading life easier in terms of learning to cruise past the unnecessary pieces of info, and focusing on what’s important. I explain that in detail in the earlier post I mentioned.
This is basically the act of expanding your peripheral vision so that you look at the words in groups of 3 first then building from there. So you’re reading 3 words at a time instead of 1 and building as you get better. The beauty of this method, in my experience, is that when I started off-nice and slow-it helped me grasp more of the content as I went long. It also helped avoid going back to lines or words I did not understand. To learn more about why shouldn’t do that, look at benefits of disciplined reading. Without going back, I finished books quicker and enjoyed the reading in the process! My mind is able to follow my eyes which helps with retention. For me it was a great speed test. Most methods teach you to just zoom through the text so that you’re mind only captures a few words out of several sentences.
The only thing I did not like about that is that it’s easy to miss key words that may help with understanding a particular point, especially negative terms. Missing words like, “do not” or “could not” and so on, increases chances of you misunderstanding the author. Now this is only in my experience, though I am sure that those of you who have, in fact, tested those methods may have experienced the same. Of course you could be successful in noting every word and remembering most of the info very well. If that’s you, please comment on how you made it work for you.
This method is called chunk reading or expanding peripheral vision because you’re breaking up the whole text into a few chunks of words. Right now I’m able to look at a paragraph and read all the words with the paragraph in perspective. No word is isolated, I still read everything but do so whilst I can still see the whole paragraph. In case you were wondering how to read more effectively, I suggest this method. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.
Bear in mind this is nothing new. The site I recommended has this method and explains it in detail. I just simplified it to illustrate why I think it’s the best. It has done wonders for me so I don’t think I’ll be changing any time soon!
What is your method for reading fast and still retaining info?