Papa Rodin Reads - Speed Reading Pt 1 Ch 2
Greetings, Steemians and Steemettes
After having finished with the preamble, let's start with part 1 of this book!
Part 2 - Controlling your eye movement
Now that we know our current reading speed, it is time to talk about ways to improve it. The first part gave us a good idea on how reading works. This in turn gives us a couple of interesting attacking points for this subject. The logical first point to look at is quite obvious. Our eyes are crucial to our reading performance, so the author let's us take a small tour into the topic on how they actually work.
He also promises to give us five methods that help us increase reading speed and comprehension! Why did I not make that the title of this post? The clickbaiting would have been marvelous!
Pupils and their size
Most people should know our pupils change size depending on circumstance. One of the more commonly known factors for most is of course lighting. If we look at something close to us or if a lot of light is present, they get smaller.
And of course, this also applies to books. If we read something that we are actually emotionally involved in or otherwise interested, our eyes will play along.
What isn't as commonly known is that our pupils also widen as we look at something that peaks our interest in some way. The author goes and takes a chinese jade trader as an example. A bit far-fetched, but a man looking at a woman that fits his type (or the other way around) should have the same effect.
Understanding eye movement
Our eye movement is actually not a flowing movement, so to speak. Instead, we have our focus jump through a line. Depending on how much of a reader you are, these jumps can span anything between single words and entire blocks of text.
He also makes a couple remarks about retention of the content read. Most people with regular reading speed tend to reach around 60 to 80% reading comprehension, but of that, only 20% usually sticks around in our brain the day after.
Knowing this is actually a good thing because it shows us that actually trying to apply the content of this book to the best of our abilities can't possible much worse than what we are already working with, right?
A humbling number, but it is not wrong. I consider myself to be someone who usually is able to keep in a lot of information about the things I read. As I reread this part writing this, I thought about the last story I read and find that many pieces of informations are missing in my memory.
I actually notice that a lo about myself when it comes to names. I am quite mediocre when it comes to reading and remembering names. There is no need to go back to reread them most of the time because usually, they are being mentioned over and over again.
Another factor that tends to increase reading times while not serving any real benefit is regression. While reading, a lot of people tend to jump back some words. Reasons for this differ, sometimes, it's because you think you have missed something or because you might have read something wrong. Knowing that our retention reading the usual way is much worse than we probably thought, doing our best to get rid of this habit sounds like a sound idea.
Knowing these things, the first thing the author wants us to do is learning to be aware of our eye-movement and our focus. Reducing the number of reading regressions is the first thing we learn here.
Another point the author stresses that I addressed already is that reading slow does not end up in making us absorb the read text better. On the contrary, reading faster tends to have better effects on our understanding of what we are reading.
So the next thing the author wants us to do is read more than just one word per eye fixation. He also suggests that purposely reducing the amount of time spend looking at one word or group is something one should be aiming for.
He follows this up with a small experiment where he has you look at short groups of numbers and wants you to remember and write them down right after. The first numbers are in the tripple digits, but they increase over time. As one progresses with this task, one starts to notice a gradual improvement.
Another self-test appears!
You can look at my previous post for ways how to self-test your performance. Remember what we learned so far.
- Do not look back. Always keep on reading forward.
- Widen your focus and take in more words at once.
- Reduce the time you use focusing on one word/wordgroup.