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Hand Positions In Speed Reading
by Brandon C. Hall
One of the most fascinating things about watching someone speed reading is the rate at which their hand glosses over the material they are reading. It moves so quickly and for the average reader, it seems as though it’s moving much too fast for the person to be absorbing any part of the text.
If you’ve always read at a natural speed, it might seem impossible to imagine that you could read several times faster. It might also seem unbelievable that you can adopt the principles behind speed reading without too much effort.
Speed reading is based on the principle that your mind absorbs the material that you read at a quicker rate than someone who reads at a normal pace. Normally we take our time reading each page of a book, trying to grasp the meaning of each word and how that word relates to not only the sentence it is in, but the paragraph as well.
For someone who speed reads, they are able to glance at the words and instead of concentrating on each and every single word; they see the words as blocks. They view the block of words and the meaning is absorbed.
There are different methods to speed reading, but the general idea remains common. That is, your eyes must quickly scan the text of the page. To do this you can use different techniques.
The most common of these techniques is to use your hand or your finger. This is typically what we associate with speed readers. Their hand moves remarkably quickly over the page; skimming line by line until they flip the next page to begin the process all over again. They need to do this so that their eyes can follow the text. When you are reading at a rapid rate, it is easy for your eyes to lose track of where you are on the page. By tracing an invisible line beneath the text, their eyes stay completely focused.
Another method that works the same way is to use a card or a straight edge, such as ruler. This keeps the reader’s eyes following the text. They aren’t tempted to skip ahead and miss words. Their concentration is focused on exactly what they are reading, and as they work through the page, the card or straight edge moves with them.
Concentration is one of the most important aspects in reading in general. It is much more important when a person is developing their speed reading skills. Anyone can implement this rule into their reading. Using either their finger or a card the eyes will follow the words of the text at a much quicker rate.
The next time you are reading give this a try and see the difference it makes. You’ll find yourself more focused on what you are reading and you won’t be tempted to skip ahead and miss words that are essential to comprehension. Small tricks like this can make a significant improvement in your reading speed.