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Reading Silently Can Help Speed Reading

by Brandon C. Hall

As we are reading a book we are often tempted to skip ahead to find out what happens next. It’s much like watching a movie and wanting to fast forward to the scene where the mystery is solved. It’s human nature to be impatient sometimes and although this might not sit well if you’re telling someone the ending of a movie they have yet to see, it does work well when it comes to speed reading.

One of the most important aspects of speed reading is retaining the information. It may seem as though you would automatically soak up whatever it is you are reading, but when you are reading at an accelerated rate, this isn’t always the case. There is an approach to speed reading that will help you take as much away from the material as you can.

When we begin reading a book we are usually paying extra close attention. We read each word in order to set the stage for the information that will follow. The same idea works with speed reading. As you read the first chapter carefully you are implanting the main ideas of the book in your mind. This sets the stage for the middle of the book, which you can now read quickly because you will have a strong understanding of the material including the characters and the setting. If you skim quickly through the first chapter you may lose some of the most pertinent information, the story may become lost and you won’t enjoy the book as much as you could have.

For some speed readers they find assistance in reading the final chapter of the book before they read the middle. In a work of fiction this approach wouldn’t work as well, but with a non-fiction book it certainly has its advantages. When you are reading a non-fiction book and you read the first and last chapters carefully before you immerse yourself in the rest of the book, you have a strong sense of the information that the book will contain. If you are speed reading the book, that knowledge will be priceless.

Speed reading doesn’t just involve how fast your eyes can move along the page. It also includes how you comprehend the information in the book. No one wants to spend time reading a book, whether it’s at a normal pace or speed reading, only to forget what they read.

By paying extra close attention to certain parts of the book you can increase your ability to speed read and at the same time you will be improving your understanding of the contents and this will help you retain much more of the information than you would have otherwise.

Take extra time to read the beginning of a book can pay off at the end. Its benefits are obvious when you are speed reading, but it can also be extremely beneficial when you are reading a book at a regular pace.

About the author: For a complete 16 minute course on speed reading visit ( If you want articles and information on speed reading and speed reading techniques visit (
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