The best way to obtain knowledge or even an education without crippling student loans is to read. Read a lot, read fast, and effectively. If you want to grow as a person, an entrepreneur, or business owner the best way to do that is to read. It’s not always an easy habit to develop, but it’s a great way to grow your business.
The reason most people struggle with reading is because it takes them too long to get through a book and they struggle to fully comprehend the information. It happens to me sometimes, I’ll read a paragraph, or sometimes even an entire page, and for one reason or another I wasn’t focused enough to really absorb the words and I have to re-read the section. So frustrating! Here are some tips to read faster, get the most value out of what you read, and maybe even help you read 100 books a year.
Learning to speed read is a valuable asset. I use it all the time at school to quickly get through large chunks of text and easily pull main concepts from filler text, or fluff. You can find resources on the internet or even apps that will improve your ability to speed read. But, there are a few simple steps you can take that will automatically make you a faster reader.
Start with shorter, easier books (preferably one you won’t be tested on) and work your way up. As you find you’re reading faster you can dig into more complicated books.
Not only did learning to strengthen my reading skills help me to read and work faster, but I also learned to love reading again. Over time, I have continued to improve and that has increased my desire to read even more.
Use a Pointer
I always use my finger, a pen, or anything pointy to guide my eyes so I don’t lose my spot. I don’t know about you but my eyes wander down the page ALL THE TIME. It can get really frustrating so the pointer helps me. It could help you too.
When I’m reading a nonfiction book, I will skim everything first. I use a highlighter as my pointer and mark important sentences or words. Then I go back and only review what I’ve highlighted. This method has been highly effective for many purposes.
The point of reading is to get information. This is why I have never measured how fast I read in the past. If you’re concerned with how quickly you’re reading or how many books you get through, you’re less likely to actually learn something from the books you’re reading. What good will come from that?
The key is to control your reading rate. Using a pointer is useful for this. Blazing through books will not help you absorb the information and it will be difficult for you to apply that knowledge in your life and business. When you’re reading through an expansion of an idea that you’re already familiar with, you can speed up your pointer and read through that section faster. But, when you hit a new concept, or important information, you can slow your pointer down and your brain will follow suit.
When you first pick a book, don’t skip the table of contents. This is where you will find the main ideas of the book. On average, most books cover two or three main ideas. The rest is filler that expands on those ideas and will increase your understanding. Knowing the main topics before diving into that first page will set you up to really understand the concepts.
Make notations on the book, or in a notebook of big concepts. Take notes about words you aren’t familiar with, and pages you want to revisit. Then do some deep reading and try to focus on important areas instead of reading word for word. This applies to nonfiction books. Fiction stories are beneficial to read cover to cover because you could easily miss important details if you skim and may interrupt the flow of the story the author intended. Nonfiction books cover two or three main concepts with a lot of details so you can really grasp them and learn from the main ideas.
The Nerdy Thirty Giveaway!
We’re big readers at Employers Resource. So, to celebrate reaching 30 years in business we are doing a giveaway — The Nerdy Thirty Giveaway! We’d like to invite you to click the button in the box below and enter to win a free Kindle Fire HD. The giveaway is all about the books that lift up, encourage, and inspire leaders. Good luck and happy reading!