How people read?
Our conscious brain takes in 16 bits of information per second, compared to our
non-conscious brain that absorbs 11 million bits per second. We hate to do stuff
consciously because it does take effort and discipline. Our non-conscious brain structures
The eyes only take in information when they are stopped. You can easily verify this by holding a book up in front of someone and watch their eyes as they read. Don't tell them what you are observing. What feels like continuous motion is actually move -> stop -> read, move -> stop -> read, etc. Speed readers minimize the number of stops by maximizing the number of words taken in at each stop.
Here's an exercise that will help you do this. Try looking at the following sentence in three ways:
First, focus your attention / eyes on the first "S" in success.
Second, adjust your focus / attention so you can see the entire word, "success".
Third, adjust your focus so you are seeing all three words at the same time.
Because you can't say three words at the same time, you can't sub vocalize if you are reading three words at a time.
It is possible to eliminate vocalization from thought. Although many think that verbalization is essential to linking concepts, common experience shows that this is not so. For example, if you are a mechanic or computer engineer, and someone ask you to think about how a car or computer works, the subject of your thought is too complex and multi-dimensional to be expressed in linear forms. You are able to visualize and manipulate concepts -- and find answers -- to engineering problems without ever putting those thoughts into words.
The same is possible with abstract ideas (which are also often highly complex and multi-dimensional), though it takes practice because there are no familiar "images" to fall back on. Like meditation, one tends to navigate these byways of thought using intuition and feelings of depth, which are no less pragmatic than verbalizing the same idea. In some cases, especially when the thought involved is particularly complex, removing the verbal component not only vastly accelerates the thinking process, but can even lead to intuitive leaps that verbal thinking might have restrained or prevented.
Think about the way in which you are reading this text. Most people think that they read the way young children read - either letter-by-letter, or at best word-by-word.
If you notice the way in which your eye muscles actually move when reading a printed text, you will probably find that you are fixing your eyes on one block of words, then moving your eyes to the next block of words, and so on: effectively you are reading not words, but blocks of words at a time. The period of time during which the eye rests on one word is called a fixation.
You may also notice that you don't always proceed from one block of words to the next: sometimes you may move back to a preceding block of words if you are unsure about something. These disruptions to the forward flow of reading are called skip-backs.
Only speed read reader have been trained to create mini-eye-movements,
while the rest of us make-do reading with micro- eye-movements, which are automatic, and
keep adjusting our eyes to place the words we read on our foveal centralis, the sharpest
focusing area of our retina.
when you read and read as if it really matters. Most people read in the same way that they watch television, i.e. in an inattentive, passive way. Reading takes effort and you must make the effort. A wise teacher once told me that you can learn anything if you do three things:
PAY ATTENTION and
Reducing Fixation Time for speed reading
It is thought that the minimum length of time needed for a fixation is only quarter of a second. By pushing yourself to minimize the time you take, you will get better at picking up information from a very brief fixation. This is a matter of practice and confidence.
Copyright c 2005 - magicspeedreading.com. All Rights Reserved.