Sometimes they call it “chunking” and there’s many “Trademarked” names for the same things. Three ways to speed read. There’s probably more.
s experience nails “what it feels like” perfectly.
I trained myself to speed read as a teenager because I had lots of reading assignments and my arms got tired holding “books”. I never could get in a comfortable position.
I probably read some books on “how” – I don’t remember anymore. But you “can’t turn it off”. [you can but it’s hard]. Once you start “chunking”, you’re subconsciously reading ALL of the time.
The ‘gist’ of how to do it? There’s a few tricks.
The most “magical” way is:
a) Look at a page of text all at once. [book]
b) defocus your eyes
c) Try to get meaning without saying the words in your mind. Just impressions, a “feeling” of what areas of the page are about as you go.
You can go through a book VERY quickly that way.
But that can be too “magical” a method.
Another way, also kind of “magical” feeling.
a) Read as normal but instead of looking at words, read whole PHRASES at a time. Anything between the beginning of a sentence and the first comma, look at it all at once. Same idea. Defocus but it’s on smaller amounts of text.
b) Progress up to whole sentences.
c) Progress up to paragraphs.
d) Progress up to pages.
But here’s the most pragmatic way:
a) Flip quickly through a book. You can go from beginning to end, or end to beginning. [I like going end to beginning].
b) Focus on headlines, bold face, italics, and captions under pictures ,and pictures.
c) Your goal is to do it as quickly as possible.
d) Then do it again. Speed is your goal, not retention.
That’s the three ways I can think of off hand.
The last method is really good for going through textbooks / homework assignments, as books are laid out with that formula. A lot of mass market non-fiction is laid out that way as well. Take advantage of the hierarchy so you can IGNORE most of the text.
I think the last method is *probably* what most people use when they speed read for homework.
Online, I can turn off speed reading. I *want* to read slowly. But books? I almost always speed read. VERY VERY hard to *not* speed read books.