For someone who loves books and has read many of them over the past few years, I’m an extremely slow reader. I envy those who are able to fly through multiple books per week or finish books in one sitting.

So why exactly do people like me read so slowly? For me, I know it’s because I like to take in each word and capture its full meaning. I like to think about the choice of words from the author and I often try to read between the lines on stories that are more complex. Some of us like to sound each word out in our heads as we read, whereas faster readers suggest not sounding them out at all. Another pitfall is that I’m dyslexic, so there are times when I completely misread a word or interpret it incorrectly. These are all factors that slow down the pace of my reading significantly.

This week however, I’ve found that if I am reading a book that I consider to be long, I am able to force myself to keep up a reasonable pace by setting a 40 page per day target. I am currently trying to fly through a 600+ page book in 10 days (before the next monthly book begins) and I’ve found that setting this target has kept me on a solid pace.

A meme about slow readers

My guess is that when I read without any target I read much slower and end up reading less pages per day as a result. By setting this daily target, your subconscious mind knows that it must read slightly faster to reach the target in a timely fashion. By doing this I’ve found that my speed has picked up without any loss in comprehension. So the trick is to trick yourself into reading faster.

Your target doesn’t exactly need to be 40 pages though, and you could mix up the target number of pages depending on the length of your book and how fast you wish to get through it. So for my 600+ page book for example, I am going with the 40 pages for the first five days and then I will set the bar higher and aim for 80 pages during the final 5 days. My hope is that by the final five days I’ll be so invested in the story that I may even even read more than my intended target.

For those having issues with falling asleep

These past few days I have struggled with this issue and I’ve found that it has impacted how quickly I get through my 40 pages. For instance, when I was fully wide and awake, I was able to get through the 40 pages in just 30 minutes. But the last couple of nights when I was on the brink of falling asleep, it took me around an hour to reach my target.

My suggestion is to get your reading out the way at a time when you’re wide awake and seated. Reading in bed (or at the end of your day) is not a good when you really need to get through a book. If you commute to or from work then use that time to make progress with your target, you can also utilise your lunch break. Why not wake up earlier and read while enjoying a nice homemade breakfast?

The issues I’ve had with reading while tired have led me to believe that reading during the night has contributed to my poor reading speed for a long time. It had become part of my nightly ritual to read before bed as I found it extremely difficult to make time for it throughout the day. For that purpose I will be trying to read earlier in the day or in the mornings while completing my personal challenge to see just how much it improves my reading speed.

I will be tweeting my progress with this challenge, so be sure to follow Redital on Twitter to see how things go. Be sure to share your solutions for faster reading in the comments

– featured image is from utne