Before I get into how to break the 100 word per minute reading barrier you’re gonna need to master some important skills. Well, I wouldn’t necessarily call some of these skills. Nevertheless, you’ll need to be willing to do them each time you read if you wish to lay a solid foundation for 900 word per minute reading.

Key number 1: As a kid I had glasses & would often take them off and try to read with a book an inch from my face. Reading without any needed help can be frustrating. Even those who could benefit from a light prescription often try to muscle through reading something without them. If you have to strain to read the page, you’d be better off getting some glasses or other corrective help. There are times when I get frustrated with reading and realize after a while that it’s simply because I can’t see the page! So, that’s the first key. Simple, but essential.

Key number 2: is similar to number one. Make sure you’re comfortable whenyou read. There are several components to being comfortable and that begins with having good lighting. Without this your eyes will have to try harder to see and will become tired quicker. This can be frustrating and can also lead to headaches.  Anything you can do to ease the strain on your eyes smashes barriers to good reading.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, as all important things do. Prepare yourself a clean & comfortable environment so you can minimize or erase all possible distractions, including phone calls. A clean area keeps your mind from jumping from the book to things out of place. 

Next, a comfortable, upright chair & a firm desk can give you a great place to focus on reading. Note that by comfortable I don’t mean it’s time to slouch. Sit up straight with your feet on the floor. This prevents your body from getting tired quickly. It also promotes concentration. Maintaining an undisturbed environment is critical as each distraction adds up & the amount of time to return and reengage with your study. To further prepare a focus-friendly environment you may take note of what temperature works best for you. If it’s too hot you may get sleepy and if it’s too cold you will have a hard time focusing. Some light background music can help. So can pleasant smells from a candle or incense.

Key number 3: is to break in the book that you are reading so that it can lay flat on the desk in front of you without force. This allows you to focus on turning pages rather than holding your book open while writing notes, scratching your nose or anything else. Spending time turning back to where you were is not only obnoxious, but it can waste both time and energy, a barrier to reaching your reading potential.

Key number 4: Learn to turn. Removing the delays that often come from slow page turning is essential in your ability to read quickly. Presently it may not seem like that big a deal. It most likely seems this way because of the rate at which you read, but when you get into the upper limits of your reading prowess you will find that it is essential to do this correctly. Just imagine a concert pianist stopping mid song to turn a page, halting the flow of his piece. By having the book flat before you as described in key #3 you’ll be able to easily turn pages with your non dominant hand as you follow key #5 with your other. Simply rest your left arm (if you are right handed) across the top of the book and lift the top right corner, ready to change just as your reading reaches the bottom of the right-hand page. Upon turning, reassume the position and get ready for the next page turn. The faster you read the quicker you’ll need to do so.

Key number 5: Use your hand to read. Pace yourself with movement of the finger over or just under the words as you read them. This does several important things. It keeps you from stopping or fixating on words. Regressing to read previous words and traveling ahead to words down the page (To learn more about regression see this article). Using your hand helps you to focus on the words in a structured way.

There are many who read at 900 words per minute and above. Practice these five keys to open the door to faster reading & join them!

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