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How to Improve Your Reading Skills

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Authored by Kimberly Back in Self Improvement
Published on 06-19-2009

Whether you are an avid reader or just enjoy the occasional leisurely read, improving your reading skills is a definite plus. By following a few simple rules and tips you can improve your reading skills, and be able to read more quickly and efficiently.

The eyes have it: First things first, you should be up-to-date on your regular eye exam. You shouldn’t have to squint or strain to see the words on the page. If your vision is blurry when reading then please see your eye care provider. You may need corrective reading lenses or contacts.

Proper atmosphere: One of the simplest ways to improve your reading skills is to read in the proper environment. Don’t sit down with your book or magazine in the midst of cluttered or distracting conditions. Turn off the television, sit in a comfortable spot, and be sure to have enough lighting. It also may be helpful not to lie down while reading unless you want to fall asleep instead of working on your reading skills.

Speed tips: Wouldn’t it be nice to simply glance at a book and be able to absorb all of its contents? Sadly, reading doesn’t work that way. However, improving reading speed is easier than it seems. It is important to consider what you are reading. Typically, leisure reading can be done more rapidly, while more technical or study related reading usually requires more focused, slower reading. No matter what type of material you are reading, if you truly want to improve your speed then you should practice at least half an hour a day, and monitor how many words per minute that you are reading.

The most important thing to remember about improving your reading speed is that you must still be able to retain and understand what you are reading, or the increase of speed will be a detriment and not an improvement.

Mark your book: Making notes while reading is a great way to improve how much you retain, and the way that you understand the information that you are consuming. As long as you own the book and you are comfortable doing so, feel free to make notes in the margins of your pages about what you are reading. If you don’t own the book use notebook paper to make notes. Write down questions, thoughts, theories, or whatever comes to mind while you read. At the end of chapters or headings summarize what you have read (you will probably need additional paper to do this).

No matter whether you are a technical or study reader, or the leisurely romance novel reader, you can always work to improve your reading skills. Making sure that your eyes are in proper working order, creating an environment conducive to reading, working to improve your speed, and writing notes about what you are reading are all great ways to begin improving your reading skills. If you are looking for a way to begin improving your reading skills practice your newly learned techniques by rereading this article.

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