Tips for Reading Faster

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Ever wondered how speed readers manage to zip through texts so quickly? Here are some effective techniques to help you read faster while maintaining good comprehension and retention of the material.

Understanding Reading Speeds

Reading speeds vary widely among individuals. Studies reveal that most people read at a speed similar to their speaking pace. Typically, the average person reads between 150 and 250 words per minute (WPM).

According to Rosaline Streichler, Ph.D., from the Center for Teaching Development at the University of California, San Diego, the average reading speed of a student is about 250 WPM. Similarly, a study by Marc Brysbaert at Ghent University found that the average silent reading rate for adults in English is 238 WPM for non-fiction and 260 WPM for fiction.

However, speed readers can read over 1000 WPM by employing techniques to minimize subvocalization—hearing a voice in your head while reading. Let’s explore some techniques to enhance your reading speed.

Speed Reading Techniques

Technique 1: Minimize Your Inner Voice

Many people hear an inner monologue while reading, a habit developed from early reading education. This subvocalization slows down reading speed. Although it’s impossible to eliminate completely, you can minimize it:

  • Listen to Music: Use instrumental or classical music to reduce the prominence of your inner voice.
  • Avoid Vocalization: Stop moving your lips while reading to prevent vocalization, another common habit that slows reading speed.

Technique 2: Word Chunking

Instead of reading each word individually, practice reading in chunks or groups of words. This method allows you to focus on key phrases and ideas rather than every single word. For example, the sentence “The cow jumped over the moon” can be read as “cow jumped over moon.” This approach helps your brain grasp the main idea more efficiently.

Technique 3: Use Peripheral Vision

Train your eyes to use peripheral vision by focusing on the center of the line and using your peripheral vision to read the surrounding words. This technique, combined with word chunking, can significantly boost your reading speed.

Technologies to Aid Speed Reading

Several apps can help you practice speed reading:

  • Speed Reading (Android)
  • Spreeder (Android and iOS)
  • Focus-Speed Reading (iOS)
  • OutRead App (iOS)

Consider Text-to-Speech Technology

If your goal is to consume content more quickly and improve comprehension, text-to-speech (TTS) technology is an excellent alternative. TTS tools, such as Synthy, offer several benefits:

  • Controlled Reading Pace: Adjust the reading speed to your preference.
  • Improved Comprehension and Retention: Listening to text can enhance understanding and memory retention.
  • Versatility: Import texts from various sources, including eBooks, articles, and scanned documents.

Using Synthy

Synthy is a versatile TTS app available on iOS, Android, and as a Chrome extension. It allows you to:

  • Import Books: Use texts from Audible or other eBook sources.
  • Scan Physical Books: Convert physical book pages into digital format to be read aloud.
  • Adjust Reading Speed: Control the pace at which the text is read.

With Synthy, you can effortlessly turn any text into an audiobook, making reading more accessible and enjoyable.


Can you read 400 pages in a day?

The average reader can read 400 pages in about 11 hours. Using a TTS app like Synthy can make this process more efficient by allowing you to adjust the reading speed.

How can I read faster without losing comprehension?

Focus on chunking words together and identifying key phrases. This method helps maintain comprehension while increasing reading speed.

By adopting these techniques and leveraging technology, you can significantly improve your reading speed and efficiency.