One of the big stumbling blocks for people when they’re trying to increase and improve their reading speed is a lack of adequate vocabulary. In fact, your eyes literally “stumble” over words you’re not familiar with, and your smooth reading flow comes to a sudden stop as you have to pause, look up a word (or try to guess its meaning), apply the right meaning to the context of the sentence, and pick up where you’ve left off.
You’ve probably noticed that it’s easier to quickly read and comprehend material on a familiar subject – you have most of the vocabulary firmly in your brain, and any less-familiar words are often either related to words you already know, or easy to define based on how they’re used. While no one can be an expert on everything, it’s a fact that the more you know about different topics, the more words you’ll know, because every topic, subject, and field has its own specific set of useful words. By expanding the quantity and variety of what you read (essays, articles, reviews and summaries, novels, research publications, etc.) you will also make it easier to increase your reading speed, by smoothing out the “new word” bumps in the road.
You’ve heard the phrase “vicious circle” no doubt; by contrast, this is a helpful and creative circle, an endless loop of progress rolling forward, as the more you read, the more knowledge you gain, making it easier for you to read works on diverse topics, which gives you an even greater knowledge base to build on. Your ability to quickly assimilate and comprehend information will increase as your reading skills and speed increase, giving you the competitive edge you need to succeed in today’s information-based economy.
Taking the time to read a variety of materials will not only give you valuable knowledge and insight that will help you succeed at work, but will make you a sought-after conversational partner in both professional and casual settings. Your wide range of knowledge will help you participate in discussions on many topics.
Take the time today to pick out something new to read, and the speed of your improvement will soon become apparent.
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