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In The Age of Skim Reading, Slow Reading is For Deep Learners

Skimmed Read

Reading is a complex process that involves the brain's visual and auditory processes, phonemic awareness, fluency and comprehension. There are billions of pages available to read online, along with billions of print books sold every year. All this choice is making us want to skim our reading, as we are short of time.

There are trade-offs in this 'speedy' approach, as we are sacrificing the quality of understanding over the quantity of information.

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In The Age of Skim Reading, Slow Reading is For Deep Learners

In The Age of Skim Reading, Slow Reading is For Deep Learners

https://medium.com/personal-growth/in-the-age-of-skim-reading-slow-reading-is-for-deep-learners-d84db86a1e43

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Skimmed Read

Reading is a complex process that involves the brain's visual and auditory processes, phonemic awareness, fluency and comprehension. There are billions of pages available to read online, along with billions of print books sold every year. All this choice is making us want to skim our reading, as we are short of time.

There are trade-offs in this 'speedy' approach, as we are sacrificing the quality of understanding over the quantity of information.

Slow Is Good

The speed-reading habit is making us lose our deep attention and focus, gradually shunning denser, more complicated content. Instead of optimizing for speed, we need to optimize for comprehension, deep understanding, and retention of information.

Deep or slow reading, when the brain is attentive, absorbing, understanding and analyzing text expands our attention span and improves concentration and learning.

Better, Not Faster Reading

The brain develops stronger analytical skills and gets into critical thinking mode, forming new connections and even creates new ideas.

Deep focusing on a book is one of the best investments of your time.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Research Backed Methods For Faster Reading

Research points to speed reading being a form of skimming, which is appropriate for short text but not for longer ones.


For long texts, reading more

Measurements Of Speed Reading And Comprehension

Although there is an academic consensus that speed-reading decreases comprehension,

On the other hand, the same can’t be said for comprehension measurement techniques, as we can process text differently according to context.

Woody Allen

Woody Allen

"I took a course in speed-reading...and was able to read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It's about Russia."

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Strategies speed readers use

Strategies speed readers use
  • Skimming: quickly going through passages to find the main points.
  • Meta guiding uses a pointer, such as your index finger or a pen, to guide your eyes along the lines...

Effectiveness of Speed Reading

Regardless of which reading method you use, the evidence points towards the fact that speed comes at the sacrifice of understanding.

Depending on what you’re reading, this might not necessarily be a bad thing: If you’re trying to get through a dry piece to capture a few key points or you are going through a short piece that’s easy to understand, speed reading strategies might make sense.

Make the most of what you read

  1. Choose different reading pieces for different occasions: articles and light reads can be reserved for short periods. Books that require less focus can be listened to in audio format etc.
  2. Incorporate reading into your daily habit: put a book on your bedside table.
  3. Share your reads with others, to help you to better understand and appreciate what you read.
  4. Reflect on your reading: take notes or check out films that are based on novels (to compare interpretations).

Read to someone

One of the biggest obstacles to reading books we enjoy is that we think we should read books even if we don’t enjoy them—specifically, the idea that if we start a book, we must fi...

The To-Go Box Method

For a weight-loss hack, it goes like this: As soon as you order a meal at a restaurant, ask immediately that half of it be put in a to-go box once it’s ready and only the other half served to you. It’s basically a stricter version of portion control.

We can apply the same technique to get ourselves to read more.

Instead of 2 hours of Netflix each night, cutting it in half would still give you the satisfaction of watching Netflix in the evenings but also free up time to read as well.

Book Summaries

Preview the book in order to vet whether or not it’s worth investing your time in.

  • Use book summaries. Find apps that give accurate and concise summaries of many of the most popular books out there and are constantly updating their library.
  • Use podcast interviews with the author. Authors often go on the podcast circuit to promote their books. 

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