Avid readers and writers alike are always searching for tips to increase their reading and writing speeds. Just know that you can speed read. Have you watched the 1996 movie Phenomenon, starring John Travolta. No? Yes? If you have, you know what we are talking about. If you haven’t, then go on youtube and check out the trailer. In the movie, John Travolta touches a mysterious light and acquires the ability to read two books a day, regardless of the books’ length. Sure, he acquires other superpowers, but his speed reading ability made many book readers envious.
Ebooks weren’t a thing back in 1996. Nowadays, ebooks are the reading material of choice for most avid readers and writers. Although you can always install an ebook viewer app on your mobile phone or tablet, a dedicated ebook viewer like the Amazon Kindle is by far the best device for such a purpose. That said, if you already own one and are looking to increase your reading speed, then you’ve come to the right place. Typically, the average reading speed on an Amazon Kindle is around 25 pages per hour. However, to consider yourself as a speed reader, you will have to bump up that number to about 45 pages an hour. Not to worry, as today, we will share with you a few tips and tricks on how to increase your Amazon Kindle reading speed tenfold. These tips and tricks are listed as follows;
Identify your current reading speed.
Every ebook-reader these days is looking for tips to speed read. However, these tips and tricks won’t do you any good if you cannot measure your current reading speed. Although this step doesn’t drastically increase your reading speed, it will let you know the areas you should improve upon. Moreover, the way ebook is designed matters as well. So, before you go and adjust your Kindle’s setting, consider the following steps;
- Read ebooks that are similar to what you usually read.
- Jump the introduction and summary and go to the first page of the ebook.
- Mark the page number. If your Kindle doesn’t display the page number, activate this feature by touching the top part of your Kindle’s touch screen.
- Use a stopwatch. Start the stopwatch when you’re on the first page, and stop it when you reach the tenth page to know how many pages you can read per minute.
Typically, an average page-per-minute count is around 2-3. However, if you want to be called a speed reader, it should be near the 4-5 pages per minute mark, without losing subject comprehension, of course. After you are well-aware of your reading speed, take the next step and adjust your Kindle’s settings to increase your reading speed further.
1. Read in landscape mode
Going landscape can further enhance your reading speed and provide you with an overall comfortable reading experience. That said, going landscape mode after holding our mobile devices and tablets in portrait mode for so long can be a complicated thing to do. Vertical books came into being because vertically printed books are easier to place on a shelf. However, a vertical layout leads to shorter lines in a paragraph. Hence, shorter lines will lead to line skipping. Such a thing leads to a higher chance of backtracking to a certain line because of line-jumping or results in tired eyes due to more increased visual efforts.
That said, shifting from portrait to landscape mode will require some getting used to. Plus, it will be more tiring to hold your Kindle in landscape mode after years of holding it in portrait mode. However, after some time, holding it in landscape mode will become a natural thing.
With fewer jumps, longers lines, your reading speed will improve drastically, and your eyes won’t get tired too early. That said, since lines are longer in landscape mode, there will be a higher risk of missing a line. Such a thing will lead to time wastage. But, not to worry, as the next step solves this issue!
2. Using markers would help you speed read
You might be familiar with the concept of marking your physical book’s pages with the help of a bookmarker. It is a rectangular card piece that readers can place between two pages as a method of remembering where they last left reading a book. However, when it comes to ebooks, there is another way of using their digital counterparts.
You can use markers as visual pacers, placing them underneath particular lines. When you finish reading that specific marked line, you can move the marker down to reveal the next one. It has dual benefits.
Firstly, doing so will prevent moving to the wrong line since the marker will highlight the correct one. Secondly, you will avoid backtracking.
3. ‘Serify’ your fonts
If you’ve ever changed your font style while reading or writing a document on Microsoft Word, you’ll be familiar with the term Serif and Sans Serif. But, do you know what they mean? Let us take a look.
The small strokes in the beginning or end of a letter in some font types are known as Serfs. In comparison, font styles that do not contain these strokes are known as San Serifs. Hence, the ‘Sans,’ which stands for ‘without.’ For example, Arial is a Sans Serif-styled font, while Times new roman is Sans-styled font.
When using Serif-styled fonts, you will see a significant increase in your reading speed, regardless of the fact they are mere decorative strokes. Such a thing is possible because it will guide your eyes from one letter to the next. In addition, it will shorten the gap that is present between two words. Thus, decreasing the need for extra visual effort while also increasing your reading speed simultaneously.
However, ensure that you avoid using artistic or complex Serif font styles. Not every font type will contain serifs like times new roman does. Some Kindle-based serif font types include;
- Courier- This font type is similar to the one used in a typewriter. Choosing it will add familiarity if you’re from the typewriter era.
- Georgia- Commonly found in magazines, it a great choice when reading low-resolution ebooks on your Kindle.
- Baskerville- A font type that contains notable contrast between every stroke, it is perfect for people with weak eye-sight due to its consistent form and style.
- Palatino- Clear and concise, this font type promotes clear reading due to its solid structure.
Whatever Serif-styled font you choose, ensure that it is visibly clear and promotes a comfortable reading experience on your Amazon Kindle.
The tips should help you speed read. However, maintaining comprehension while reading faster should be your end goal, instead of only trying to finish an ebook as quickly as you can. You don’t want to spend long hours reading an ebook and missing what it is offering. In addition, it is an ability that helps you acquire other skills. That said, while these tips and tricks might not quadruple your reading speed, incorporating them into your everyday reading habits will undoubtedly make a massive difference in the long run. After all, an extra ten to fifteen books read per year is a good indicator that you have learnt to speed read.