How To Read Faster and Retain More: Personality Development Tips

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speedEver envied those who seem to read faster than the speed of light? Ever wished you could be like them? Have you ever tried reading a book more quickly, only to realize that you understood nothing of what you read. In this post, we will explore personality development techniques on how to read faster and retain more.


Some may ask: what’s the point of learning how to read faster? A slow reading speed isn’t a bad thing. In the twenty-first century, we are being constantly bombarded with information. The New York Time’s bestseller has new additions every week; articles are being published every couple of minutes. Learning how to read faster and retain more, will not only help us keep up with this dizzying array of information but also increase our knowledge. By learning how to read faster, We will be reading two or three books in the same time it previously took to read one. Think of all the information and personal development you’re missing out on due to a slow reading speed. Simply learning how to read faster will drastically increase your knowledge. It is all about self-discipline.


Increasing your reading speed may seem difficult in the beginning but it only involves eliminating a few habits acquired during reading.  By eliminating the habits below, you will learn how to read faster and retain more:

  1. Silence your inner voice: Most of us have an inner voice that narrates along as we read. This internal narrator is in our subconscious. This internal narration is a huge roadblock in learning how to read faster. The next time you’re reading, stop the narration. Don’t mouth out every word as you read or play out the passage in your head. Use your eyes to quickly scan the line.


  1. Don’t keep your eyes fixed: Many of us actually don’t move our eyes along as we read. Big mistake. Move your eyes along the line as you read. This will help you in scanning as well.


  1. Use a pen to set the pace: Move a pen or a finger along the line to improve your pace. This will also prevent your eyes from focusing on one spot on the page.


  1. Avoid distractions: Some of us read slowly because we keep getting interrupted by distractions. We never took the time to carve out the ideal space where we could read without interruptions. One of the key facets in learning how to read faster and retain more, is to identify the right reading environment. Establish a place where you can read comfortably and in quiet. Put your phone on silent and play some instrumental music if that helps in focusing.



There’s a common misconception that reading faster weakens your understanding of the text. This doesn’t have to be the case. When you learn how to read faster, you also have to learn how to retain more. This means adopting the habits of an active reader. Active readers constantly check their understanding as they read. They ask themselves questions about what they just read. They also link the new information to things they previously knew. This linking makes it easier for them to retain more.

Some readers also use the SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Review, Revise) technique. The SQ3R is a preferred by university students who want to learn how to read faster and retain more. Before reading the text, the reader scans the text and asks themselves questions about the text. During reading, they look for an answer to the text. After reading, they review and revise the information. This way, you’re able to retain more of the information later on.

A more simpler approach to retain more, may be to simply make notes as you read. The first and last lines of a paragraph usually summarize the gist of a paragraph. After finishing a chapter, quickly jot down a short summary, listing what you have learnt so far.

Increasing one’s reading speed can have many advantages on personality development. Quickly processing information, can increase knowledge and help one stay informed. Learning how to read faster and retain more, is a necessary skill to have in the twenty first century and one that can serve you well, no matter what you do.


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