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How Do You Overcome Poor Reading Speed? (7 Tactics)

When you feel you have a poor reading speed you may struggle when reading. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to improve your reading speed.

Identifying you want to read faster is the first step. The next thing is to simply read more. By reading more, you will automatically improve your reading speed. It is also good to know you are not alone…

Everybody has to deal with poor reading speed now and then. It might be that you are not feeling well or the book is too difficult. Most people however have to deal with something more important.

They have poor reading skills. Fortunately, this is something everybody can work on. 

Improve your reading skills and your reading speed will improve. Reading is and will be, a very important skill to master. Start improving them today, so you can benefit tomorrow!

Before we start with how you can improve your reading speed, we need to know something. Is reading speed important? Or is there something much more important than speed…?

Is Your Reading Speed Important?

Should you start increasing your reading speed? Is this a very important metric? To be honest, I feel most people are reading below their optimal reading speed.

You should be increasing your speed by at least 5-10%. This will not make you a faster reader. It will also do something else that is much more important than reading speed. 

You will be focusing a lot more when you read faster. This will increase your comprehension of what you read. The result is that you not only read faster. You will also understand much better what you read!

And this is what smart readers want.

You don’t want to simply read faster. What good would it do to you if you read 4 pages per minute and retain hardly anything?

You should read perhaps 1 page per minute and really know what you read. Perhaps you should only read 1 page per 2 minutes and have a good understanding of that page. 

Don’t worry if you are a slow reader with good comprehension. This is better than being a speed reader with poor understanding. 

It should also be clear to you right now that reading is not only influenced by your techniques. It also concerns the text you read, your state of mind, and your knowledge. 

In the next section, we will look at all these things. Continue reading (at your own pace)…

How Can We Improve Our Reading Speed?

  • How can I read a book faster? (goal/intent, focus, 
  • How can I improve my reading habit? (daily 10-20 minutes, same time)
  • Take a book with you, read 30 minutes per day, read at a fixed location, and read at the same time

You too can improve your reading speed. Only increasing your reading speed does not mean you become a better reader. Read smarter. Focus on comprehension and speed.

The main thing is that you have to learn how to get more knowledge from your pages at least the same time. This way you increase your comprehension.

Let’s have a look at 7 steps you can take to improve your reading speed:


1. Understand the problem

The reason you feel you read slowly could be because of the book itself or your state of mind. When you read on an unfamiliar topic, you are most likely reading slower.

When you had a bad night of sleep or you don’t feel well, you can not focus a lot while reading. This makes you re-read more than usual. You will also not remember much of what you read. 

It may even be that you read slower than others because of genetic issues. Yes, reading slowly can be genetic! This is because reading has to do with processing information.

When you are by nature slow in processing information, you should not expect to read very fast. Your brain would not be able to keep up with it. Other reasons you could be reading slower could be dyslexia or ADHD.

Whatever the reason is, you could (should) still strive to become a faster reader. Stop comparing yourself with others. You are the one reading. You are not doing that for other people.

Compare yourself with your future self. That is who you are becoming. Become a better version of yourself in the future!

2. Understand how you read

The second step is to understand how you read right now. Do you sit down at a desk? Do you block distractions (people, social media, email, etc.)? Are you clear on why you are reading?

When you feel you are re-reading too often, you have to figure out why you are doing that. It could be that you are not focused. Perhaps the material is too difficult. You may not have enough knowledge to read this book. 

Make sure you are actively reading. Don’t make it easy to fall asleep or get distracted. Tell yourself you have to read. Once you do that, reading should become easier.

3. Practice regularly

A smart reader is a daily reader. You should be reading on a daily basis to become a better reader. Remember that practice makes perfect. This also applies to reading. Set aside 20 to 30 minutes every day to read. This could be a fiction book or your study book.

By reading more, you expose yourself to more words. You will learn new words. You will be able to recognize words faster. You understand the sentences much better.

All of this helps you to go through your book faster. Reading is all about decoding words on a page into pictures and feelings in your head. The more you do this, the faster you become at this. 

Train your brain to increase your reading speed

4. Train your eye muscles

It is very difficult for your eyes to focus on one thing. Try to focus on this word: HELLO. When you try to do that, your eyes will not be able to do it. One moment you see the H. Another moment you see the O or the dot at the end of the sentence. You may even see the words around HELLO. 

Now imagine you want to guide your eyes through your book. They will be jumping all across the page! Not because you want them to do so, but because they can’t help themselves! There are so many letters they can look at!

Make reading a whole lot easier. Start focusing on the word you should be reading by using your finger or a pen. Guide your eyes from word to word. This increases focus and will help you to get less distracted.

5. Use tools to help you read faster

You may also start using a ruler underneath your words. This reduces distractions from words below your line. You may start listening to instrumental music. Listen to classical music. Don’t play it too loud. You may even want to start using a metronome for reading at a certain pace. This will help you to get in a state of flow, thus increasing your focus even more. 

6. Create a positive attitude towards reading

Reading should be fun. You are learning new things, and exploring new worlds. Make sure you are feeling good about reading. Sure, sometimes reading is difficult. But looking back you will always find you’ve grown. 

7. Stay motivated

What is your goal with reading this study book? When you study, you probably want to pass your exam. This will bring you closer to your bigger goal! Always keep in mind that you are studying daily because of that bigger goal. 

And if you feel you need additional motivation, please let me know. I can be your accountability partner. Tell me what you want to achieve, and I will keep track of what you do. 

Here’s a nice poem I found you may like: 

How Do You Overcome Poor Reading Speed?

I wish I could read faster

I get so frustrated when I can’t keep up

With the rest of the class

My mind starts to race, and I feel so defeated

But then I remind myself it’s not about winning or losing

It’s about doing the best that I can

And eventually, with practice, my reading speed will increase


Reading is an important skill that can be improved through practice and perseverance. Always compare yourself with your future self. You should not compare your reading speed with the speed of others.

Other people have different backgrounds. They have different interests. You probably have a different goal to read your books. 

To increase your reading speed, make sure you start reading daily. This is one of the most important things you should be doing. Reading is a skill. Practice it daily.

Start reading for 20 to 30 minutes every day. I know you have this time, even with a full-time job, a family, and other activities. 

Read 15 minutes in the morning (before everybody wakes up). Read 15 minutes at night (instead of watching tv, Netflix, or something else). Reading is and will be relaxing as well.

Just try it for 10 days and you will see you love to go through your book and enjoy what you are doing (while learning)

The Productive

Study Session Cheat Sheet

Start using your limited study time productively.

Simply follow the outline and learn more in your next 30 minutes than before!

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