How To Finish Reading A Book Faster

Sonia Akavan
Written by
Last update:

How To Finish Reading A Book Fast

Have you ever looked at the number of unread books on your bookshelves and wished that you could read faster?

Reading is a form of active learning that is rooted in rote memorization. With knowledge comes the power to influence the world around you. So inviting more books into your life will not only expand your knowledge, but will also expand your ability to influence others.

If you are currently reading a book, what is your ideal reading speed?

Perhaps if you read a book for just one hour every day, you could finish one book per week. If you want to be able to read a book in widely different subject areas, you may need to be able to read at a faster pace, without losing the ability to retain the information.

Make Sure Your Environment Is Conducive To Focusing

One of the biggest problems in reading a book faster is that most people don’t know how to read books faster.

You need to start reading a book as soon as you get the book. No delay. Just start reading it and finish as soon as possible.

The lack of focus and concentration is the main reason why most people have trouble reading a book faster. If you find yourself not getting into the book, if there are endless distractions, too many distractions, and no concentration, then you are wasting your time and delaying the entire reading process.

You need to make sure that you are comfortable, and you need to understand that focusing on a book isn’t easy. You have to take into account the fact that reading is a completely different activity than what you do on a daily basis, whether that’s work, watching movies, or sitting behind the computer. Reading is an activity that requires a lot of focus, and, unfortunately, most people don’t have the ability to focus on one task for a long period of time.

That is why some people are much better than others at reading a book faster. If you are having trouble concentrating, reading a book faster, or finding it really hard to stick to it, consider the environment. Make sure that it is conducive to reading, that there are distractions, and that you feel comfortable.

Stop Pronouncing Words In Your Head

Reading is one of the most effective brain exercises you can do. From reading, you can keep your mind sharp and increase your vocabulary.

When you read, one of the hardest tasks for your brain is to make sense of all the words you are reading while keeping in mind which word is which.

When you are able to process words faster, you can read with more understanding and can get more out of what you read.

And to do that, you need to stop pronouncing the words in your head as you read them. This is very difficult to do. Even when you’re reading fluently, you will still pronounce every word in your head as you move your eyes from one word to the next.

That’s because your brain is used to reading that way, just as it’s used to pronouncing words silently. It’s hard to change your mind.

Luckily, your brain can be trained to read more fluently and process more words at a faster rate, so you can read faster with more understanding.

But how do you train your brain to read quicker?

The simplest, yet the most effective technique is:

Skip Reading The Small Words

To remain at a high level of reading comprehension, good speed reading skills are an absolute must. You should approach every book the same way you would a puzzle, but a book is not a puzzle that you solve in linear fashion.

Reading is a process of guessing the solution through the clues in a work. You read a paragraph at a time, and then you move on to the next. If you read slow, you’ll have a very difficult time going back to look for clues you may have missed before.

The way I read, I simply skip reading all the the little words that are not essential to the actual content of the sentence.

For example, “of” and “a” are common words that can be skipped.

Furthermore, I speed read by reading the beginnings and ends of sentences more intently. Understanding a sentence, whether I read it quickly or slowly, begins with the first few words because that’s how you’re presented with a concept or a question. If the first few words don’t make sense, then it’s incredibly hard to figure out the rest of the sentence.

Read A Variety Of Genres

Reading fiction and nonfiction is like visiting different cities in foreign countries.

You experience different sights and sounds. You meet new people. You learn how they cope with the same issues and challenges that you face. And with every book, you dive a little deeper into the ocean of stories and ideas that make life rich and fascinating.

If you want to increase both your reading speed and comprehension, then read a variety of books. Fiction and nonfiction,” here’s why:

Read fiction to exercise the way you think.

When you read fiction, you don’t have to make any sense out of the story’s plot. Instead, your mind can focus on the story’s language, the characters’ personalities, the characters’ challenges, the characters’ relationships, the setting, etc.

So when you finish a novel, you’ll find that you’re able to be more emphathetic towards people and events.

You are more psychologically resilient because you’ve seen how characters with different personalities and beliefs cope with challenges. You’ve witnessed how good people can get into unwinnable situations and bad people can triumph over adversity.

Use Audiobooks on 2x the Speed

If you have already read the article about mastering speed reading techniques, you should already know this:

You need to read faster.

Studies have shown that people who read faster read more and remember more.

With the growth of audio books that can be streamed or downloaded to iPhones, iPods, and tablets, listening to books has had a new resurgence. But one of the biggest concerns with audio books is the lack of control over your listening pace.

The solution?

Audiobooks that can be played at 2x or 4x the speed.

Many will be outraged at the idea that they should play an audio book on 2x the speed, since it’s unnatural and it’s just plain cheating.

However, I personally use this technique all the time when I listen to audiobooks. I find it much more convenient than taking notes or highlighting the passage that I’m listening to.

When You Finish Reading, Jot Down A Few Thoughts

A huge part of the process of reading takes place in your mind as you read, which leaves most first-time book readers unprepared for the amount of time it will take to finish.

To avoid the stress of reading a book only to realize that you don’t remember any of it, you’ll want to practice some strategies to retain information that you read immediately.

You don’t even have to write down much, just a few key thoughts that stood out to you as you finished reading. Make sure to get maximum benefit from what you’ve already read.

This practice will help with understanding the book by not allowing you to forget any of the ideas in it. It can also help you to avoid distractions when you’re reading.

After all, you do want to beat the 4-7 times I mentioned at the beginning of the article. The more of the book you read, the more information you’re likely to retain.

Isolate The Sentences As You Read

Literally, isolate the sentences that you read. Think of it like eating a sandwich, you don’t bite into the whole sandwich at once. Instead, you take small bites of the sandwich one mouthful at a time. This way, you keep your mouth busy biting one bite while you can focus on something else, such as the words on the page.

When you isolate sentences, it allows your eyes to rest so you can focus on reading comfortably.

You should also try to stay in your peripheral vision. If you look directly at the words on the page, your eyes tend to feel strained after a while since they need time to rest. When you read a book, you will likely want to look up a few times. To practice, isolate sentences and then look up for a bit but return to reading right away without skipping a beat.

As They Say: Practice Makes Perfect!

If you have read a lot but feel that there is definitely something holding you back as you compare your reading speed to those of faster readers, it is simply because you do not have the right experience. As you practice and improve your reading speed, you will see that reading will become faster and easier.

Carry a book with you and read every chance you get and you will get better. The only way to make massive improvements to your reading speed is to just practice. “Practice makes perfect,” so give yourself at least 30 minutes every day to read and improve your reading speed.

How To Read A Book Quickly: FAQs!

What should I do if I’m a slow reader and don’t have the luxury of 21 minutes a day to finish a book?

Worry not! You can use the skill of Speed Reading to your advantage.

I have a post on this topic as well that you can find here.

I am a very slow reader and I love to read fiction books. There are a few that I’m interested in but I’m always afraid to purchase them because I know I will buy it, read maybe 10-20 pages a year and then it will collect dust. Is there any way to read more than one book?

You can use the skill of speed reading to your advantage. I have a post on this topic as well that you can find here.

I want to know which books I can read that will be interesting to a 12-year-old. What do you recommend?

To get the most out of reading a book, be sure that you read it at your level. I know you may be worried about what your youngster is reading, but if you read what you enjoy, it will be more enjoyable to you in the long run. Plus, you will find more things about the book you like!

How do you know if you are reading at your level or not?

Can you read a book in a day?

The ability to read a book in a single day is rare. But this definitely doesn’t mean it’s completely impossible to do. On the contrary, as I’ve gone to extreme measures to prove, it’s quite simple to read a book in a day if you have the right methods.

In 2009, I started a reading challenge to read a book a day. This lasted for 100 days in which I read 50 books. I didn’t spend any time going to the library, surfing multiple books at a time, or anything that is the opposite of speed reading techniques.

How long does it take to read 100 pages?

I read 100 pages by “reading” 63 pages: I failed to read the other 37 pages in the 100 pages because I was distracted or tired.

After three years of struggling to read a 10 000 page book, I learned that it’s better to read difficult books using a “time budget reading” strategy instead of reading.

Here’s how it works:

When I decided to read “How To Win Friends And Influence People”, I was up for a 20 000 page challenge.

“20 000 pages?? How am I going to read that book?” I thought to myself.

In order to read this massive tome, I was taking two steps back with every one step forward. First, I broke the book into small, actionable chapters. Then I made each chapter a week’s worth of reading (that’s 100 pages) and so on.

Do you get faster the more you read?

The “Velocity of Reading” tends to increase with experience. That is, the faster a reader reads, the faster he reads after graduation. However, there is a limit though. Speed reading simply refers to the practice of understanding more while reading and reading faster as a result.

One thing you can do is to take the time to read a book in the format it was written. If the book was written as a series of magazine articles, read it in magazines. You should also throw in some poetry along the way to develop your skillset.

Reading a mix of formats is a good way to keep your reading fresh, and it also allows you to pick up the structure and style of each format. Reading magazines is one of the quickest ways to improve your reading speed because articles in them are typically short.

If your work requires a lot of reading, then velociraptors are going to cause you to put off reading for another day. You will also find that you have far fewer reasons to read than you once did.

The answer is to establish the right habits with reading from the start.