When reading, you should think about 3 aspects of your posture:
- your general posture
- the position of your body relative to the page
- the position of your body relative to the light
As regards 1, your general posture, the most common bad postures include bending too low over the page and slumping in your chair.
As for 2, make sure your eyes are neither too close nor too far from the printed page. Find the distance that is right for you. Also, make sure no part of the page lies much farther from your eyes than other parts, especially when you are reading large books such as encyclopaedias and dictionaries.
As for 3, consider how the light strikes the page and how the light strikes your eyes. Ensure the light that strikes the page is not too bright and not too faint, and make sure the light is even. Make sure light does not strike directly into your eyes from the back of the page or into one eye from the side.
According to The Art of Rapid Reading, here is the correct reading position:
Here, the reader's back is straight, his head is inclined slightly but is not drooping, and the page is at the reader's own best distance. The light comes from behind and above the shoulder, so that the light falls evenly on the page. Both eyes are in the same amount of shadow.
Further tips on breaking bad reading habits are available from the popular speed-reading software 7 Speed Reading.
*Denise and I recommend only products that we have tried and tested. These include 7 Speed Reading. We have agreed to receive a commission from some sales of 7 Speed Reading software because we are happy to endorse that software.