Note: Denise and I recommend only products that we have tried and tested. These include the popular speed-reading software 7 Speed Reading.*
The first barrier to faster reading relates to eye movements. The eye must stop before reading can take place. The eye stopping at a word is called a fixation. The fewer your fixations, the faster you read. For example, if your eyes take 8 stops to read a line of 8 words, then you have 8 fixations and you are a word-by-word reader. A faster reader moves their eyes only 3 or 4 times to read an 8-word line; they have fewer fixations.
The second barrier to reading faster reading is looking back needlessly over what you have already read. This is called regression. Usually, you will look back at what you have read to review a word or phrase that is unclear. Some people even have a habit of looking back, or regressing, even when the word or phrase is clear. Looking back slows the reading process.
The third barrier to faster reading is saying or hearing the words during silent reading. This is called subvocalization or subvocal reading or silent speech. "Saying" every word, or hearing them inside your head, slows the reading process a lot. When you speak, you might say 150-200 words per minute. But if you can internalise words' meanings without saying every word, then you can reach much greater reading speeds — by some estimates, as much as 800 words per minute — while still achieving 100% comprehension.
All this begs the question: how do you reduce fixations, regressions, and subvocalization?
Fortunately, today, there is great speed reading software that can help you. One such piece of speed reading software is the popular 7 Speed Reading program, which addresses all 3 of the barriers to faster reading. Both Denise and I have used this software and can recommend it.
I will also be giving some of my own tips on how to reduce fixations, regressions, and subvocalization in future articles.
*Denise and I have agreed to receive a commission from some sales of 7 Speed Reading software because we are happy to endorse that software.