Think back thousands of years ago to the time that writing was invented. They had a major problem back then. There was a dire need to preserve information for posterity, for transmission, and for business, but no system in place for accomplishing this. The solution they found is still in use, and accounts for the slow reading speeds of most people. Understanding the roots of reading will help you understand how to read faster and why speed reading works.
Without electronics there was only one way to store information. The solution was to create pictures. These pictures represented sounds in some systems. It was the birth of phonetics. Early alphabets were created from pictures. It was common to engrave information into stone at the very beginning. As time went on clay tablets become more popular, and a stylus was used to carve the letters into the stone. These pictures evolved into our alphabet.
The sounds associated with these pictures made it possible for people to store words into a picture format. When someone read the information, they would replicate the sounds of the letters, and the word would appear--almost like magic. In fact, at the beginning only the priests were able to read and write. Later the royalty was added to the mix, but the average individual was prohibited from learning to read and write.
These pictures or letters captured the sounds of spoken language. When you read today, you are still using this ancient approach to reading and writing. Your eyes perceive letters in a grouping called words. Your brain has learned the rules that determine the sounds of the letters. As you are reading, it seems as if there is a little person sitting in the back of your head. This little person looks through your eyes, and peers at the book or text you are reading. They then pronounce each word on the page slowly, One Word At A Time. As a result, you aren't really reading the page, but listening to the page. I can prove this.
The average reading speed is about 200 words per minute. The range of normal reading is between 150 and 400 words per minute. Here's the proof. The average person speaks between 150 and 400 words per minute. When you read, you are actually speaking the sounds of the letters aloud in your head. That is what is slowing down your reading speed.
Speed readers have found a more efficient way to read a page. They see the information in text as a movie or a series of images rather than a sequence of sound bytes. As a result speed readers can read much faster than normal readers. More importantly they often comprehend, retain, and recall information better because a picture captures more information than a sound byte. Learning to speed read is an important part of any plan for reading faster.
Article Source: ezinearticles.com