Untrained readers use half of their perceptual field on margins by moving from the first word and spending up to fifty percent of their time reading margins with no content. Minimizing rapid eye movements boosts reading time.
The average adults reads 300 words per minute. A third grader, 150. College Professor, 575. High level executive, 575. The speed reader, 1,500. But, comprehension matter. Some reports say skimming leads to forgetting details and poor retention.
Your brain stores information you read by: a) impression, so maybe read a passage out loud; b) by association and linking the text to something you already know; c) repetition, the more you repeat the more you remember. My method is to write key insights on colored index cards. Going through the cards, the information I don’t remember is put in a separate pile. These are the cards I repeat and repeat if I want to remember the information. Remember, the more you repeat, the more you remember..
There are several levels of reading in addition to speed. There’s the quick or leisure read where the book’s preface, table of contents and inside jacket are read. The next level is to classify the book by subject, say what the book is about, list the major parts and define the problem the author is trying to solve.
The very best way is what is called the syntopical which requires you to read other books on the same subject and then compare them. I know someone who is doing that now. After reading an historical novel about Cortez conquering of Mexico, he is now reading the KING of HISTORY: Prescott’s non-fiction History of Mexico and Peru. He said recently, “As an author, if I wrote the things that Cortez did, no one would believe me. That Cortez was sure one lucky guy.”
Take notes. Scribble in the margins. Bookmark passages. Write a review. I don’t read e-books but I’m told that you can do so while reading in them, too.
There’s a woman in our remote area who writes a little review inside the front cover of a library paperback novel. She’ll note that on such and so page the character is NOT wearing a watch but in chapter which follows, the person is referring to the time on her watch. It’s the best of all fun to see someone surprise you as you read.