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How To Improve Reading Speed and Retention

If one of your reading goals is to increase your reading speed and retention, try this:


Focus on your reading purpose or intent.

This is different from a reading goal.


Reading purpose or intent means:

  • Being mindful of WHY you’re reading.

  • Align what you’re reading with how you engage with a book.

  • Don’t just stop at your ‘WHY’ of reading: whether for pleasure, information, or learning (or ALL).

Dig a little deeper. Ask these questions:


  • Why am I reading this book? What am I hoping to find out or learn?

  • Are there any specific topics or themes that particularly interest me?

  • Does this book challenge or confirm my beliefs or perspectives?



If you’re struggling to answer questions before reading a book, you can ask them after:


  • What was my favourite part of the book, and why?

  • What was my least favourite part of the book, and why?

  • Would I recommend this book to others, and why?

  • Did the book leave any unanswered questions or loose ends?

You get the point, right?


How you frame your reading purpose in your mind – this is what you have to aim at.


The end result:

You might worry less about increasing your reading speed.


Zoom in on your reading intent. Re-focus and re-define what reading means to you. And you’ll notice how your reading automatically becomes more rewarding.


I’ve noticed monumental changes to my own reading that go beyond just the basics: speed, comprehension, retention.


The trick is to widen your curiosity for reading – and not focus on increasing the number of books you read every week/month/year.

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