Misconceptions about Reading

Six Reading Myths

  1. I Have To Read Every Word

    • Many of the words used in writing grammatically correct sentences actually convey no meaning. If you exert as much effort in conceptualizing these meaningless words as you do important ones, you limit not only your reading speed but also your comprehension.

  2. Reading Once Is Enough

    • Skim once rapidly to determine the main idea and identify the parts that need careful reading. Reread more carefully to plug gaps in your knowledge.

    • The most effective way of spending each study hour is less time devoted to reading and more time to testing yourself, organizing, and relating the concepts and facts, mastering the technical terms, formulas, etc.,  not painfully processing words visually

  3. It Is Irresponsible To Skip Passages In Reading

    • You must actively decide what is important. The idea that you cannot skip, but have to read every page, is left over from when we first learned how to read. As a result, students feel guilty if they find a novel dull and put it down before finishing it. Forget the guilt! Read and learn what you need to.

  4. Devices Are Necessary To Improve My Reading Speed

    • What most people need to improve is reading efficiency - reading with a purpose, practicing skimming, looking for main ideas so that you can read them more carefully, and taking notes. The best and most effective way to increase reading speed is to consciously force yourself to read faster.

  5. If I Skim Or Read Too Rapidly My Comprehension Will Drop

    • Research shows there is little relationship between rate and comprehension. Whether you have good comprehension depends on whether you can extract and retain the important ideas from your reading, not on how fast you read.

    • If you concentrate on your purpose for reading - e.g. locating main ideas, and the details, and force yourself to stick to the task of finding them quickly - both your speed and comprehension should increase.

  6. There Is Something About My Eyes That Keeps Me Reading Fast

    • Usually it is your brain, not your eyes, that slows you down in reading. Your eyes are capable of taking in more words than your brain is used to processing. If you sound out words as you read, you will probably read very slowly and have difficulty in skimming and scanning until you break this habit.