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Ben Horowitz @bhorowitz

How to 3x your reading speed in 7 days:

Ben Horowitz @bhorowitz

Today, you’ll get a proven technique for tripling your reading speed.

Imagine if you went from reading 10 to 30 books a year!

That knowledge would be life-changing.

Here are the 5 secrets to speed reading:

Ben Horowitz @bhorowitz

1. Avoid Subvocalization

The untrained reader vocalizes each word in their head.

It’s a problem because you can read faster than you speak.

Most people speak 150-200 words per minute (wpm), while trained readers can push 700+ wpm.

Yes, you CAN read without subvocalizing...

Ben Horowitz @bhorowitz

Prove it to yourself:

Read this tweet while repeating "1, 2, 3, A, B, C."

Notice how subvocalization is irrelevant to understanding.

It's only challenging because of bad habits. But it IS possible.

Keep practicing.

Ben Horowitz @bhorowitz

2. Read in Chunks

Avoid reading each word one by one.

Instead, read in chunks of 2-3 words. You'll go faster—guaranteed.

See the difference:

[Instead] [read] [in] [chunks] [of] [2-3] [words]


[Instead read] [in chunks of] [2-3 words]

Like skipping rocks!

Ben Horowitz @bhorowitz

3. Eliminate Regression (conscious rereading)

30% of time reading is spent rereading.

The culprit is distraction & lack of focus.

Block out distraction, sit up straight, and learn like you mean it.

Ben Horowitz @bhorowitz

4. Avoid the Margins

Remember #2, read in chunks?

Every line has a first & last chunk. Read those chunks towards the center.

For example, focus on words "text" and "peripheral" below:

[See text] [with your] [peripheral vision].

Fewer eye fixations/movement equals more speed.

Ben Horowitz @bhorowitz

5. Use a Visual Pacer

For physical books, trace your finger under word chunks as you read 'em.

With tracing, you'll center your focus and set your speed.

Have a strong bias towards the text's centerline (again, avoid the margins).

Don't backtrack. Keep the pace.

Ben Horowitz @bhorowitz

If you want to go further with speed reading,

Here are some popular apps:

  • Outread (Apple)
  • ReaderPro (Android)

They’ll help you practice the principles covered here.

Ben Horowitz @bhorowitz

That's it—5 proven tips to 3x your reading speed.

If you enjoyed this, follow me @SystemSunday for more posts on high-performance living.