in Productivity

Speed Reading is Ruining Your Love of Learning

Photo by Corey Blaz on Unsplash

Every personal development junkie reaches a saturation point when every Medium article they read starts to sound the same.

I was fatigued with all the self improvement stuff I was reading.

But recently, something magical happened.

The very bloggers and writers I have been avoided incessantly when I see their article in my feed – I started to become fans of them.

I used to discount every article based on the headline they used.

I scoffed and said “Here we go again, another self help post that will teach me the habits and routines of successful people so I can be successful.”

But now, I read their articles all the way through.

What made the difference?

1. I stopped skimming

Being the impatient person I am, I always scroll fast past most of the post and look for subheaders that answer the headline.

If none of the subheaders stop me in my tracks, I considered the article redundant and struck it off my list.

I now realize the arrogance and stupidity of this practice.

It only gives me a glimpse of the author’s subheader-writing-powers and not much else.

Here’s something you can do instead:

Read the post you want to read most from that particular writer on Medium.

Read it slow. I mean – Read. It. Slow.

Word. For. Word.

Give him or her a chance.

After that, decide if you want to follow them (or unfollow them if this is the “way-too-many”th time you were disappointed with the writing).

On a long enough time scale, you will have curated a small list of writers you enjoy reading from and get maximum ROI each time you read.

2. I stopped speed reading

Similar to the tune of skimming – if the article passed the subheader-skim test, I would start speed reading the article to get the most out of my time.

This would cause me to skip quotes I find too “indigestible” and thick paragraphs I find too daunting.

This was also a mistake because its often in these “difficult-to-speed-read” sections that have the most gems.

3. I started slow reading

After noticing my hatred for self help articles pile up like Floyd Mayweather’s stacks, I finally switched gears and took it slow.

I tried reading these articles word for word.

And like a Robert Frost taking a literal road not taken –

“And that made all the difference.”

I started enjoying the act of learning by reading again. And trust me when I say, if you’re a reader, nothing beats taking your time to read something, anything, as if you have nothing to do and nowhere to go.

Isn’t it pointless (to read beyond your saturation point) ?

I guess you can say that, but hey, I haven’t enjoyed reading self improvement since a year ago. Now I do.

And I can almost say that I’m excited to know, that the best material I’ve read so far are online on blogs and Medium and not in books. Now that’s exciting.