Throughout our years of education and schooling we have been taught many skills and learning strategies, some of which are rather specialized in the form of reading. Reading has been the one consistent factor in most of our school experiences. Whether you’ve  just graduated from high school or completing a PhD, it is always present and required.

In more recent times, schools have introduced electronic readers and tablets into the mix for students. The NOOK’s book reader app with its sleek interface is getting more notice for its ease of use to readers. And in the time of our technological transformations, we may have heard both the right and wrong from our parents, teachers and mentors on how to read effectively. Today, we will be debunking some common myths and misconceptions primary school has taught us about reading:

  1. Something must be wrong with me physically because my eyes can’t read as fast as everyone else’s. This is nonsense so don’t let yourself be the person that uses this excuse to justify certain reading speeds. People with corrected vision read and understand just as well as those who have 20/20 vision. In no way do your eyes play a role in the level of comprehension and understanding of reading materials. It is your brain function rather than your eyes that may play a role in slowing down your reading. For example, you may be extremely sleep-deprived, and therefore cannot read as fast as you would had you gotten enough sleep the night before.

  2. Reading something once is enough for my understanding. Unfortunately this is indeed untrue. As much as we may think that reading something will allow us to know a concept, this often is not the case. When looking back upon content we have recently read, many of us will discover that we have already lost some of the most important details there are to know about what we have read. A good indicator of such is by simply asking yourself broad questions about general aspects of the reading. A good summary may be in store but perhaps not enough understanding to ace an exam.

  3. Skipping chapters and reading ahead to the end of the book will be the biggest reading mistake you will ever make. No, there is no reason to believe this. Certainly if you reading a fictional novel and would prefer the ending to not be spoiled then we can all understand why. However, when it comes down to skipping passages and chapters, there is never an issue. In fact, most books are not made for word for word and page by page reading. As children many of us have been taught to feel guilty but as adults, we are learning to do what is most efficient. For example, you may reference a book for your job search but it is absolutely unnecessary to read it cover to cover when you only need a mere paragraph of advice.

  4. Technological assistance is a better supplement to reading than working to increase reading speed. The best and most effective way to increase your reading rate is to make the active choice to read often and practice your aloud often. Technology is as helpful as we make of it. As humans have created these machines, we are only able to have them assist us in efficient improves if we know how to do so ourselves. In many ways, technological devices only function as well as we are able to tell them to. They too are limited to a certain speed to which they can read aloud to you and have you be able to comprehend what it is being uttered.

  5. Reading faster equates to a rapid drop in comprehension of your reading material. Many people actually refuse to push themselves to read at a faster pace for fear that it will drop their reading comprehension. This could not be further from the truth. Research shows that there is little to no correlation between the pace at which we read and our levels of comprehension. Fast readers are still able to comprehend at higher rates than some of those that read slower. And why is that, you may ask? Reading speed can decrease with practice and this increases efficiency. Your extraction of information and ideas that happen at a fast rate means you are now able to process material at a higher capacity. Don’t be mistaken between your personal fear of losing comprehension to not being able to read faster. Our main focus should not be on how fast we can get through each chapter during last minute reading, but rather, how quickly we can locate the necessary ideas and information we have set out to learn and understand.