Reading and Subvocalization

There is an interesting book I am reading, now, titled, “How to Read a Book.” It had never dawned on me that there are actually different approaches and different levels of reading until I started reading this book. According to the book there are four levels of reading and each level builds upon the previous level. The first level of reading is “elementary reading” or “rudimental” reading; basically simply trying to understand the words on the page. The second level of reading is “inspectional reading” and this level seems to me to be more of a technique than a level. It involves reading through the table of conents and the indices to get a feel for the book’s structure then skimming the entire book; “systematic skimming” is the term the authors use to describe it. It’s a quick method to get the basic gist of a book. The third level of reading is “analytical reading” – characterized by a thorough and complete reading of the book while seeking to anwer many questions while reading. Some of the basic questions are:

1) What is this book about as a whole?

2) What is being said in detail, and how?

3) Is the book true, in whole or in part?

4) What of it? Basically asking myself, “So what?” What does it mean to me?

The fourth, and, the authors say, the highest level of reading is what they call “syntopical reading” and may be described as comparative reading. At this level the reader compares and contrasts what is being read with what has been read in other books dealing with similar subjects.

I have yet to finish that book. So many books, so little time! That brings me to the most important topic of this post…

Since I am interested in so many things I read a lot. The problem is one of time management. I need to read more efficiently to be able to read everything I want to read. To read as efficiently as possible I need to learn how to stop subvocalizing as I read, that is speaking the words in my head as I read them. So, right now I am searching the web for tips on how to stop subvocalizing as I read.

Well, after reading several interesting articles online about subvocalizing, I have decided it may be in my best interest to not try to stop subvocalizing since it is an aid to comprehension. Still I need to work on my reading speed.

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