I was going through some of my old notes and found an experiment I conducted last year.

Sometimes I like to read with a 3×5 card (or bookmark or folded piece of paper or something). I move it down the page as I’m reading so that it basically underlines the line I’m on and covers up everything below it. I’m sure the technique has a real name, but I’ll call it using a reading guide.

In the photo below, I’m using a piece of junk mail that I got:

Junkmail reading guide

I wanted to see if using the reading guide really helped me read faster or if it just made me feel like I read faster. So I did a little experiment. I wanted to see how many lines I could read in a minute without and with the reading guide. I did it 12 times each, and these were the results:

Reading guide data

So by using the reading guide, I can read an average of 13 more lines per minute. That’s a 34% increase.

Pretty neat, eh?

This technique will also work with a Kindle or other e-reader as long as you don’t have one with a touch screen…