Remember Evelyn Wood? She created a speed reading program many years ago. I never got the hang of it and still read at a modest pace. Unfortunately, this unimpressive reading speed paired with my active life running a business and having a family leaves me with precious little time to crack a book…and finish it. Can you relate?

In the last year I discovered a new way to complete books as much as 30 – 40% faster. That’s a real boon as I typically read 1-2 books per month. And, crucially, I haven’t lost comprehension with this method.

What is it? I’m glad you asked. I’m listening to audiobooks via the Audible app. Now this isn’t new. I’ve been using Audible for years. But you know how sometimes you stumble across a feature of an item you’ve been using that makes a big difference? That’s what happened to me sometime last year.

I discovered a little button in the app that controls the speed at which you hear the book read to you. I boosted the speed to 1.5x normal speed. Whoa, that sounded quite different.

It took me a little while to get used to it, but I did. Next, I boosted the speed to 1.6x and took some time to acclimate to that rate. Now that I’m writing this article I’m thinking that it’s time to try 1.7x. I’ve just made the adjustment to the app. We’ll see how it goes. At some point, it’s going to erode my comprehension or be so difficult that I can’t do things like drive or cook. It does take more concentration to speed listen. But, and here’s an interesting twist on this, my comprehension might actually increase because I’m concentrating more. Make sense?

If you’re having trouble getting through books and you’re reading them in print. You might like to try listening to books as an alternative. Just that alone may be an answer for you as it was for me many years ago. Step 2 is to boost the speed and see if you can train yourself to go faster, and maybe, comprehend more.

Let me know your thoughts on this technique! I’d love to hear it.

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