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When 70-year-old Strand Book Stall announced its closing in Mumbai, thousands of citizens flocked to the store, trying to get the last glimpse of a lost world, one that they inhabited and that which they gathered comfort from, long before the digital age took over. People would spend their entire summers drowned in books and stories.

Image courtesy Strand Book Stall.

The digital age has turned us into consumers of information, without really absorbing any of it. The information just ends up taking space in the brain, without resulting in anything constructive.

Inculcating the practice of reading back into our lifestyles is thus something that needs grave attention. Did you know that besides gaining more knowledge, reading also helps us get more empathetic and healthier?

A recent study has shown that people who read a minimum of 30 minutes a day live longer by over two years than those who don’t read at all. Increase this time to an hour or more, and watch your health levels peak further up.

Why does this happen?

  • For one, reading reduces stress levels remarkably. The mind shifts its gears when you start reading. This slows down the heart rate and soothes the muscles of your body.
  • When you become immersed in a story, you not only connect with the characters set in the book, you also feel the same emotions as you would in real life. The centers in your brain responsible for emotions and empathy get triggered, causing you to be more empathetic in the long run.
  • Reading also increases the white matter in your brain. As you age, it tremendously slows down the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

 

Today, the need for instant gratification coupled with information being available at the click of a button have together resulted in shorter attention spans and selective reading. We are no longer able to read long paragraphs or process a lot of content at a stretch. The fast pace of modern life has also left us with very little time to do so.

Fortunately, there are some techniques one can learn that enable you to get back to reading books or long-form content, especially in present times, when there is less time to spare for it. One of the most effective and popular techniques is speed-reading.

 

Benefits of Speed-Reading

Learning Speed-Reading allows us to absorb information faster, with increased focus. An average reading speed of people is between 150 to 200 words per minute, just one day of practicing speed-reading techniques can actually double your reading speed, with regular speed reading and practice the speed can increase several times. Not only does speed-reading allow us to read faster, but it additionally offers several other benefits such as improved memory and cognition, as well as improved focus.

Think about it- when you are engrossed in a book, you hardly have any other thoughts in your head. Don’t you find yourself reading faster than usual when you’re engrossed? It works just the same the other way! When you learn to read faster, your focus is automatically heightened until it’s almost meditative.

Improved cognition, memory and focus naturally make us equipped to think clearly, plan well and take good decisions. Learning the art of speed-reading is a fun, interesting and above all, effective way to make reading a part of your lifestyle again!

 

To know more about where you can learn to speed-read, visit www.kunalchauhan.com and register yourself for a free seminar!