Slow Reader — Is It a Problem?
Updated on January 31, 2024
5 min read

Slow Reader — Is It a Problem?

Table of Contents

Slow reading is undoubtedly a good thing. Plenty of individuals fixate on and mentally organize information more slowly than average. However, it does not mean that obtained data is poorly processed, so keeping a decent reading speed is crucial for better information absorption. On the contrary, slow reading contributes to better learning and memorization. Many individuals note that deeper understanding comes from a slower speed of reading; some people even look for strategies that reduce reading speed.

One must keep in mind that breezing through pages at a rapid pace may compromise high understanding. As a result, the quality of encoding is under threat. Yet the ability to read quickly with a high level of understanding must also be developed. It is a great mental aid that can come in handy when preparing for exams, skimming blog articles, or perusing work files. Of course, everyone should find their comfortable reading style but not being able to go from slow to fast reading can be a problem. Accordingly, it would be useful to understand the reasons for slow reading and how to rewire the cognitive perception of data that was just read.

Why Some Might Read Slowly

Some readers pride themselves on being super fast while easily absorbing and processing complex data. They get through books, academic materials, or scientific articles incomparably quickly. Some individuals report the inability to read quickly, long articles or books take too much time, and keeping focus for more than 10 minutes is wearisome. What are the reasons behind such low speed? And is it always bad?

In 3 Minutes, discover 6 reasons why some take it slow:

1. No concentration

Having a problem of not retaining information and losing vivid details from a book may stem from defocusing. Fast reading is about the skill of silencing distractions. If you are in the zone of intensive distractions, deal with them. A well-adjusted environment is a must-have for reading sessions. Noise in the background may steal your understanding. Also, remember that fast reading has nothing to do with extra comfort. You need to sit in a  relaxed position but snuggling into bed with some delicious goodies won’t work. This is exactly why your brain gets distracted a lot, making you slow at understanding things. Even in the free-distraction zone,  there are many powerful training techniques for boosting focus if it is still difficult to memorize the plots and details. Before growing your reading speed, enhance your concentration.

2. Small vocabulary

Poor vocabulary means that the reader constantly needs to be distracted to check meanings. It will definitely slow down the reading process. There is nothing wrong with being a slow reader and checking the terminology. However, by increasing your vocabulary, you increase the chances of reading faster and getting more knowledge that will be well-structured in your memory. It is a proven way to boost intelligence, cultivate perception, and become sharp as a tack. Getting to the crux of the most complex issue will be easier.

3. Bad book

Book preview is what eliminates you from choosing the wrong book. Just think about how many books you haven’t finished reading at all. Boring plots or the wrong genre will cause slow reading. A thorough overview will give you an idea of what to expect and whether this book can be read fastly.  

4. Are you tired

Speed reading does not have to be continuous. The more pauses you make, the better you will remember what you read. Having more time to rethink what was read and to synthesize it will assist you in culling all of the unnecessary content and details and concreting the most important things better. Take a moment to rest or switch the activity. Do not drink coffee while reading, but take coffee breaks. After such pauses, you can sift through the noteworthy pieces of information more efficiently.

However, when it comes to general fatigue, and your brain has stopped actively perceiving what you read, probably, longer pauses are needed to recharge and refresh the mind. If it seems that working so hard, you still struggle with slow reading and feel unfocused or exhausted, take a step back and remind yourself how far you’ve come. It really helps you get your bearings and move on with mental training, getting the most out of natural brain capacity.

5. Fear of problems

Having problems that constantly bother you or intrusive thoughts, any mental activity will be tough. High-speed reading starts before you take the book into your hands, and approaching a book strategically brings progress in how accurately you can digest the incoming information. You have to cooperate with your brain and prepare it to remember faster. Thus, to accurately remember what you study or read, learn to let go of all burdens, troubles, and negative emotions while studying or reading. Keep in mind your goal of reading quickly and with a high level of awareness. Give a command to your brain to be fully engaged in a book and not in a daily problem.

6. Too much internet

Being interrupted by messengers, social networks, or emails, you are running the risk of losing a significant portion of what you read. It will totally crush your focus on reading. Breaking stubborn Internet habits, like checking emails or scrolling the newsfeed, might be a difficult objective. However, the effort will be worth it. Refrain from using the internet and grasping at your smartphone while reading. In addition to the relief of your brain due to avoidance of the constant stream of digital data, your reading will be more conscious. It will be easier to evaluate and interpret concepts and facts regardless of whether it will be a scientific article, a philosophical book, etc.

Speed Reading vs. Slow Reading

Each reading mode yields a set of advantages. Those who can absorb textual information rapidly without sacrificing comprehension can outperform colleagues at work and are more self-confident, sharp-minded, and agile. Being focused on rapid data processing, you can rid your mind of harmful and anxious thoughts and bring back mindfulness. Fast reading always means a fast brain. This, in turn, means prompt response to any kind of cognitive task. Thus, issues that typically take a lot of time to process are not so time-consuming. The path of solution generation is drastically shortened, and mental reactions to the surrounding are instant.

A slow reader can connect with the material more deeply. Reading slowly will positively affect your ability to make logical connections with facts you already know. By allowing your brain to perceive text not so quickly, regardless of its volume, you allow new information to build stronger connections with what’s already in your mind, for example, past ideas, thoughts, experiences, and feelings. Great skills in synthesizing information can lead to new and original theories.

Reading Slowly — Bad Thing?

One may be a slow learner and reader by nature. However, many learners worldwide are deliberately practicing slow reading since it reinforces memorization. Intentionally reducing the reading speed is a great way to imprint the most important facts in your long-term memory. Moreover, there is no connection between reading slowly and poor cognitive processing. In addition to that, this mental activity must be controlled. The thing is that some struggle with a wandering mind and poor focus, which can negatively affect reading and learning routines.  


Why am I so slow in understanding things?

Slow processing emanates from various factors, such as a lack of focus, short attention span, and overfatigue. It is more difficult for an untrained mind to cope with the challenges of the modern world, as non-stop streams of information constantly attack the brain. Well-created learning tactics may have a huge difference in how quickly you read.

What causes someone to be a slow reader?

Distracting quite often, losing attention, and checking the meanings of unknown words can interfere with rapid reading. It is pivotal to be able to detect slow-reading triggers and take control of them.

Which smart person reads slowly?

Even though Bill Gates reads up to 50 books a year, he is known for his condition called dyslexia. It encompasses lots of symptoms. Difficulty in reading is one of them. As you can see, slow reading doesn’t mean poor intelligence. The most important thing is to have a high level of understanding.

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