Five types of reading

Scanning type of reading

For example, scanning a telephone book:

Skimming type of reading

When you read quickly to gain a general impression as to whether the text is of use to you. You are not necessarily searching for a specific item and key words. Skimming provides an 'overview' of the text. Skimming is useful to look at chapter/section headings, summaries and opening paragraphs. The purpose of skimming:

Light type of reading

Reading for leisure tends to be 'light':

An average light reading speed is 100-200 words per minute. This form of reading does not generally require detailed concentration.

Word by word type reading

This type of reading is time consuming and demands a high level of concentration. Some material is not readily understood and so requires a slow and careful analytical read. People use this type of reading for unfamiliar words and concepts, scientific formulae. It can take up to an hour just to read a few lines of text.

Reading to study type of reading

A method of reading for study is called SQ3R2, (SQ3R, SQ4R, PSQ5R) the aim is to understand the material in some depth. The method involves five simple steps; Survey, Question, Read, Recall and Review.