Reasons Why Some People Read Slowly

Reasons Why Some People Read Slowly

Do you ever wonder why some people can go through books so rapidly, and others take forever to finish a thin paperback novel?


Is the ability to read at an increased pace something that a person is born with or something that they develop over time? And what about that super slow reader is there still hope for them?

Well, to go back to the source of this issue, it has been assessed by reading experts that the way we learn to read as a child directly affects the type of readers we become in the future.

It is usually during childhood that we form bad reading habits that we carry on to our adulthood. This contributes to why some people are slow readers.

One of the earliest ways children learn how to read is through subvocalization. This is when you read the words that you hear out loud in your head. Some people even mouth out the words to themselves. Reading experts say that this is how we learn to develop comprehension, and absorb the information we are receiving.

Certain words are so familiar to us that we don’t even unconsciously subvocalize. This is because we naturally make the connection with the meanings of these words since they are so familiar to us. Some examples of these words are: brand name products we are familiar with, road signs, etc.

Individuals who want to try to read faster consciously make an effort to lessen their subvocalization during reading. The average reading speed of a person is around 250 words per minute accompanied by a reading comprehension level of around 60%.

Some of the bad reading habits that individuals possess they have nurtured over a lifetime. Being taught by a slow reader is especially detrimental to a child since he or she might pass on some bad reading habits to the child.

Some bad reading habits include:

Vocalizing while reading. Basically this means reading the words out loud.

Reading a text one word at a time. Not only does this decrease a person’s reading speed. Also, it has been said by reading experts that reading word by word decreases a reader’s understanding of the material. Reading words by grouping expand a reader’s understanding of the text as a whole.

Regressing. This means going back to reread words, or sentences that have been read because it has become a habit, and not because of necessity. This accounts a great deal as to why some individuals are slow readers.

Another thing that contributes to a child becoming a slow reader is fostering a negative attitude towards reading. Thinking that reading is boring, or that watching a movie, or playing video games instead of reading is not going to help a child read any faster.

A child will just become restless and anxious to get the task of reading over with if he or she is burdened with this type of mentality.

If this type of attitude does not get corrected, a child would grow up harboring these negative feelings toward reading.

Most children start learning how to read at around 6 or 7 years of age. It is important that the child is not forced to learn how to read until he or she is ready, because this will add an additional burden and frustration to the child, which may result in reading problems.

Most people who are slow readers are not so because they lack the ability to read faster. It is because of these bad habits that they have formed over the years that they have learned to become slow readers.

Luckily, this is a problem that can be remedied. By breaking these bad reading habits, slow readers can slowly become faster readers!

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

10 Comments

  1. Sandra Reply

    I believe you do not know about slow readers….also may have a reading (habit) of getting sleepy tying to read, has difficulty staying focused. The black letters well blur a readers a ability to read on white backgrounds. I toke a Reading class in college and my instructor asked us all you loved, or hated to read. Those who hated to read, she did a color test. She had light clear colored plastic sheets that one could combine the different colors that were pleasant on their eyes. Had a huge impact on their ability to read, understand and comprehend what that person is learning.

    1. Neelam

      Yes I have the same problem now I understand why I get blur images and loosing focus and all thanks for the information.

  2. Jeannie Reply

    Off course, one problem with this article, is it doesn’t offer up a solution to help rid one of these habits, nor does it give any lessons or tools to learn to read faster.

  3. Dianne Adams Reply

    I?m a slow reader. I don?t completely understand why I read slowly, I have had an experience that helped shed some light on the reading thinking process.
    I had the opportunity to learn a foreign language at 21 years old. I was a missionary and studied the Korean language for 2 months in Utah and then went to Korea and lived there for 16 months. The Korean alphabet is logical and consistent and I immediately fell in love with it. Reading it was easy. Memorizing the vocabulary was a completely different story. I and the other missionaries in the 2 month program studied the language all day. One day as we were studying Korean & taking turns reading out loud, I noticed I could pass them up on their reading passage. It was my turn eventually and everyone noticed that my ability to read exceeded everyone in the class. I had NEVER had any kind of experience like that. I believe my ability might have been because I look at each word when I read in English. Sounding them out was a habit that helped when learning the phonics of the Korean language too. People who are exceptional sight readers were ?slower readers? to me as we practiced the Korean language. I believe it was due to sight reading habits vs sounding simple words out was the big difference.

  4. Kim Watson Reply

    I only have problems when a book is rambling in the beginning and I’m waiting for something good to happen. I will start thinking about something else while Im still reading , even a whole page and not know what I read but I will remember some of the words so I know something was going on.
    I may or may not have AADD.
    If its a really good book, I will disappear into that book and not comprehend anything that is going on around me even when I turn a page.
    Those are the books that you never want to finish and I can read in a day.
    Im am 59 1/2 years old so I guess I have a handle on how I want read but a really good book is exhilarated.

  5. Liliy Reply

    I am a really slow reader and Im about to do my GCSEs next year and I am really worried about it, for some reason I dont qualify for extra time even though I have never finished an English exam in my life because I struggle so much to read the question fast enough and then I take along time to write it down, and it is not like I dont know what Im on about, I am scribbling down everything I know as quick as possible but I just cant do it in the time at all. I have tried to speak to my teacher but she isnt someone you can talk to about because she just has ago at me. I really need help but I just dont know how to read fast. It takes me about a year to finish a book aswell, Ive had this book since September and I read it 5times a week minimum and Im only halfway through and its april. Someone please help me.

    1. Brittney Ricks

      Perhaps talk to a councilor at your school? If that gets you nowhere, tell your family that you feel like you need to see a specialist about possibly having a learning disorder/disability; it is best to fix such things while you are young and still in grade school if possible, so that you can have time to learn techniques that will benefit you for the rest of your life. I was diagnosed with a learning difficulty in college and never had time to learn techniques that could’ve helped me.

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