In the modern age of information, reading truly is a fundamental survival skill. Here are ten tips that anyone can use to improve their reading skills:

1. You don't have to be a great reader to get the point.

Some people read fast and remember everything. Others read slowly and take a couple of times to get all the information. It doesn't matter, really, so long as when you read, you get the information you're seeking.

2. Know WHY you're reading.

Are you reading for entertainment or to learn something? Decide why you're reading before you start and you'll greatly improve your comprehension and your enjoyment.

3. You don't need to read everything.

Not every magazine, letter, and email you receive contains information you need. In fact, most of it is simply junk. Throw it away, hit the delete key! Just doing this will double the amount of time you have available to read.

4. You don't need to read all of what you DO read.

Do you read every article of every magazine, every chapter of every book? If so, you're probably spending a lot of time reading stuff you don't need.

Be choosy: select the chapters and articles that are important. Ignore the rest.

5. Scan before you read.

Look at the table of contents, index, topic headers, photo captions, etc. These will help you determine if, a) you have a real interest in this reading, and b) what information you're likely to get from it.

6. Prioritize your reading.

You can't read everything all at once (and wouldn't want to). If it's important, read it now. If it's not, let it wait.

7. Optimize your reading environment.

You'll read faster and comprehend more if you read in an environment that's comfortable for you.

8. Once you start, don't stop!

Read each item straight through. If you finish and have questions, go back and re-read the pertinent sections. If you don't have questions, you got what you needed and are ready to move on.

9. Focus.

Remember, you're reading with a purpose, so focus on that purpose and the material. If you lose interest or keep losing your place, take a break or read something else. You can keep track of where you are by following along with your hand. This simple technique helps you focus and increase your concentration.

10. Practice!

The more you read, the better reader you'll become (and smarter, too)! So, feed your mind: read!

Author's Bio: 

Jim M. Allen is a life, career, & business coach -- and an avid reader. For more success tips, visit his website, or subscribe to his newsletter by sending a blank email to: