I blame elementary school for this one. I actually follow along with my index finger while I read sometimes. It helps me keep my place on the page and stops my googly eyes from jutting around the page.
It's actually why I prefer to read on the Kindle. I can enlarge the font, give the book more spaces, and jab my finger down on the screen. Granted, I don't do this with every book I read. Only the long-winded ones with small fonts, like fantasy or, well, fantasy. (I think this is why I have an issue with the genre).
It actually turns out--because no one is alone on the internet and everyone is actually a dog--that I am not alone. And it really turns out that everyone should be doing this.
This blogpost is about children using their fingers to keep track. This blogpost is about speed reading, and guess what's helpful in both instances? Using a tracker to keep your place.
Regression, back-skipping, and the duration of fixations can be minimized by using a tracker and pacer. To illustrate the importance of a tracker-did you use a pen or finger when counting the number of words or lines in above baseline calculations? If you did, it was for the purpose of tracking-using a visual aid to guide fixation efficiency and accuracy. Nowhere is this more relevant than in conditioning reading speed by eliminating such inefficiencies.
Basically: it stops me from back-skipping, it helps me keeps my place, and helps me be a more efficient reader. It can make everyone a more efficient reader, because it turns out everyone has to go back and re-read things their eyes have skipped.
The untrained subject engages in regression (conscious rereading) and back-skipping (subconscious rereading via misplacement of fixation) for up to 30% of total reading time.Or maybe I just have ADHD and this is my way of keeping it under control.
Does anyone else keep track with their fingers? A bookmark? A single sheet of paper (I'm guilty of this when I get towards the end of a book I've really enjoyed)? Remember: no one is alone on the internet, and nobody knows you're really a dog.