1. Enlarge Your Vocabulary
In my opinion, this is the single most important requisite for reading. If you don't understand a key term or two, the work quickly becomes incomprehensible. Unfortunately, the only way to acquire a decent vocabulary is by reading. However, reading alone will not help. Use a dictionary to look up any words you don't know. It may be quite a learning curve at the get-go, but soon you won't need to use the darned thing at all, especially as words start to acquire meaning through context.
2. Eliminate Sub-Vocalization
One of the greatest inhibitors to reading is speaking. Often as people read they make the word sound, either with their mouth, or in their head. Since you're reading the text, and not performing it, eliminate this sub-vocalization. Personally, this was the hardest bad habit for me to break. If you can't seem to stop `hearing' the words, try focusing on key words and meaningful concepts to force yourself to read faster. If you can force your mind to pay attention, your speed will increase, as well as your comprehension.
3. Limit Points of Fixation
Your eye must be still in order to comprehend information. As you read, it jumps quickly from point to point along the line you read. Unfortunately, much of our reading is redundant. For example, the average reader will read, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness..." with the following point of focus: was, best, times, was, worst, times, was, age, wisdom, was, age, foolishness." Unfortunately, this is incredibly redundant. Your peripheral vision takes in much more than two or three words. So on the first reading stop, it picked up, "It was the best..." Unfortunately, the second stop picked up, "was the best of times..." Rather, one should read the phrase selecting: best, worst, age, age. With this simple adjustment, we reduced reading time by roughly two thirds.
4. Use a Pointer
Using the point of a finger, or the end of a bookmark, can rapidly increase your average words per minute. However, using a pointer in the wrong way can significantly decrease your average words per minute. Do not trace under every word with your pointer. Rather, trace down the center of the text. This helps train your eye to stay towards the center of the page, and helps decrease points of fixation. Furthermore, it helps avoid re-reading passages, because your pointer will not allow you to return to previous phrases. Train yourself to keep your eyes on or near your pointer, and don't let them return to previous lines. This also assists in comprehension, because completing paragraphs sooner allows the entire paragraph to `glom' while in short-term memory.
When you set out on a car trip, if you don't know where you're going, you won't get there very fast. When reading a book, knowing where you're about to go is also important. Whenever I pick up a new book, I skim it in five to ten minutes. Read the jacket of the book, skim the preface and introduction, and read the last few pages to get the conclusion. Sometimes I scan the index, and I always skim the glossary if there is one. Finally, skim the entire book at the rate of 2-3 seconds per page (sometimes longer if there are interesting graphics). Once you finish this stage, you must decide whether or not the book is worth reading. Sometimes it's not: put it back on the bookshelf, give it to a friend, or file it for future reference.
Skim the entire book at a slower rate, somewhere between four and ten seconds per page. Look for structure and organization as well as key concepts. Often, the best way to tell key concepts is by recognizing repeated phrases, graphics, and typefaces. Once you finish previewing, write a quick summary of the book, not to exceed one-half a page. This helps solidify the thesis and supporting evidence in your mind. Sometimes a book can be left at this stage, or specific chapters may be reviewed in depth, while the rest is left untouched.
As you dive into the book for a thorough reading, much of what you now examine is readily intelligible. Preview each chapter again, spending a half a dozen seconds on each page. As you read, read every phrase as fast as comfortable. If you have any notes, place them in the margin, but don't underline the text. If you want to mark a passage, but you don't have any notes, place a simple check mark in the margin even with the passage.
8. Post-view Immediately
Re-read the marked sections of the text. Write a small (one to four sentences) summary at the beginning of the chapter. If you ever need to return to the text, the information is much more easily found with summary markings.
As with any skill, reading gets better with practice. It may be hard at first, especially if you have a weak vocabulary or poor habits deeply entrenched. If you keep practicing, the going gets easier, and you'll be reading faster than you ever thought possible. Reading fast makes reading more enjoyable, and allows for better comprehension. Remember: some books are easier to read quickly than others. I don't think Kant can be read at seven hundred and fifty words per minute, no matter who you are.