Reading below the words

This is just a quick post to point out how Bates habits for seeing clearly will usually work even when they don’t make sense.  The vision habit I want to talk about today is how he said to read.  Bates said you will not strain when reading if you focus your vision on the imagined white line under words (for black text on a white background).

This line is not really there, but when you look at text with relaxed vision you see this “illusion” of a bright white line directly below the black ink of the letters; the imagined line is a brighter white than the actual white of the page.  Just as looking at a plain monochromatic surface creates no visual strain, looking at this pure white line rather than the detailed words is supposed to let you read without strain.  Anyway, I experienced this while studying with my Bible this morning.

Without my glasses, I usually need to bring text about one foot from my face to read it clearly.  This obviously isn’t comfortable, so I tried moving the book further away.  I remembered Bates’ recommendation to look for the white line underneath words in order to read them without strain.  I looked underneath the words (which were blurry) and noticed the space directly below them did seem to be a brighter white than the rest of the page.  I then moved my point of focus down the sentence while doing my best to stay on this thin white line.  Doing this, I was able to clear up the text and read it pretty accurately.  This was at about two feet from my face- twice my normal distance and in range of those who see clearly.

Reading this way felt weird as it makes the most sense to me that I need to look directly at the letters in order to make out their details.  However, reading Bates’ way clears up the words while reading my way keeps them blurry.  So, I will work on making a habit of always reading this way when my glasses are off.

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2 thoughts on “Reading below the words

  1. FIAT LUX says:

    I have been doing this off and on for a bit and it is definitely interesting. Actually when I last picked up starting reading that way it was last week during my bible reading as well! 🙂

    • mark825 says:

      Nice 🙂 The Bible is probably an optimum for me (as it may be for you) since I enjoy reading it and find it interesting. My glasses are usually off when I read it, so I’ll continue to practice this way of looking at the text.

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