Don’t let your eyes wander
Reduce the time it takes your eyes to get through each line of text by performing (and eventually perfecting) a fluid, rhythmic vision swipe from left to right. An easy hack to get into the swing of this: Start on the third word of each line, and finish on the third from the end—peripheral vision will handle the rest.
Use your finger or a pen to force your eyes to move faster than they naturally want to. This will help eliminate subvocalization, the natural instinct to internally narrate each word to yourself. Your brain can process information much faster than you're able to speak it (aloud or to yourself), so make your eyes to move faster and your comprehension will kick into high gear.
Strategize your skimming
If you want to skim a long article, try reading all headlines and sub-headers first, then the introduction, conclusion, and the first line of each paragraph—in that order.
Keep moving forward
If you don't understand a word or thought, just barrel ahead. Chances are good that you'll absorb what you need to know through context.
Not quite ready to tackle "War and Peace" just yet? Scope out Birchbox Man's ever-growing essential reading list for some sweet long reads...that are on the shorter side.