Recommended Speed Reading Books?

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#1 8 April, 2011 - 18:39
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Recommended Speed Reading Books?


Has anyone here tried speed-reading? I've read a little bit about it and it seems interesting, but I think the claims are often exaggerated.

I'm currently reading Maximize Your Memory by Ramón Campayo, which has a very interesting section on speed reading. I think it's the best description of speed-reading I've seen so far. I'll write a full book review when I'm finished...

8 April, 2011 - 22:26
Yan
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I recommend this one: Breakthrough Rapid Reading by Peter Kump.

A little different from what Campayo does but highly effective all the same.

8 April, 2011 - 22:53
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Thanks -- I'll add that to my reading list.

9 April, 2011 - 08:52
Dan
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I do think speed-reading is a viable tool. I am skeptical of the of thhe claims of 1000-10,000+ words per minute. I have been looking into business-oriented speed-reading with talk about 800 words per minutes (i.e. doubling, or with lots of practice, trebling).

14 April, 2011 - 15:24
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I started out my speed reading journey from something called Photo Reading and promised reading speeds upwards of 25,000wpm (not a typo) - after trying that program and failing miserably I looked else where.

I typed in "Speed Reading" in Amazon and found two books that really caught my attention - one of which I liked better than the other.

The first one was "Speed Reading for Professionals" Barron's Guide - it was really bare bones and really a book focused more on technique rather than application.

Enter - 10 Days to Faster Reading by Abby Marks Beale - there were a few good things about this book:
1) Clear guide line (10 Days to finish it)
2) Making one aware of habits that come with reading
3) Tracking (this was key for me) my progress from start to finish. I started out at 250wpm and I am now around 600-700wpm with 80% comprehension - again it all depends on the material that you are reading - speed SHOULD decrease for material you are not familiar with.

I like the concept of the book so much that I decided to investigate more about the author and see if there coaching sessions or things of that nature that she offered - it was my luck that she came out with an online speed reading course - kind of like a workshop that you could finish at your own time.

Ofcourse I took that as well but the most beautiful part about all this was that I could email the author directly and she would get back to me in 24 hours - which I thought was amazing.

www.revitupreading.com is the website have a look and I hope this helps you!

Take Care!

14 April, 2011 - 16:06
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Interesting... What techniques does she cover?

14 April, 2011 - 16:33
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Tim Ferris wrote an article about this a couple years ago, he apparently used to teach this method in university. I've had it bookmarked for a while but have yet to put in any practice time so I can't vouch for it's validity.

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/07/30/speed-reading-and-accele...

14 April, 2011 - 18:37
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http://revitupreading.server.tracorp.com/resources/22/launch.php

Thats the demo of the online course -4 min video going over all that relates to the course.

Let me know what you think :)

14 April, 2011 - 20:00
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Check out the software call eyeQ (if you're less than 100% ethical, you can find torrents for it). It's good, it'll actually give you tests, and exercises designed to speed up your reading, and it actually works, and gives you passages to test yourself with.

On the flip side, speed reading is good for getting facts about topics that you already know about. If you want to read a fiction book for fun, but don't have a lot of time, it's great, or if you want a basic overview of a topic and are reading an intro book, it's also good, but experience has taught me, the less you know about the topic, the less you retain speedreading.

15 April, 2011 - 16:58
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I was in the local bookstore today picking up a copy of Campayo's book and decided to browse around looking for some speed reading books. There were only 4 of them, idiots guide, for dummies, coles notes and the one I picked up called "Work Smarter with Speed Reading". From the reference section it looks like the book is a summary of many other authors including Lorayne and Buzan. After I read Maximize Your Memory I'll read this book and let you know how it is.

I found the amazon link for the book, no reviews though http://www.amazon.com/Work-Smarter-Speed-Reading-Yourself/dp/007173998X

16 April, 2011 - 16:23
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Yan wrote:
I recommend this one: Breakthrough Rapid Reading by Peter Kump.

A little different from what Campayo does but highly effective all the same.

I also bought this book several months ago. I've only had the opportunity to work through a few chapters so far, but the book seems very solid. Like memory techniques, speed reading is not an overnight miracle; it takes a little work. But I think it’s something that’s very worthwhile. I’ve only applied one thing that the book told me about so far - using my finger as a guide when reading. It sounds very simplistic, but it works! I also find I’m more focused on the material when I do this as well.

16 April, 2011 - 21:48
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I hate to be the wet blanket here, but wasn't speed reading debunked decades ago?

And why race through a book in the first place? You're either reading it for pleasure or as an assignment. If the former, where's the enjoyment? Oh, I raced through that book, now on to the next one, as fast as I can! If the latter, is 50% (at best) comprehension of the overall themes enough? Sure, if you spent the semester partying and never opened the textbook, and now it's the night before the final, speed-reading a 500 page textbook might be your only hope, but I've never met anyone that that strategy ever worked for.

16 April, 2011 - 23:53
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Alex wrote:
I hate to be the wet blanket here, but wasn't speed reading debunked decades ago?

There is an interesting article about it here that was mentioned in a blog comment:
http://www.slate.com/id/74766/

I think "speed reading" as in "improving one's reading speed" exists, but I think most books and courses exaggerate the possible results. I don't think 10,000 words per minute, while retaining information, is possible.

19 April, 2011 - 17:33
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So I just tested Campayo's technique.
My baseline WPM was 210, after about 5 minutes of practicing the new technique I was up to 472 wpm. Doubled my wpm in about 5 minutes of training. The biggest obstacle is getting over the inner voice that want's to read out each word on the page. This will take some getting used to but with practice I can for see 800-1000 WPM with full comprehension being reasonable.

19 April, 2011 - 19:13
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What types of texts are you reading? Are you reading material that is in a subject you have no prior knowledge in? I would be very interested in what happens when you read a subject of which you have no (or very, very little) knowledge. For instance: a lot of us have knowledge of biology, just from background reading. But something like linguistic theory is more likely to be an isolated body of knowledge for most of us.

19 April, 2011 - 19:24
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The baseline tests were taken using the book Sway by Ori Brafman & Rom Brafman. It is a non-fiction book written in similar form to The Tipping Point or Freakonomics.
I am interested to see how these techniques can be applied to technical material with full comprehension. Recall through use of a mind map might prove useful for technical material. The one thing I will say is initially you do not think you are comprehending or retaining any information, however your subconscious is recording what you are seeing as I was able to recall most of the chapter a few hours later while driving home from the train station. So if a mind map were created for each chapter of a textbook after reading I would think it would increase comprehension and recall. When I have some time to test this theory I will let you know.

6 July, 2011 - 15:37
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I think "photoreading" is a registered trademark, a set of techniques sold as a product that boasts the mentioned 25000wpm reading speeds. The quantum quackery in photoreading is the "power of subconscious". Ludicrous claims are made that suggest your subconscious can absorb the full contents of a book by simply flicking through the pages - even if you hold the book upside down! This is a fascinating idea and I don't blame people for aspiring for such ability, but it's science fiction. Words have to be recognized to absorb the meaning. Even if you're Stephen Wiltshire I doubt you could mentally photograph the precise arrangement of symbols from a page in one second. As far as I know photoreading has been debunked.

Speed reading is just that, increasing your regular reading speed. The basic principle is increasing the "volume" of the information chunks that you absorb at a time. Most often when children learn to read they proceed letter by letter, when they progress they start to recognize words. In speed reading your recognition ability expands its scope and you learn to recognize not only words but structural patterns. For example, abundantly used logical sentence structures become simply operators that your mind uses to organize the actual substantial information. In a nutshell, speed reading is all about shape and pattern recognition, and dismissing the unsubstantial or redundant parts in the text. This can only be achieved by forcing to rid yourself of the habit of vocalizing the text in your head.

20 July, 2011 - 02:14
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I hate to be so out going so early....
however if people don't like signing up for some of the stranger sites or torrenting, this site may be of some use

http://www.eyercize.com/practice/bm_read/

and with some basic html knowledge it can be put to real use.

helping :quest: ,
Mr.Smith

20 July, 2011 - 02:42
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John Smith,

Very nice site, thank you. Recommended.

20 July, 2011 - 03:19
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Wow this site is amazing. Thanks for the link Smith

20 July, 2011 - 08:57
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Here's a nice app for iPhone and iPad that allows you to practice speed reading of public domain books: http://www.quickreader.net/

-cvstuart

3 August, 2011 - 21:29
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Yan wrote:
I recommend this one: Breakthrough Rapid Reading by Peter Kump.

A little different from what Campayo does but highly effective all the same.

I also recommend this book. I've doubled my reading rate after doing this course, and I can read comfortably at over 1000 WPM now with good comprehension. However, I'll warn you beforehand that speedreading requires more concentration than regular reading, and it's not nearly as enjoyable.

3 August, 2011 - 22:05
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Have anyone tried PHOTOREADING? Is it true? Actually i've been learning and found it difficult to follow these instructions. Highly appreciated any your experiences.

26 January, 2012 - 15:01
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I'm curious as to the why vocalising the words you are reading internally is considered a problem.

I really can't even imagine not "hearing" the words as I read them. I don't physically mouth the words as I read, but I certainly hear each individual word. What do you get to input if you don't hear the words? Do non vocalisers just get the meaning of what's been read and not hear the words at all?

Some years ago I read some of the Buzan Speed reading book. I didn't finish it for some reason, but I know my reading speed got up to about 500 wpm from about 250 even though I only got about a third of the way through.

Even so, if I want to read something "well" or quickly, I'll use a pen as pointer to guide my eyes along each line. When scanning for information I'll whip down the page very quickly once or twice for two or three seconds and the word/phrase I'm looking for generally appears. I think that's where the speed comes in useful, in finding information; when reading a book for enjoyment I sometimes use a pointer as I'm getting tired as it will stop the back-skipping and rereading, but I'll take it at a moderate pace so I can enjoy the writing.

28 January, 2012 - 08:18
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I had a chance to participate in one of Tony Buzan's mind mapping and speed reading seminars a few years ago - whilst i liked the mind mapping side - I thought the speed reading was a lot of hogwash! Most of the seminar attendees seemed to be buying into the "ohh look i can only read 200 wpm but after 30 minutes training I can read 4000 wpm" thing.
I just don't see it myself, you can maybe double your speed by applying some techniques but anything more than doubling your reading speed, comprehension and retention of what you are reading drops off exponentially the faster you go.

26 March, 2012 - 16:09
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I took Photoreading I was disappointed with it. Photoreading's developer Paul Scheele took a course called Subliminal Dynamics which was suppose to teach people to mentally photograph a page at a time. Scheele "borrowed" some on the techniques without permission to start his own program. He couldn't use all of the techniques without getting sued. The missing techniques are critical to the success of the skill. Before you run out and get the Subliminal Dynamics course, the skill requires that you are an excellent hypnotic subject capable or reaching deep trance and be capable of hypermnesia. Very few people can do that. I don't know if it is still true; Subliminal Dynamics, was a required course in a university at one time. It incorporated biofeedback techniques to achieve deep alpha or theta brainwave state. You have to maintain that state while flipping pages. Very hard to do most people come out of the state if the fumble turning the pages.

3 April, 2012 - 12:06
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It's not a book but here is a website which is actually a tool that makes you read faster. It wont train you to read faster but it will make you read faster if you use it. It uses the flashing word technique. Paste the text you want to speed read in the box and then just hit "start"
http://www.blinkread.com/

19 June, 2012 - 14:44
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I just started reading Breakthrough Rapid Reading by Peter Kump as recommended by a user above...and within about 10 minutes I can read 8% faster...It's supposedly a 6 week program but I want to finish it in about a month...so I will post again in that time for my final results

19 June, 2012 - 15:38
22 June, 2012 - 22:05
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I tried almost all speedreading programs out there including PhotoReading, Howard Berg's program, etc. and gave them at least 6 months each of testing. But after a couple of years, I decided to quit.

There's a lot of factors when it comes to reading speed and comprehension, which makes it difficult for speedreading programs to work for a lot of people. Here are some factors:
1) Your knowledge base
2) Sleep
3) Focus
4) Eye control
5) Sentence construction
6) Having English as a Second Language - I even talked over the phone with Howard Berg and I explained how his program might not work with people who don't have English as their native language. He said that it can be done through practice.
7) Slower construction of mental images that go along with the words
8) And many more.

As for PhotoReading, I'm skeptical about the hypnosis part of it that gives you a little bit of overconfidence that you can read and retain the material quickly. Yes this program has a lot of expert testimonials, but it's unknown whether it really works/ed for them. These experts are indeed successful, but correlation does not imply causation.

Conclusion: I might wait for a couple of years more and see if they will develop a scientific-based method that will increase our reading speed and comprehension. Also, I'm sticking to my normal reading speed after seeing a study on the internet wherein they say that your retention of a material increases if you read it with your eyes and hear it at the same time (subvocalization).

23 June, 2012 - 00:15
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(slightly off topic:) What is your current reading speed thealchemist?

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