Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Speed Reading - Part I

1. What is the essence of Speed Reading?

Speed Reading is about reading and comprehending any materials quickly and efficiently. There are two main aspects to speed reading:

(a) Speed in reading any written material; and
(b) Comprehension of the material being read.

Obviously, it’s no good if you can read at a rate of 1,000 words per minute and understand ZILCH (ZERO) of what you are reading. On the other, some people read at 10 words per minute and still don’t understand what they are reading anyway. :)

Effective Reading Speed = Words Read Per Minute (WPM) * Comprehension Level

For example, if I can read 500 words per minute with a comprehension level of 90% (i.e. answer 9 out of 10 questions correctly), my effective reading speed:
= 500 WPM * 90% = 450 WPM

2. Why should I learn it? How do I begin?

Let me ask you some questions first:
• Do you plan to go for further studies on a part time basis?
• Do you have a pile of books sitting at a corner in your home gathering dust?
• Do you keep telling yourself that you are going to read those books, someday?
• Do you have loads of written materials (articles, books, accounting standards etc.) that you need to read to keep yourself up-to-date (but never seem to have time to do so)?
• Do you have exams coming up soon and have a gargantuan pile of materials you need to understand and memorize within a month?

If your answers to any of the above if YES, then maybe it’s time to look around and see if there’s a faster way to read and understand written materials. Doesn't it seem surprising to you that some people can read books fast and understand most of what they've read? What makes them so special? The answer is simple - SPEED READING!

How do you begin? Well, I’ll be blogging on speed reading once a week. So, do drop by and you can join me on a step by step process to learn speed reading. Sounds good?

3. How much time do I need to spend?
Realistically, you only need to spend approximately one to two hours a week to start on speed reading. If you are reading at a rate of less than 100 words per minute, you should see a marked improvement after the initial two months.

4. How is it going to help me achieve my goals in life?
Knowledge is Power. There are so much written materials out there written by people with vast experience. If we can just tap into some of their wisdom and experience, it will make us better people and equip us with the knowledge to deal with life. I believe this will also help you achieve your goals in life.

5. What are the best materials on Speed Reading?
Videos – EyeQ by Dr. Akihiro Kawamura
Books - How to Read a Book by Mortime J. Adler and Charles Van Doren

If you want to learn speed reading the easy way, then you are welcome to join me and we can do it together. Alternatively, do yourself a favour and buy the book above. A little investment can go a long way, especially when it comes to speed reading!



I think this way of speed reading is a little outdated. It involves moving your eye ball really fast to read some thing. There is a newer way which is much more effective and higher retention rate.


Hihi! Thanks for posting your comments.
If you are thinking about syntoptical reading (aka Photo Reading), I'm also looking into this.

However, that's for later posts. Still, syntoptical reading is not reading proven yet, so I need to practice before I post it.


I think i need to upgrade myself on speed reading, how do I start with?


Dear Simon,

You can try applying what I've written in my posts slowly, one step at a time. Improvement only comes with practice.

Of course, the easier alternative is to get the EyeQ software, which I'm sure you'll be able to.

Speed Reading is actually a bit misleading. There are different types of reading for different purpose, which you'll find in later posts. Overall, there are 4 stages of reading.

Hope my advice helps a bit.


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