If you’re like me, the claims of speed reading courses rank right up there with magic beans and political promises. Too bad. Speed reading won’t enable you to read the RandomHouse unabridged dictionary in ten minutes with perfect comprehension. However, it can easily help you read three or four times faster while keeping pretty good comprehension.
You’ll notice I’m not selling a speed reading course. No ulterior motives here. I’ve just seen what a little training and practice can do. My reading speed about five years ago was around 150 words per minute. Now it’s closer to 500. That means what used to take me three hours to read I can now read in less than an hour!
That increase came from consistently practicing some techniques that are freely available on the web. I practiced three or four times per week, thirty minutes at a time, for about two months, and that investment has paid off a hundred times over with my increased reading speed.
Invest the time now. You’ll be glad you did!
WARNING: In my experience there is still some comprehension loss when reading much faster, however, it’s worth it for many of the things I read. If I’m doing a reading comprehension passage for the GRE or SAT, however, I still slow down, sub-vocalize, and reread as necessary!
Reposted from Oct. 3, 2008