Speedreading for More Time and Knowledge

January 26, 2010 at 6:41 PM (Productivity) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Speedreading is a skill than many seek, but few acquire.  The ability to consume large amounts of information very quickly is something I’ve striven for for years.  I have made some good progress too.  When I was about 14 I started researching speedreading and found my current speed was about 120 words per minute (wpm).  After now 8 years and a number of different programs and books I have made some good progress.  I’m no where near the 1000+wpm that many programs claim, but I have gone from 120 wpm, to about 300 wpm.  Now it takes me about 20-25 minutes to read 20 pages of a book, instead of an hour+.  I call that a win.

I recently downloaded another program for my iPhone that I believe is the most effective method I’ve tried to date.  It’s called Quickreader.  In the last week I’ve gone from about 300 wpm to 380 wpm.  For one week that’s pretty good.  It only cost me $4.99 and came with 28 complete books.  This is how I have made it most effective for me.

Compiling some of what I’ve read in other books on speed reading, I came up with a drills that takes ten minutes per day and is extremely effective.  After you’ve established your starting speed, subtract about 20-30 and that is the starting speed of your training.  So if you tested yourself and were clocked at 250 wpm, then you will start your training at about 220 wpm.  Use some sort of timer, and use the guided reading for one minute.  Once your minute is up, take one minute to rest your eyes, and increase your speed by 10% of your clocked speed, rounded down to the nearest 5, in this case 25 wpm.  So your second round speed will be 245 wpm.  Go through another reading session of one minute, starting at the same starting point as round one.  Starting at the same point and reading the same text over and over helps your body build confidence in reading faster.  You will repeat for a total of five, one minute sessions.  So if you start with 220 wpm, you will finish with 320 wpm.

What also makes this particular resource even better is the tracer that it uses to train your eyes.  It offers a variety of different options (see right), but the best option, in my humble opinion, is the short overline.  My reasoning is that it keeps your focus on the space above the text, which allows you to use your peripheral vision better, and ultimately absorb more text at one time.  The second reason is that when using three stops per line or less, it forces you to start reading a line two to three words in and finish two to three words before the end.  This helps minimize eye fixations, and maximize your words per minute.

By setting my QuickReader up this way, and using it for ten minutes per day I’ve added 80 wpm in less than a week.  I hope it helps you as it has helped me.  God Bless.

Additional Resources for Speedreading:

Quickreader Website

Teach Yourself Speedreading by Tina Konstant

Triple Your Reading Speed by Wade Cutler

Remember Everything You Read: The Evelyn Wood 7-Day Speed Reading & Learning Program

Scientific Speed Reading from the 4-Hour Workweek Blog


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