T Nation

Speed Reading Courses

I have a question for the T-Nation. Upon arriving home yesterday from the library, I stared at the collection of nearly 16 books stacked in my apartment and realized “I can’t read all these in one month!”

Now, does anyone have any preferences or recommendations for speed reading courses they’ve taken or used? I have been reading quite a bit more lately, and can’t help but think a little more speed wouldn’t hurt. If anyone out there has any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks!

Stay strong

Tony Buzan has a course that’s available at the library, and I have an e-book of the Evelyn Wood method. Almost all of the methods boil down to this: don’t subvocalize (hear the words in your mind as you read them). You’re supposed to read “visually.” Honestly, I think just about all of the courses are bunk… they almost always say that you wouldn’t want to use the method for “pleasure reading” nor for reading material “with which you are unfamiliar.” Which sounds to me like all you have left are books you’ve already read.

Now, you can train your eyes to move faster on the page, and I think that’s probably the best thing you can do. Anything beyond that, according to the research, is about as effective as skimming. Interestingly, if you’ve heard anything about Paul Scheele’s “Photoreading” course, I read a government report recently that studied it in depth. They figured it would be excellent for training, if it were effective. Turns out that people that take the course end up scoring lower on comprehension than the control group, though they personally report higher comprehension than the control group. Their confidence inflates past their actual performance.

Assuming it is non-fiction, here is a pretty good article on how to improve reading time/comprehension for non-fiction reads. Mainly geared towards the graduate student, but useful nonetheless: