This post is part of a four-part series called, The Three Books Needed to Shatter School. If you haven’t read the first post, click here!
1. Breakthrough Rapid Reading by Peter Kump
This book is life-changing. I am not simply saying this. I may make big claims on this website, but I can back them up. This book explodes your efficiency in reading. It is as if everyone has a fifth-grade reading skill and this changes it to a PHD reading skill.
Many of the problems that people have in reading today include not being able to focus, not remembering what they read on the last page, reading slowly, and not efficiently reading books in order to suck information out of them in the quickest and most effective way.
This book slaughters all of these problems. I can say that I have learned how to never have these problems again (even though I could still read a little faster). I had spent two years practicing speed reading before I nailed it, and now I can give you some tips on how to do it in much less time and not make the mistakes that I did.
Before I do this, I could give you an example of the things speed reading has allowed me to accomplish. As I stated before, it has helped me to read (in many cases) up to 1200 words per minute (so far). This is the equivalent of four pages a minute. It also helped me read Benny Lewis’ Fluent in the Months (a book with over 200 pages) in under 2 hours. My partner in computer science class used to freak out because I would read the instructions and then be waiting on him. I was also able to read a ton of books from the library very quickly as I was able to prioritize and blast through books efficiently. I COULD NOT IMAGINE READING WITHOUT THIS SKILL. It is so pivotal to a life of reading. If you value your time, and therefore your life, you owe it to yourself to learn this skill.
Here are my following tips on how to learn speed reading without making the same mistakes as I did. I’ll put the most important one first. This book will teach you that one of the most important parts of speed reading is using your finger to pace your eyes. This is pivotal. It took me a couple years to fully realize one thing. When you use your finger, literally, almost watch your finger. It should be as if a string was tied from your eyes to your finger. It is tempting as one learns to use the finger as a pacer to kind of follow it while looking around a bit. I learned that this dramatically affects your reading. If you want to use this technique in its most effective way, really follow your finger with your eyes. The rest should fall in place while you read the book. Secondly, the drills are great, but I also learned that sometimes they advance you too slowly. I moved from a horizontal line by line reading of books (figure 1) to a diagonal line by line reading rather quickly (figure 2). There were some intermediate steps, but I didn’t find them helpful.
Anyway, happy reading! Feel free to let me know here what you think and how those drills are coming!