Any Speed Readers Out There?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Ahheck01, May 18, 2010.

  1. Ahheck01 macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2006
    I'd like to know how you learned, how quickly you learned, and what you think is the most effective way to learn to speed-read. I've invested in the book Speed Reading for Dummies, but am now realizing it would be worth a larger investment into a class, if that would end up being more effective. I'd like to learn as quickly and effectively as possible, because I have a list of about 300 books I'd like to read in the next year.

    Open to suggestions!


  2. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Dunno if you can learn it. I don't consider myself a speed reader but I'm pretty quick. Harry Potter 7 in 4 hours, Jurassic Park in 1 hour etc.

    Depends on how much you need to pay full attention.
  3. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    I wanted to speed read but the book to learn was taking too long.
  4. HappyDude20 macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    i've researched it before and it really depends on how important the book is to you and what you wanna get out of it.

    With a textbook, though I should be reading every sentence i'll quickly read a 30 page chapter while a book such as harry Potter i'll read every word in each sentence; perhaps to transport myself to Hogwarts, or at the very least to immerse myself in the book.

    It's all about how involved you wanna be in the book.

    I remember reading Steve Wozniak's book iWoz in a few hours, right after reading up on Speed Reading. It was a rainy, lazy day read so it was a perfect book to try to Speed Read and it worked quite well.
  5. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    We didn't have a TV, so when I was younger, before the age of the internet, I used to read A LOT. I ended up reading pretty fast, but now I'm more used to a screen, and I notice I've slowed down quite a bit on paper. My gf, on the other hand, has a hard time reading on screen and is hence slower on screen and faster on paper.

    The only advice I can give you is read, read, read.

    That said, for a good book, I prefer the good old paper...
  6. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    The idea of speed anything is bizarre.

    To me, asking about speed reading is akin to asking about speed sex, speed eating, speed wine drinking.
    Why? Some things are too good to rush.

    As an aside, am I the only person on MacRumors who hasn't read a single Harry Potter book? Seems as if everyone and their dog has read the complete series.
  7. ethical macrumors 68000

    Dec 22, 2007
    haven't read any of the books, haven't seen any of the movies.
  8. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    I haven't either. Not one. I stopped reading books for kids a long time ago.
    I saw part of one of the movie because I was interested in the CG, and that's about it.
  9. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2008
    i sometimes do it.

    to be honest though, there's little point to it. If you have 300 books to read, whats the point of rushing through them all just to say you read them.

    Basically, you are only reading bits of sentences of each page.

    So in a typical page I would read 4-5 lines that will essentially sum up the page. You figure out where those 4-5 lines are generally located and you look for key words. At the end of the book, I would know enough to write a multi-page paper on it but I wouldnt be able to get too much into details. This is the main reason why i wonder why someone would want to do this for leisure reading.
  10. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    And if you are speed reading, can you actually enjoy them? Part of the fun of reading is being absorbed by the story, using your imagination to create the imagery, putting the work into context of the life and times of the author/setting, pondering relevance to your life and times.

    Life is about the journey, not the destination. Slow down and enjoy the read...I mean ride.
  11. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    I took a speed reading class in college years ago. I was working for a university and one of our benefits was two free classes per semester, so I would usually take any class that looked interesting. I already had my degree, so these were just for fun. I signed up for the speed reading class on a whim, but it actually turned out to be very useful.

    I wish I had taken that class earlier in my academic career. It would have been very useful in studying. The class not only raised my reading rate, but my comprehension rate. It's very useful when slogging through tech manuals or study materials for certification tests. When reading for pleasure, I usually force myself to read slower.
  12. RawBert macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2010
    North Hollywood, CA

    Ahheck01, you should look into this. I also took a speed reading class in a college (community college) on a whim. Turned out to be one of my favorite and most useful classes.
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I never knew that speed reading involved skipping words or sentences. I always assumed when learning to speed read you just learned to read and process each word more quickly. Though I could see some uses for this approach. I prefer to narrate each word in my head when reading a novel. For studying purposes I could not imagine I would obtain nearly as much detail as through reading word per word. Although in college I would spend 20 to 30 hours a week reading for 12 to 15 units of courses. Though I never had to reread anything later on, take notes while reading or highlight as everything I needed to know was retained.
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Agree entirely with the above post. I speed read, and - as with any muscle -it came about from plenty of "exercise". I read extensively as a child, teenager and adult; re speed-reading, in my case, I suspect that it may have come about from impatience to know what happened next. When I was 10, I spent a while in hospital, asked for books as gifts, and devoured everything.

    Juanm is right, and I'd suggest to the OP to read a lot, an awful lot; likewise, I agree with Juanm re paper; I much prefer reading books in paper form, and newspapers, too. Reading online takes a different - almost skimming - approach. One acquires information, but the sheer physical pleasure of reading is lost online. It's more information acquisition, not pleasure.

    Yes, you might just well be. FWIW, the HP series is excellent and comes highly recommended (as is Stieg Larsson and a few others I can name).

  15. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Same here, haven't read one. Just don't have the time and other books I would rather read.

    Speed can be great when you need to read a lot in a little bit of time, but I find it hard to go back to enjoying a book. Almost like you have to concentrate to read slower and get more involved.
  16. RudyGrow macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2009
    I get criticized for my speed reading. Being that I'm in High School, its awkward when I read 4 pages in about 5 minutes... Kids in my class would go through 4-5 books a year when i went through about 30.

    My trick is to not read the page long descriptions in novels, and for other texts, I often can guess what is in the rest of the sentence from reading the first few words.
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Even though I speed-read (above all, newspapers, fiction, almost all net based sources, and virtually all fact based texts), there are some books which require a slightly slower and more thoughtful approach (philosophy, which I studied at university and later taught, is an obvious example), as you have to actually understand what you are reading before you proceed to the next section or stage. However, my advice remains the same: read, read, and read. That is how you get up to speed....


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