Thursday, July 23, 2009

Speed-reading update.

I have been trying to follow the book in the designated pace and although I can show some more impressive numbers already, I’m not sure I’ve become a better reader just yet. :) I'm experiencing some slight problems with the main technique, which is to use your hand as a pacer as you go down the lines. That is, your hand should stop you from looking back and forcing you to continue ahead. For me, this is rather painful, even though I use a pen instead to minimize the movement. Because of this, I don't practice as much as I probably should. After today's exercises, I do seem to have improved my reading of easier material. The book tells you what sort of material you should use for different exercises, and right now you are supposed to use easier material, so I am using historical Swedish fiction, a book called "Livläkarens besök" by Per Olov Enquist, which deals with Denmark. The first time I read in this book, I managed 350 words per minute, while making an effort. I did not make a great effort for my 240 words of English nonfiction. Now, when reading this easier book and making an effort, I'm at 530 words per minute.

There is of course a great difference between reading in a relaxed manner and reading while making an effort to speed things up. I am Evidently not only interested in reading fast, I also want to understand what I read and I am definitely interested in actually remembering it. Right now, I don't see how those things are supposed to improve by reading faster, but I guess that will come later in the book. This is, after all, just lesson four or something like that.


  1. Stop getting caught up in the details. I hate using a pacer, I think I only tried it once or twice. 530 wpm is still pretty awesome. Keep up the good work. Stop thinking about it as a mission/chore/exercise. It's just a game,a nifty trick and don't stress about things. I didn't even do half the exercises in that book, only the ones which looked interesting to me. You'll probably come out of it reading faster than I do...

  2. The author repeatedly points out that not using your hand is a bad idea.I do notice that I read faster when I use my hand, I'm just no good at making myself proceed without it.

    I think it's in my nature to take everything I do very seriously :-) However, if this thing succeeds it would just be a bonus. It's not that big of a deal, I have after all managed so far with my slow rate.

  3. Soumeone who has no idea about average reading speed would think that you had fallen from an apple - on your head - and that you now have reading problems :) Your next level is actually described as that of "possibly a top-class scholar or high-achieving business person. Typical of someone who has completed a high-quality reading improvement program."

    Could you please mention the full title of the book and perhaps describe your exercises (so that we slow-reading mortals don't have to buy it).

  4. Well, with that speed I am not really happy with my level of understanding. There is still lots of improvement to make until I can actually claim to read comfortably at over 500 words per minute. ;)
    This is the book,