Posted by: fathersez | November 20, 2007

Cool skills to learn/Habits to form for personal development – Speed Reading

Today’s installment is on “speed reading.” 

Whenever, I go through the Simple Dollar’s book reviews, I wonder how he gets the discipline, energy and time to be able to read and write an in depth review of one book a week.  

The Simple Dollar modestly says that “he has taught himself to read quite quickly.” Well, I say that, the Simple Dollar clearly seems to be an accomplished speed reader.

I like YourDictionary.com’s simple definition of speed reading as a technique for reading texts at an extremely rapid rate with adequate comprehension. 

MindTools.com, an online resource for management, leadership and career training has this to say about speed reading.

Speed Reading helps you to read and understand text more quickly. It is an essential skill in any environment where you have to master large volumes of information quickly, as is the norm in fast-moving professional environments. And it’s a key technique to learn if you suffer from “Information Overload.”

In most executive or management level jobs, there is an awful amount of things to read. Manuals, memos, office email, letters, reviews of our products, reviews of other people’s competing products, industry updates…..well, you get the idea. 

Then there is the need to stimulate our minds by reading non work related stuff such as autobiographies, history, current news, religious / spiritual reading, etc.  

Then comes the reading of “fun books / magazines / articles.” Reading about our hobbies and fiction novels come under this classification. 

Even for those of us who actually want to read, this would take an awful amount of time.  

It’s no wonder that, many of us just give up and this is shown in some of the available reading statistics. See here and here.

Maybe, just maybe, this also stops us from reading and understanding some really important stuff.

Why don’t we learn speed reading? Whilst this may not completely eliminate the pressure of reading the tons of stuff that comes our way, in this information overload society, this skill will at least reduce this pressure. (The other skill is of course, to send the useless bits to the waste paper basket immediately.)  

There are lots of resources available for us to learn speed reading. Some are free, like that offered by Wikihow, a free collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest and highest quality how-to manual. They have a section on “How to learn Speed Reading.” 

Others can be learnt from CD’s, books and audio tapes that you have to buy. 

This investment should bring about ROI’s that should make any VC drool.  

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Responses

  1. I’ve tried to learn to read faster. But yet seeing any real success. When I read fast, my mind just couldn’t digest the information.
    Thanks for recommendation to the Wikihow page.

  2. You are welcome.

    I suppose, we just have to keep away at it till we get to a level of equilibrium.

    Happy to learn that you found the post useful.


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