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Breakthrough Rapid Reading Paperback – November 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0735200197 ISBN-10: 073520019X Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Press; Revised edition (November 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073520019X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735200197
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Kump, a rapid reading expert, has been Director of Peter Kump Reading Consultants for over twenty years. He has taught rapid reading to White House staff, corporate groups, and individuals. He lives in New York City.

More About the Author

Peter Kump, a rapid reading expert, has been Director of Peter Kump Reading Consultants for over twenty years. He has taught rapid reading to White House staff, corporate groups, and individuals. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

This is the book for the skeptics.
John Aguilar
I went through the book and within 3 weeks I was reading at a rate of over 800 words a minute.
E. Novak
Book is very easy to read as its straight and to the point without any "fluff".
Geo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

541 of 545 people found the following review helpful By John Noodles on July 25, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is probably the best book that I've read on speed reading. In an earlier review, I suggested that Zorn's book, "Speed Reading," was the best. It is indeed a fine book. Kump's book, however, give a more realistic idea of the kind of work it takes to boost your reading speed. Other books give a smattering of exercises--often very good ones--without emphasizing the kind of practice that is necessary, or even that you won't necessarily be able to maintain high speeds across all types of reading material.
Kump uses familiar reading exercises, and variations on them. The lessons are brief, and each lesson contains short (10-15 minutes) exercises; at the end of each lesson, you are instructed to do a series of drills. Kump wants you to spend about a week on each series of drills, and to repeat them every day. They can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more a day, depending on how much time you are willing to spend. I've found most--but not all--drills useful. The ones that were not useful to me drilled on skills I already had (recognizing levels of specificity within paragraphs, for instance).
Here's an example of one particularly useful drill. Kump has you read for 2 minutes, as fast as you can with comprehension. Then you read the same material again, trying to read a little faster, and a little further, in the same amount of time. And again. You do this four times. A variation of this is to read for 1 minute, then a little faster for another minute, and then to "practice read" (i.e., move your eyes quickly across the words, without worrying about comprehension) twice the longest passage in the same amount of time.
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140 of 144 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on December 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
I was already what was considered a pretty fast reader by its tests; in the 400wpm (words per minute) range at maximum speed. After going through the first half of the book, I was well over a thousand for the vast majority of all text. This has enabled me to go from a book or two a month to reading two or three a week, and has fundamentally changed my life. Even after the first couple of weeks I was dramatically improved, and after a couple of months of daily use, I was just flying.
On the bad side, I had trouble staying at the chapter per day pace, given a job, working on my Master's, and trying to spend time with my family. Still, I practiced, kept up with the new techniques, and continued to improve. Even though I left off just after I learned how to read at diagonals, it's stuck with me and been the best expenditure of time I've made.
I can't believe this isn't taught in school; it would've made college a completely different experience for me.
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165 of 171 people found the following review helpful By Ratmammy VINE VOICE on September 24, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started out viewing the Evelyn Wood videos (3 videos), which showed me the basic principles on speed reading. But Peter Kump's book was filled with more exercises than the three videos could have gone over with the viewer.
I found that even without the background I already had in the methods that Evelyn Wood teaches, the Peter Kump book is excellent and stands on its own. The exercises are explained thoroughly and not only does he teach rapid reading but also teaches comprehension techniques as well.
I was able to triple my speed in a matter of hours. With diligence I should be to able to increase my speed 5-fold,maybe 10-fold. The only other thing the reader should have is a timer or stop watch to help time oneself during the exercises.
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101 of 105 people found the following review helpful By AA on August 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought Breakthrough Rapid Reading (BRR) over an year ago when I wanted to read tons of technical journals and books but never had enough time. I also loved to read science fiction and fantasy as well as the news paper every day. As you can imagine, it meant that I would have to spend 4 to 5 hours each day reading all the stuff that I had to and wanted to. Mostly I had to compromise choosing tech stuff and sacrificing my love for sci-fi novels.

BRR did help me speed up. I was able to triple my reading speed as far as newspaper and novels are concerned.

Tech stuff still means that I slow down and look and understand each concept before moving on.

This is the key. This is what this book is all about.

Though it claims it will retrain your eyes and brain, all it does is to convince you to skim whenever you can. Since in most of the novels and newspaper over half the information can be skipped without losing context, you start reading, or shall I say getting through, them faster. If you want to retain information, remember what you have read, you need to slow down and read and re read sentences till you understand them.

So do not expect miracles. If you practice hard enough, you will be able to increase your reading speed by following few simple tricks in the book.

CONCLUSION: A good buy if this is your first speed reading course.
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265 of 286 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
...
It's hard to call what this book teaches "rapid reading." That phrase makes it sound exotic and unreachable. I truly believe after reading this that everyday people can learn to read at 1000+ words per minute with excellent retention.
I first read this as a 20-year-old college student. With it, I learned to clock my reading rate at 350 words-per-minute. Like most people, I read from left-to-right in "rows of corn," sub-vocalizing. Although extremely bright, I never really could enjoy extensive reading. Doing it for school was a chore.
I tried all sorts of methods for taking notes on books. I tried a tape recorder. I tried writing in the margins. I tried post-it-notes. I tried marking page sections and writing notes longhand in a separate notebook. I tried typing at my computer as I read. I'd end up with sometimes dozens of pages of notes and outlines yet not feel like I could discuss the text fluently.
This book teaches how to process text differently. Now, I relax my eyes and ideas simply flow from the words. A page in a book is no longer like a step ladder or rows of corn -- but it is like a sculpture. As a pianist, I can say that reading text for me has become like reading music. Just as I can see a sheet of music and gain an idea of the song, I can look at a written page and see ideas. Every author has a rhythm and style.
After extensive and sometimes frustrating practice, based on techniques in this book, my understanding of text has completely changed. I am much more able to understand an author's central themes. Whereas before it seemed I could only think on a scale of words and sentences, now I can easily think on a scale of sections and chapters. I have much better judgement in taking notes and feel able to discuss books that I read much more fluently.
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