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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Speed Reading (Complete Idiot's Guides (Lifestyle Paperback)) 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Speed Reading is extremely helpful in learning MANY new methods to speed reading. It's up to date to include speed reading on-screen, and offers many tips on increasing your comprehension as well. You'll learn to try out many methods to keep pace (single-finger, multiple-finger, card), and, with experimentation, can figure out which method works best for you. You also learn about picking out key words to get the main idea, while skipping the smaller, less-important words (filler). Or, if that method doesn't work well for you, there's always "though-chunking," reading words as groups. This method works best for me, and increased my reading speed because my eyes stop on 3 or 4 points per line instead of stopping to read each word in a 13-word line. In a sense, you're stretching your peripheral vision to read more than one word at a time. And the book offers many exercises on improving that.
There are a number of sample readings for you to practice on, along with space to keep track of your progress. This is very helpful to boost motivation and confidence, which the book points out is very helpful in making progress. If you feel and know you can speed read, then you will. The book offers a number of tips and strategies on how to remain focused while you read, where the best (and worst) places to read are, and how to give your eyes a rest.Read more ›
This book is not a structured course but more like a collection of tips and techniques. For example: Most speed reading resources instruct you to use a pacer as you read. In this book, the author gives 13 different variations of using your hand or a card as a pacer and tells you, "it's your job to figure out which ones work best." Surely as an expert in speed reading the author could offer better direction as to which method is most effective.
I did not find the material to be well organized. The topic on evaluating your current reading habits doesn't appear until Chapter 6 (shouldn't that be in Chapter 1?), and the section covering common bad reading habits doesn't appear until Chapter 13. "Calculating Your Reading Speed" is the last appendix in the book.
There is too much superfluous information vs. actual speed-reading techniques. There are sections on "Calming the Body and Mind," "Better Blogging," and two full chapters on "Overload Management" with advice like weeding magazines out of your collection you don't plan to read and clipping newspaper articles you want to read again. However, the section on subvocalization (sounding out words in your head while reading--a problem covered in every speed reading resource I've seen) is less than 2 pages long and offers no real advice on how to eliminate it.
There is about 40 pages of practice material in the back of the book consisting of several non-fiction articles. At the beginning of each article is the average number of words per line.Read more ›
I have gotten into the habit of using a blank index card not only as my bookmark, but also as my pacer card. I have found that this keeps me focused on what I want to read, and not what I have already read. It really does help me to keep a quicker pace while I'm reading. I tend to use this for my want-to-read pile.
For my have-to-read pile I find that I use my index finger as my pacer. I can get into a steady rhythm and that helps me to keep moving along with what I'm reading. That combined with sitting up straight and a quite place, has increased my speed and comprehension.
What I liked best about the book, aside from the tidbits of info contained in the speed tips, speed secrets and speed bumps, is that there is not just one method to read faster, but several. The book presents many options and lets you decide what works best for you. And "Speed Reading" gives you a variety of articles to use to test you effectiveness with the different methods. It has everything you need to track your speed reading progress.
"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Speed Reading" is destined to a classic, much like "Elements of Style" by Strunk & White. It is something that everyone can benefit from, young and old alike. It would make a great gift for someone going off to school, going back to school or graduating from school. And anyone who likes to read for that matter. If you can read this book and master the techniques, just imagine what you can read...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best book on the subject that I have come across so far.
Friendly, engaging, easy to read and to put into practice.
The most practical book on speed reading I have ever read. This is my fifth book on the subject. Other books taught me to read faster,but comprehension suffered. Read morePublished on March 30, 2014 by gum_shoe
This book and the book 'speed reading for dummies' are fairly good books on speed reading.
Read only those chapters that seem interesting.
This book was written by two professionals in the field of speed reading with more than 40 years of experience and research combined. Read morePublished on January 16, 2014 by Ractery
Very disappointing. This book seems to be the type of material one would read in little bits in magazines. A lot of it is common sense, behavior modification type advice.Published on January 11, 2014 by Heather Anne
This book is solid unfortunately I've only skimmed over it since I've gotten redonkulously over zealous with trying to read a lot of technique books in order to improve myself,... Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by Nathaniel Blakemore
I just finished reading this book yesterday, and my reading speed tripled from 288 words per minute to 849. Read morePublished on July 25, 2012 by An aspiring animator