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Speed Reading for Professionals (Barron's Business Success Series) Paperback – January 1, 2006
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The biggest disappointment in this book was that it focuses on using a pacer to guide your speed. This is essentially tracing down the page following the end of a pen or your finger. I don't like pacers so I wasn't thrilled to attempt many of the techniques.
For someone that needs to boost their speed "now" I would recommend this for the average person who hasn't really delved into speed-reading before. However, for the person who is willing to work and really wants to take off, I can't recommend this book. I have buyers regret and wish I didn't buy this as their wasn't anything new for me.
So far i can only recommend "Triple your Reading Speed" by Wade Cutler.
I have read a dozen of speed reading guides along the years; "Speed Reading for Professionals", definitely stands out chiefly because it is straightforward, easy to understand and short. This guide doesn't offer any world changing techniques of how to read 900 words per minute. However, with minimal practice an average speed reader can rather easily increase his reading speed to around 400-470 words per minute.
I was not a beginner with speed reading and still found ways to make my reading even faster.
And i love that it doesn't cost much and actually works wonders!
1: The Speed Reading Aventure Begins (a pep talk)
2: Understanding Why We Read Slowly--And How to Change (a little theory)
3: Learn to Jog, not Walk, through Your Reading (the basics)
4: Learn to Run, not Jog ... (adding some bells and whistles)
5: Learn to Sprint, not Run ... (kicking it into overdrive)
6: Understanding and Remembering What You Read (a presentation of the "Fistnote" technique for retention)
Appendix A: A syllabus for a company in-service on speed reading.
Each chapter gives a clear, concise how-to on the performance of the technique and exercises to perfect the techniques. As the student gains skill and confidence with each technique, the following chapter presents more advanced techniques.
Geared for the busy professional, and an excellent expenditure of funds for anyone wanting to increase reading speed. This is the second speed reading book I've read. "Remember Everything You Read" was the first. Previously I read about 2-3 books per week, mostly nonfiction. I'm reading one per day now. I'll probably burn out on that pace in a couple of weeks, but so far it's been great.
FOOTNOTE: After about a month, I burned out on the rapid pace of reading a book a day. Someone once told me that when you speed read, you "coil up with a good book," and that is an accurate assessment. I'm still reading much faster than before, but slowing down some has improved my enjoyment of reading.
For example, this book helped me determine that one of my problems is subvocalization and showed me why this is slowing down my reading speed; unfortunately, the book says very little about how to stop doing it (and I did look carefully, including in the index).
I think this book did help me a little, and I know what I need to do to improve my reading speed, but I'm going to have to read another book to figure out how to apply that knowledge. This book will probably be helpful if you already have some speed reading background; otherwise you may just find it frustrating.
Did I start to read faster? Yes and no
I could steadily improve from 240wpm to 340wpm. I have a book of short articles around 860 words each so it was easy to track my progress.
First, it requires a lot of attention; not sure I'd be able to keep that pace for longer pieces
Second, that's not a breath-taking achievement - slightly less than 1.5 times
Third, the pace hugely depends on what you're reading ( at times I was able to get up to 540wpm and fell back again to 240wpm when the text became denser )
Fourth, the improvement was due to the fact I certainly realized what holds me back ( regression,subvocalization,lack of focus) and some suggested techniques ( pacing with a pencil and identation ). All other techiques were not elaborated sufficiently and were lost on me ( reading in z-pattern etc. )
Strangely enough, this book doesn't have any timed exercises, only text to practice your speed-reading without timing.