The former National Director of Education for Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics. presents his do-it-yourself program for increasing reading speed and boosting comprehension. This program distills fundamental principles and skills chat can be learned at home with the help of the drills and exercises provided. And because it lets readers choose their own materials and set their own pace, it's the ideal method for busy people juggling a full schedule.
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Although there are few tips and tricks to speed reading in this book, I feel it is somewhat fluffy and over-promising.The following main points are the ideas that I only see of value and of proven results for boosting one's WPM rate, but not to the far extent that the author promises:1. Use your hand as a pacer. However, I found using a pencil is pretty more efficient especially in reading small paperback books.2. Avoid regression (re-reading sentences/words) as much as you can. The pacer really helps in that.3. Push beyond your limits just a little, in increments. Do not rush or even drill as, to me, drilling without comprehension is of no value at all.4. Read, read, and read. Make it a habit every day. Speed reading is only achieved by diligent practice.5. Pace your reading speed along with good level of comprehension. Although this may contradicts what the author tries to enforce, I believe this is the best way. You're reading to enjoy and/or to gain knowledge; you're not counting pages.The book can be summarized in a few-page article. It repeats itself around using the hand as pacer and pushing beyond limits. This is what most of the drills are developed to teach you. However, I admit that there are a few other ideas that also proved beneficial in reading and learning what one reads:* Set your purpose for reading before you start, and then use the proper technique.* Avoid vocalizing. Try not to read all words especially the short ones (the, to, and, etc.). This will come with practice and pushing beyond limits of speed.* Use the Recall Pattern, a Fish-Bone Diagram, to recall what you have just read in a paragraph or a passage. This helps in knowledge retention.* Divide the material into smaller, manageable sections for easier recall and retention of information.* When approaching articles, read the starting and ending paragraphs to see whether the subject is of interest to you and worth going into further careful reading.* Especially in study-reading, first, read the paragraph to understand it, then read it again to recall it using the recall pattern.The reading speeds the book claims you will achieve using its techniques are quiet unreasonable to me. It really upset me whenever I read this instruction in the drills: 'read or preview pages at a rate of one page per second!' I wonder who on earth can preview pages at this rate with any acceptable level of comprehension?! I barely can flip pages at this rate!I believe that most rapid reading techniques presented in this book are not practical. It talks about the Circling, Criss-Crossing, and Paragraphing techniques which are nothing but time wasters that can only be used to recognize if the paragraph is written in English or Chinese but have nothing to do with boosting your WPM at the end of the day with a good level of comprehension.With all respect to the author, this book, to me, is time- and money- wasting. And if speed-reading is meant to achieve 2000+ WPM rate at the expense of good comprehension, I'd rather stick to my average reading speed.more