Speed Reading

I’ll have to call upon a much better author and hacker of life than myself for this post. Tim Ferriss is an entrepreneur, internet celebrity, professor, lecturer, tango champion, etc. It’s hard to keep up with his latest ventures, but luckily, he keeps the world filled in via an incredibly informative (and often times useful) blog.

I found his post on speed reading to be quite intriguing, so I tried the prescribed protocol, and have seen significant improvements in my own reading speed. I’m currently working on The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, a 700 page epic in which she lays the groundwork of an interesting philosophy she calls objectivism. More on that in a future post.

Give the speed reading instructions a dry run, and don’t worry if your comprehension is lacking. The more you train your eyes and brain to operate in this manner, the easier comprehension will become. When you are speed reading for comprehension later on, you can adjust speeds accordingly. I’ve turned this once intimidating philosophical tome into a manageable effort, without sacrificing recall or “the joy of reading.”

Among the comments left on Tim’s post is one regarding a deaf speed reader who managed to consistently outperform his classmates. When prodded for an answer as to what made him such a fast reader, he wrote down (being unable to speak) “Do you mean to tell me that people who can hear actually sound out the words in their heads when they’re reading?”

It’s incredibly fascinating that someone would find pronouncing the words in our heads so unfathomable. But try reading without actually saying the words in your head. When you see “carrot” on the page, use the shape/image of the word and relate that to an orange crunchy vegetable, rather than adding the extra step of saying the word carrot in your head. It’s confusing and queer at first, but is a necessity in reaching the upper echelon of reading speeds.

Enjoy Tim’s post, your speed reading ventures, and have a lovely evening.

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