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How to Read Faster*

Overview of Speed-reading Techniques

I have read several different books on speed reading, so I was interested to see what this author’s spin on it would be. The book is well-organized, following a logical progression. He first defines what speed reading is and then talks about the proper mindset and how to prepare for it. The next several chapters talk about specific speed reading, visualization, and comprehension techniques. He gives ideas about how to read both fiction and nonfiction books and encourages developing good reading habits and applying your skills regularly.

I thought the book was overly repetitive in the beginning. The book is rather short, so the repetition really stood out. There is nothing truly new in this book, but the author has collected much of the major techniques of speed reading and comprehension under one cover. I didn’t think, at times, that the explanations were enough for someone to actually implement the concepts. Perhaps he could have given specific exercises with detailed instructions for the reader who has not read a lot of speed reading books as I have.

Having read so many, I find myself wondering if one thing that is said in all of them, including this one, is true. Every book on speed reading talks about the dangers of subvocalizing–reading the words in your head as you read. Personally, I don’t see how you can read and NOT subvocalize. If this is the cornerstone of speed reading, as it seems to be as stated in all these books, I think we are all doomed to failure. When I have attempted it at various times, I found it impossible. Yes, eyes could skim the words, but without hearing at least some of them in my head, comprehension fell to nothing; speed reading became an eye exercise.

If you have an interest in speed reading, this book is actually a reasonable compilation of ideas and techniques that will help you realize if you want to dig deeper into the topic.