Question for Chiri, maco, cobraboy, Lambada and all

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something_of_the_night

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I've found a new obsession which will require lots of reading. But being a slow reader, I don't have much time.

The question is this: have you taken speed-reading courses? And if so, did they help?

Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer self-help books, and comments from readers are usually positive. But as a cynic, I tend to believe that comments on books are generated by publishing houses. So, I turn to you. I could do this over PM, but I am limited in that dept. Besides, some folks who normally read but don't post much, may have some info.

I observed a class, but the price was too much for me: $575.00 for two sessions a week, for five weeks, but I don't have that kind of money.

If you have taken a speed-reading course or used self-help books, please let me know if they helped you. I'm a slooooooooow reader and I can't take it any longer.

Thank you,
-Joseito
 

Lambada

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No, Joseito, I've never done a speed reading course. I know some of the techniques, though, like right hand column vertical scanning etc. I'm a fairly fast reader anyway, I think, and have something of a photographic memory - well I would if I worked at it. I can still 'see' telephone numbers from pages of a directory in my mind's eye - not whole pages, just occasional numbers which got imprinted for some reason. When I was acting I never learned my script until a week before dress rehearsal, because I would 'photo' it. But the picture only stayed for a week or so.

However, when teaching at the University, my students would spend simply hours writing their dissertations and to have speed read those would have been a huge disservice to the student. So much of my work life was taken up with very careful reading where I deliberately slowed down so that I didn't miss anything and thus fail to give them the grades they deserved. Now that I'm doing some writing and I know how I agonise over corrections when I'm editing etc it strikes me more than ever that if someone has put blood, sweat and tears into their work it deserves to be read appreciatively and not speed read. Like savouring a good meal and tasting every last flavour.

I suppose the real question I have is, will you need to comprehend what you're speed reading? Will you need to remember it? Or is it more like guzzling down a burger than savouring a sauce andalouse? Do you just need to get through it? These days if I start reading something and it is rubbish, I just stop reading and go on to the good stuff. But my purpose is usually enjoyment of the writer's art and learning something new. What will your purpose be? If research around a topic, why not read fewer items but make them good ones, then you won't have to speed read?

Finally, how do you know you're a slow reader? Was this a label from somewhere way back? Could it be it isn't true? Are you 'slow' because of failing to comprehend (unlikely ;) ) or just too many darn interruptions?
 

something_of_the_night

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Lambada, thank you for answering with so much honesty...as usual. So, I'll be honest, for once.

I want to read (for pleasure) all I can about Byzantium, from children's education to arts and craft. Eventually, I'll narrow it down to one area, but I want to have a solid foundation first. And for a slow reader, that's too onerous.

According to an on-line test, my reading speed fluctuates from 200 to 250 WPM, depending on the subject. Comprehension is no problem...I think.

Thanks,
-Joseito
 

Lambada

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Was it this one? I did it for comparison purposes, mine was 444. Didn't give me any 'fluctuations', just one number.
Speed Reading Test Online

As your reading will be 'for pleasure' why the need for speed? If it's pleasurable it isn't onerous............

200 is average btw, not slow

"Screen Paper Comprehension Reader profile
100 wpm 110 wpm 50% Insufficient
200 wpm 240 wpm 60% Average reader
300 wpm 400 wpm 80% Good reader
700 wpm 1000 wpm 85% Excellent, accomplished reader


Research shows that reading is around 25% slower from a computer screen than from paper. This difference generally increases with increasing reading speed. Thus you may slightly increase your results to find your speed when reading from paper"
 
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something_of_the_night

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As your reading will be 'for pleasure' why the need for speed? If it's pleasurable it isn't onerous............

Excellent point, but the amount of info out there is enormous, and if it takes too long to acquire basic knowledge, I'll end up quitting - it's happened before.
 

Lambada

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But with respect, you're not running to catch a bus, are you? Stop pressurising yourself. OK so you miss out on some of the basic info, so what? If it's important you'll pick it up later in the journey. Ease down a bit, get a bit more laid back and Dominicanised about it......:laugh: or have I been here too long? If you're enjoying it you won't quit. Don't give your Aunty Lambada the 'why don't you? yes, but' game young man. She's too long in the tooth.............:laugh: :laugh:

Seriously, good luck with your new found interest. Enjoy!!
 

Chirimoya

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I'm skeptical about those courses, which like self-help books do little more than state the bleeding obvious, in my not-so-humble opinion. In both cases, their main purpose is to separate people from their money! It might be easy for me to say this, being a natural speed reader.

As Lambada says, reading fast has its drawbacks. When I re-read a text I usually find some things I missed first time round, so unless it's something trivial I always read a text twice, first to get the gist and then to absorb the details.

It's also the main reason I don't read enough Spanish - as it's not my first language I find I have to read every word, which slows things down tremendously. That also leads me to suspect that it's not something that can be learned, at least not easily.

Hope this helps!
 

Mirador

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Reading is much like eating, you can gulp down morsel after morsel, even an entire main course in less than a minute, and be totally satisfied. In speed reading you miss out the nuances of flavor and style, and the opportunity of mind to conceptualize the images the individual sentence, even a word, can conjure. Speed reading is aking to feeding, not eating. However, you can acquire the ability to scan a 100 page document in seconds, at a speed where the lines blur, and still acquire information and meaning. This process is called 'gisting', and can be learned...
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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sorry to write...

i agree with idea of feeding versus eating. i read very fast when i read easy relaxing book. but when i read for my studies i like to savour the text, not to mention the fact that you cannot read difficult books fast AND understand them.

reading about byzantium culture fast opposes your idea of studying the subject, take your time, like lambada said, if the book proves to be boring, just drop it, take something that is written better, with more flair.

chiri, i understand your issue with reading spanish. english is my second language yet i read it easily and fast, because i do not read EVERY word. there is no need to understand each and every word, as long as you understand sentence/paragraph. most of words you can understand with a context, the rest you can check up if it bothers you.
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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The more one reads, the better one gets at it. This includes speed.

However, comprehension suffers with "speed reading". To me, comprehension trumps speed.

I agree with Chiri-being poor at Spanish, I have to slug through every word with my handy-dandy electronic translator at my side.

The main variable is who wrote the piece. Ayn Rand goes much slower than Dr Seuss.
 

Robert

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Read this VERY slowly!

I must post something that relates to the DR in order for the thread to remain open.

Closed.
 
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