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abbymbeale
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-30-2009
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Any speed reading questions?

Hi everyone:

I'm a speed reading expert and the author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Speed Reading and 10 Days to Faster Reading. I used to teach speed reading for B&N University where people were able to get their speed reading questions answered. Since you are most likely here because you like to read, I thought I'd offer to answer your burning questions about speed reading. Let me know what you'd like to know!

- Abby Marks Beale

Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,898
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Any speed reading questions?


abbymbeale wrote:

Hi everyone:

I'm a speed reading expert and the author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Speed Reading and 10 Days to Faster Reading. I used to teach speed reading for B&N University where people were able to get their speed reading questions answered. Since you are most likely here because you like to read, I thought I'd offer to answer your burning questions about speed reading. Let me know what you'd like to know!

- Abby Marks Beale


 

Abby, thanks for stopping by to field questions.  I've never taken your classes.  I'm not sure if my question is worthy of what you offer, but here goes.  I'm not a speed reader, by any means, and I honestly don't know how to go about speed reading. 

 

But, there are some writers that I have to read every last word to absorb these feeling thoroughly, and other writers I know I could skim through at a faster pace.  Going from one type of literature, to the next, presents a problem for me.  I don't transition well.  I pause, and feel the slower cadence holding me back.  I write a lot of poetry, and it seems to slow my casual reading. 

 

I don't know the answer to this problem, other than forcing faster pace of sighting words.

Do you ever run across this problem?

 

Thanks, 

Kathy S.

Distinguished Scribe
blkeyesuzi
Posts: 730
Registered: ‎01-26-2008

Re: Any speed reading questions?


abbymbeale wrote:

Hi everyone:

I'm a speed reading expert and the author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Speed Reading and 10 Days to Faster Reading. I used to teach speed reading for B&N University where people were able to get their speed reading questions answered. Since you are most likely here because you like to read, I thought I'd offer to answer your burning questions about speed reading. Let me know what you'd like to know!

- Abby Marks Beale


Thanks for dropping by, Abby!

 

My question is this:  What would you say is the primary skill necessary to speed read effectively?  Is it sight words? Ignoring the voice in your head?  All of these?  I wouldn't know where to start, to be honest.  

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
New User
abbymbeale
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-30-2009

Re: Any speed reading questions?

Hi Kathy:

You describe a common issue for many readers. What I can tell you is that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to read different materials at different speeds. What Iteach speed reading, I talk about having 5 reading gears, just like in a car. Gear one is slow and gear five is super fast. Most people are stuck in gear one or two becuase they don't know how to go into gears three, fours or five. However, once you know the strategies for going faster, it is ultimately your choice at what speed you want to read.

 

To help you gauge your speed, I suggest you ask yourself these two questions before you start to read: 1) Why am I reading this? and 2) What do I need it for? If you are reading for pleasure and you don't need it for anything but your enjoyment, you can read it as slow or as fast as you want. If you are reading it to learn how to do something and what you want to get out of it is the steps in how to do it, then you can speed up over the familiar parts of the process and slow down on the unfamiliar ones. Basically, you choose based on your needs!

 

One other thing you need to aware of. There are certain reading materials that I believe a person should never try to read fast: poetry (!), play dialogue, Shakepeare, anything you need to commit to memory or study, and The Bible.

 

I hope this helps!

Abby

New User
abbymbeale
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-30-2009

Re: Any speed reading questions?

Hi Suzi:

Your thoughts are good ones about what is need to read faster. However, and you may surprised at this, I think THE thing a person needs to learn how to do to read faster is to use their hands or a card while reading! There are effective and ineffective ways to do this. Basically, any method you use would pull your eyes down the page and avoid pointing to one word at a time.

 

My quick and easy starter method I love to share with folks is the White Card Method. Take a blank white index card, or the back blank side of a business card. Place it ABOVE (over the top) of the words you want to read. Then let your eyes move across the lines while the card pushes them down the page. The card is there to push you, keep your place AND to prevent you from going backward and re-reading what you already read.

 

Try it!

 

Abby

Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,898
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Any speed reading questions?

Abby,

 

Thank you so much for your help!  Your comments to both Suzi and myself have given me more insight into this 'dilemma' I've had.  Sometimes I just feel like I'm 'bouncing' through sentences, and it unnerves me.  And then I hear music in my head when I read and write.  With writing is one thing, but when reading, it drives me nuts!  I'd never thought to ask anyone about this, until now.

 

But I like your idea of the eye following the card through casual reading for pleasure.  At least with that, I can control my eye speed, keeping the focus off of my wandering brain!   When I read for a discussion group, I'm so busy studying the lines,  and thinking about them, that I sometimes forget how to read a novel, when I'm not on a discussion.  Over the years it's just become ingrained...first and second gear.  Now I'm going to go practice switching gears.

 

Thanks, again, Abby - Much appreciated! 

 

Kathy


abbymbeale wrote:

Hi Kathy:

You describe a common issue for many readers. What I can tell you is that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to read different materials at different speeds. What Iteach speed reading, I talk about having 5 reading gears, just like in a car. Gear one is slow and gear five is super fast. Most people are stuck in gear one or two becuase they don't know how to go into gears three, fours or five. However, once you know the strategies for going faster, it is ultimately your choice at what speed you want to read.

 

To help you gauge your speed, I suggest you ask yourself these two questions before you start to read: 1) Why am I reading this? and 2) What do I need it for? If you are reading for pleasure and you don't need it for anything but your enjoyment, you can read it as slow or as fast as you want. If you are reading it to learn how to do something and what you want to get out of it is the steps in how to do it, then you can speed up over the familiar parts of the process and slow down on the unfamiliar ones. Basically, you choose based on your needs!

 

One other thing you need to aware of. There are certain reading materials that I believe a person should never try to read fast: poetry (!), play dialogue, Shakepeare, anything you need to commit to memory or study, and The Bible.

 

I hope this helps!

Abby


 

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blkeyesuzi
Posts: 730
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
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Re: Any speed reading questions?

Thanks so much, Abby.

 

I had never thought of using the card over the TOP of the lines in the book.  Your explaination makes so much sense. I've used an index card in a similar manner; however, I'd place it UNDER the line I was reading...and I'd find myself looking at the lines above (essentially REreading what I had already read).  

 

Your suggestion is so simple, yet very helpful.  

 

 

What would you say are the top mistakes readers make when they read, particularly for speed?  What would you suggest we do to avoid these mistakes?

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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abbymbeale
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-30-2009
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Re: Any speed reading questions?

Suzi:

You ask an interesting question! I've never really thought about the mistakes speed readers make.

 

Perhaps the biggest issue might be either reading too fast for the reasons they are reading and missing content OR reading too slowly when they could be reading faster. I also could sumise that readers in general could benefit from setting up their reading environments more effectively so they aren't interrupted. Too many people allow intrusions when they read (phone, email, other people) while reading really is a mono-focus activity.

 

Other than these, I'm not sure it is possible to make "mistakes". Maybe one is not as effective as they could be?

 

Hope that helps!

Abby

Distinguished Scribe
blkeyesuzi
Posts: 730
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
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Re: Any speed reading questions?

Thanks, Abby.

 

I think I'll pick up your book and read it (carefully) lol

 

Then, I'll have plenty of questions for you!

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs