More Efficient Speed Reading
Essential Speed Reading Techniques: How to Become a Better, Faster Reader is the first book of its kind that I have actually seen results from. Rather than teaching “skimming and scanning” techniques, this little handbook teaches how to really speed up your reading, while reading each word:
“It’s an advanced form of reading where the reader reads every word on the page, just faster and more eficiently. And when we say ‘reads,’ we don’t secretely mean skim or scan or guess at meaning. We mean clearly see, recognize, understand, and make meaning from text as a whole…”(p. 15)
This is such a huge difference, and as a teacher, I love this method. Skimming and scanning might work well for some things, like news articles for example, but for full comprehension of literary texts, reading fully is essential.
Speed Reading Benefits
Starting in high school, this book is an essential tool for preparing students for the larger amount of reading they are required to complete, in addition to the more advanced reading they will be facing in college. Two of my children are college students and have found their ‘workloads’ among all courses to be more time-consuming than they had anticipated. Learning speed reading techniques is a major necessity for their success and well-being.
The author, Katya Seberson, has developed exercises for increasing reading speed without losing comprehension. This is especially beneficial for students who have to be tested on large amounts of reading material. I like the fact that the author explains the science behind reading. It is very helpful to understand the process of reading in order to customize your speed reading plan. I have always been a fast reader, but it isn’t something that I’ve known how to teach to my own kids. It just seemed natural to me, so understanding the science behind it has been immensely helpful.
Essential Sppeed Reading Techniques also provides exercises for learning what your individual strengths and weaknesses are, so that you’ll understand exactly where to work on improvement. (Be sure to read the first 50 or so pages before jumping into the plan–understanding the how and why will pay off!)
The self-paced exercises really work for gaining reading speed along with better comprehension. A short but important chapter, “Getting Ready to Read” helps you develop an individual plan for learning to read more efficiently. Taking the time to prepare the ideal reading environment, the right books to start with, and the proper mind-set ensures that the exercises will lead to improvements.
(The publisher provided a copy of Essential Speed Reading Techinques, but I was not required to write a review.)