Learn How To Read A Book In 40 Minutes From The Worlds Best Speed Readers
We all know the feeling of being overwhelmed by information, and so we set out to find out how you can increase the speed and efficiency of your reading. Speed reading can save time and help you to process information available to you, learn more quickly and more broadly. Imagine being able to read a book before breakfast every single day, like American president Theodore Roosevelt did. Anyone can improve their reading speed, but there are some people who are ridiculously good at it. Superspeedreaders. Who are they? Just how fast can they really read? And how do they do it?
Maria Teresa f Calderon (PHD): (80 000wpm, 100% comprehension). Apparently documented in the Encyclopaiedia Britannica (1971) at the age of 15 for being able to read at the rate of one page per second. Today she can read a book in about 20 minutes. She has been teaching people to improve their reading both internationally and in her home country, the Phillipines, since she was 18 years old.
Dr Calderon shared in an interview that”Speed reading simply means efficient reading. I believe that this ability is but a reflection of the way a person lives his life; a lifestyle. An efficient lifestyle means an organized and methodical approach to daily chores and, even, the process of decision-making. Applying this to reading means being organized and being methodical when scanning a page, and assembling the meaning together to form one gestalt or essence.”
Dr Calderon is currently the Dean of Arellana University’s Graduate School of Education, where she leads a program called DEAR: Drop Everything And Read, which aims to inspire and provide uninterrupted reading time for students.
Howard Berg | A quick Google search of World’s Fastest Reader will take you straight to Howard Berg. Berg got the title in 1990 when he set a Guinness World Record for reaching 25 000 words per minute. Nowadays he can read at 1.5 pages per second (which is even faster). Although the usefulness of reading that fast has been questioned (how much can you absorb at 80-90 pages per minute?), Berg has gone from speedreader to bestselling author of the books Super Speed Reading , Speed Reading: The Easy Way and become a successful audio-visual self-help entrepreneur catering to both online and real-time audiences. This path has culminated in a Udemy course on speed reading.
There are lots of videos of Berg in action online, including this one online, including this one where he speeds through a healthcare bill that’s 1500 pages long.
In this half-hour interview on a show called Business Spotlight, Berg emphasises that most people read by “hearing with their eyes”, which makes reading slow and frustrating compared to movies, TV, and audio, which allow us to take in way more information. Berg says we should approach books like paintings, not like conversations. His tips are the following:
Know What To Learn | Berg says there are only five important things you need to learn. Firstly, you need to know the new words, or subject specific vocabulary. Secondly, you need to learn the people and names: who did what? Thirdly, learn any formulas, statistics or numbers that are particularly important. Fourth, scan the headings and subheading and learn the five most important ideas or concepts in the book (this applies to non-fiction). Lastly: read or figure out the questions you will be asked before you read the book, so you know what to look for. Don’t only ask yourself questions afterwards.
Quick Fix, Tracking | Pick a book you’ve read and understood already (so you don’t get confused by the content). Get a timer and read for a minute at your normal speed. Mark how far you were at the end of the minute. Then move to a new section. Read by tracking your hand with your eye as fast as you can until you lose the ability to comprehend. Then go back to level where you can comprehend. Practice for 10 minutes and return to the original passage, and read for one minute: you will get much further.
Anne Jones | Anne Jones has won the World Speed Reading Championship six times and most famous for reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – a book more than 600 pages long – in 47 minutes. She read at a speed of 4,251 words per minute: about 14 times faster than the rest of us read. She has appeared on many TV and Radio shows reading and review new books. Jones also teaches and shares her tips on speed reading through courses and seminars.
On her website she shares the story of how she was asked to assist a group of activists who need to gain an understanding of a mountain of government policy in a very short time. The most important thing she taught them was how to use techniques to gain control of your material when you feel overwhelmed. She gave them three tips:
Ask Your Own Questions | What do you want to know? What do you already know about the topic? “This helps link the new learning to the old and makes it stick better,” says Jones. Also ask yourself: What do you think the author is going to say? Anticipating what you are going to read can improve your learning.
Do A Survey Or Preliminary Overview | This allows you to get familiar with what is where, gives you a grip on the material, and make a start on something that seems impossibly big.
Take Breaks! | Relax and move around after about 45 minutes. This will make you more effective. Anne offers Skype coaching if you want to learn directly from her: she only started speedreading in her 40s. Visit her website for more information.
Speed Reading Coaches | The world’s fastest readers undoubtedly have tips to accompany their inspiring stories, but speedreading is something that can be learnt and taught, not only by those who lay claim to being the fastest in the world. There are loads of coaches and courses available online. Two that stood out were:
Spd Rdng | UK-based Jan Cisek and Susan Norman are the authors of the book Spd Rdng: The Speed Reading Bible. Their courses take place in London and are not available online, but you can read their blog and get a summary of the book here . The FAQs are filled with helpful tips.
Alex Garcez | Garcez has been teaching speed reading for 9 years and has worked for many big companies including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. He offers online courses and individual coaching over skype or in person. He specialises in helping professionals improve their speed and efficiency. You can learn more here.
Not Only Record-Holders Need To Speed Read | Information is everywhere and what you know is vital in today’s knowledge economy. Learning to read faster can help you master new skills, keep up to date with the latest developments in your industry, learn about a new area of interest, or just synthesise information efficiently ahead of meetings or tests. Reading a page a second like Berg, Jones and Calderon, is a superhuman feat, but anybody can increase their speed with a little effort. Find out how by reading our How To article.