Speed Reading Closure

2 minute read

Speed Reading Logs

TL;DR

  • Speed Reading is more about seeing words rather than reading them.
    • sub-vocalization is important: albeit only for certain pivoting textual structures.
    • creating sub-conscious visual cues is more rewarding.
  • It is okay to not understand a passage completely in the first pass.
  • Eliminating regressions(back and forth between the reading head and un-understood text) is a major key to speed up.
  • All text is not meant to be read similarly.
  • Expect the Imposter Syndrome to kick-in soon when you begin drilling.
    • Expect to get over it soon when you begin blazing past fairly complex texts.
  • A pacer is very important for drilling but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t wish to use one.

Really not that long though, I keep it concise.

For around 3 months, I had been acquiring the skill to speed read. Began circa mid April 2021 and ceased deliberate practice in the first week of June.
I was interested in testing this out because I like to read. That wasn’t the case always but I’ve grown to prefer textual over visual media for some time now. The fact that I would be able to boost the efficacy of my academic reads as well would just be one of the perks.
I followed the book “Breakthrough Rapid Reading” by Peter Kump: a 6 week long assortment of tips, drilling progressions and basic tactics regarding the skill of speed-reading.
Comprehensive logs of the same can be found here
This post serves as a checkpoint-log for the efforts invested and formulating them so as to allow future learners to have a better perspective regarding the same.

Thoughts about the book

  • works.
    • gotta drill though.

You can visit the logs for a more book-oriented overview of my experience.
The only complaint I have with the book is that it over-hypes the usage of a pacer. Given the environment we live in today, that might not always be possible : e-readers and laptops aren’t really built to endure that kind of repetitive abuse and you’d also look foolish(one shouldn’t care about that though).
This is why I picked up the book twice, the first time around I didn’t have access to hard-copies and the author insisted upon practicing with them which, to be fair to the author, is a valid ask as a pacer definitely helps eliminate regressions: I’m not sure if I’d progress as much as I have, without a pacer. Doesn’t matter if you use it later on or not, do rely on it while drilling.
Other than being a little out of date for the modern-day academic, the book delivers upon what it promises to.

In the wild

I read a lot of non-fiction : almost only non-fiction : biographies, historical accounts, articles, research, productivity blogs and so on …
I’m doing just fine without a pacer and reaping the benefits of the investment. A major observable improvement is that one is much more conducive to focus while reading as it becomes a very active process and you flow ,rather than plow when you drill, through it.
Reading is definitely more fun.

Conclusion

Speed Reading is a learnable skill.

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