Looking for information on speed reading.
March 7, 2004 5:39 AM   Subscribe

does anyone here have any experience with speed reading? [more inside]

is it really effective? if so, how did you learn? a google search shows seminars and home study programs, is one more effective than the other?
posted by joedan to Education (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You might want to check out this Straight Dope column: The researchers found that the speed readers read a little faster than the skimmers (700 WPM versus 600 WPM) and much faster than the normal readers (240 WPM). But the speed readers' comprehension was invariably worse, often a lot worse, than that of the normal readers.
posted by brool at 7:01 AM on March 7, 2004

I went to a seminar when I was 16, I've been speed-reading ever since (I refreshed my memory of the program with some home study). I'm happy I did, it is something I strongly encourage others to do. comprehension? well it maybe not 100% if you compare it to regular reading, but still, it's useful
posted by matteo at 7:48 AM on March 7, 2004

I have some experience of speeding - my advice is just to stay in the car, roll the window down and comply with all the officer's requests.
posted by skylar at 8:28 AM on March 7, 2004

I have two gears, a high and a low. I wouldn't call the high gear "skimming," because I do read every word. It's more about relaxing mentally and spending less energy analyzing as I read. The low gear is for getting absolutely everything, including implications, before I go forward and read more. When I'm in low gear I actually read much of the page more than once, skipping back and forth quite a bit as I mull over the content of what I'm taking in. Until I was about 25, I only had the low gear, and I had a hell of a time getting through college. Anyway, I've never taken or course or anything, just tried different things that work for me. I think if you're worried about your retention at 700WPM but 240WPM is too slow for your needs, then try for something in between. As far as I can tell there's no quantum leap between the two.
posted by scarabic at 10:49 AM on March 7, 2004

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posted by ook at 11:11 AM on March 7, 2004

I never took any "speed reading" courses. My mom just had me reading by the age of 3, and I just read "incredibly fast" from what people tell me. teachers in school used to think I was lying with them when I told them I'd already finished the reading assignments... I don't skim or anything, I just read..
posted by mrbill at 1:18 PM on March 7, 2004

I remember in 9th grade having to read Les Mis in one day...I just kind of taught myself to skim-read that day. I didn't catch a single thing from that book, but I've improved a lot over the year as all I can do is skim read...I don't have the attention span to REALLY read. But, if you are looking for classes, try looking into your local pubic library or college. I know some near where I live offer speed-reading classes.
posted by jmd82 at 8:59 PM on March 7, 2004

does anyone here have any experience with speed reading?

...with apologies!
posted by Shane at 6:31 AM on March 8, 2004

I took a class in college. It was bizarre. I could not tell you much about what I read, using the fast method. But I could pass quizzes about it quite well. I hated it.

I normally read in "low gear" as described previously in this thread. I like it that way. My retention then is excellent, and I know what I read.
posted by Goofyy at 6:45 AM on March 8, 2004

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