Can you think of any area of life where you haven’t significantly developed your skills beyond what you learned at primary school? There must be very few but it is likely that reading is one of them. Learning to Speed Read can change your life, freeing up a huge amount of time as well as improving your comprehension, retention and hence your studies and career prospects. Many people suffer from reading anxiety and stress caused by information overload but the right tools and approach can allow you to regain control of the information in your life.
The process of seeing and reading is more complex than you probably think. It includes very intricate optics, biochemical and electrical signals and information processing involving multiple areas in the brain. Many of the steps involved in reading can be tweaked to improve efficiency like tuning a high-performance engine.
As I see it, there are three main reasons to learn to Speed Read.
Firstly, if you find yourself drowning in information then increasing your reading speed can help you keep pace with the information that bombards you everyday.
Secondly, if you spend less time reading you will have more time to do the things you enjoy. This could be spending time with your loved ones or pursuing your hobbies instead of staying late at the office. If you have to read an important book at the weekend, wouldn’t you rather get through it in an hour and spend that afternoon on the golf course? [At least when the pandemic is over and we are allowed social contact and to go out again!]
Thirdly, you can read more in the same length of time. By reading more widely and extensively, you acquire greater breadth and depth of knowledge. Sir Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is Power.” I would prefer to say knowledge allows you to make more informed decisions, gives you more choices and the more you know the easier it is to assimilate new information. Dr. Seuss wrote about Reading, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Have you ever seen the film ‘Limitless’? The main character Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) takes a pill that dramatically increases his mental capacity and powers of perception. He is able to access everything he has ever seen or read. This is of course science fiction and is impossible to achieve through drugs in real life, at least at the moment.
While many smart drugs and supplements, so called nootropics, are purported to improve memory and cognition, research is at a preliminary stage as of 2020, and the effects of the majority of these agents are not fully determined. In 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned manufacturers and consumers about possible advertising fraud and marketing scams concerning nootropic supplements. Regardless of whether a pill will be invented to unlock the power of the brain, if you take in information in the correct way you will be able to bring it back to mind when required. Speed reading will take you some way towards this panacea.