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Chris
07-09-2012, 11:04 AM
Anyone do it? Does it work?

Can you speed read a novel? Do you miss out on any of the joy of reading?

I ask this because I've got a disgusting lineup of books I need to tackle. The problem is by the time I burn through the first couple books my interests have usually moved on so I have a lot of "dead" books sitting there.

If I could pick one superpower it might be the ability to read a book instantly.

Jay3
07-09-2012, 11:36 AM
I don't think it works. I've tried a few things over the years, and I think its a gimmick.

The only strategies that work for me is to intentionally try and keep my eye moving, without backtracking, and to try and silence the "inner voice" pronouncing the words in your head.

Particularly for fiction, a natural pace is the only thing that works for me.

For documents, or things where I'm just trying to glean important information (even magazine articles), yes, I have improved my speed over the years. I can get the sense of what's on a page very quickly.

Captain 'Dre
07-09-2012, 11:44 AM
The only strategies that work for me is to intentionally try and keep my eye moving, without backtracking, and to try and silence the "inner voice" pronouncing the words in your head.

^^ This.

I took a course in speed reading YEARS ago, and while I discovered that I *could* read much faster, my comprehension got lower and lower the faster I read.

If I remember right, I had 94% comprehension reading at my 'normal' pace, and closer to 80% when I was speed reading.

DeusExManning
07-09-2012, 11:57 AM
It works I learned it and perfected it in college, it takes daily work to perfect, it can take away the joy at the beginning. It is all about reaching the point where you treat a word like a paragraph. When you look at a word it is one segment of information. You have to reach the point that the paragraph is the same as a word. At a minimum you can speed up your reading by stopping sub vocalizing what you read. Everybody reads aloud a little when they read that is what slows us down.

As an alternative if you want to consume a book quickly and keep the joy listen to audiobooks on your iphone in 2 times speed you can finish off a 600 page book in 6 hours

JJG
07-09-2012, 12:17 PM
It works I learned it and perfected it in college, it takes daily work to perfect, it can take away the joy at the beginning. It is all about reaching the point where you treat a word like a paragraph. When you look at a word it is one segment of information. You have to reach the point that the paragraph is the same as a word. At a minimum you can speed up your reading by stopping sub vocalizing what you read. Everybody reads aloud a little when they read that is what slows us down.

As an alternative if you want to consume a book quickly and keep the joy listen to audiobooks on your iphone in 2 times speed you can finish off a 600 page book in 6 hours

I've been working on it off and on but I'm still not great . I think you hit the nail on the head with having to practice every day. Its easy to feel like your missing stuff at first, but you have to push through it and not back track. It's amazing how much you really can comprehend.

DomCasual
07-09-2012, 12:45 PM
I knew a guy with a photographic memory. It was truly amazing. He could pick up any book, look at the page for 2-5 seconds, put the book down, and tell you any word on the page. You would say, "Seventh word, fourteenth line," and he would tell you what the word was. He'd hold the memory for several days, at least. He NEVER missed. It was incredible.

He was truly the biggest douche I've ever known. He wasn't smart. He was egotistical. He ended up starting a bunch of MLMs, deciding he was immortal (I'm not kidding - he told everyone for about ten years that he was never going to die), moving to Missouri and taking about ten wives, getting rid of them all, going broke, and going on the speaking circuit to talk about how drinking lots of water cured Alzheimer's.

Oh, and in the process, he hit on my wife.

Anyway, good luck with the speed reading thing.

Beantown Bronco
07-09-2012, 12:49 PM
I knew a guy with a photographic memory. It was truly amazing. He could pick up any book, look at the page for 2-5 seconds, put the book down, and tell you any word on the page. You would say, "Seventh word, fourteenth line," and he would tell you what the word was. He'd hold the memory for several days, at least. He NEVER missed. It was incredible.

He was truly the biggest douche I've ever known. He wasn't smart. He was egotistical. He ended up starting a bunch of MLMs, deciding he was immortal (I'm not kidding - he told everyone for about ten years that he was never going to die), moving to Missouri and taking about ten wives, getting rid of them all, going broke, and going on the speaking circuit to talk about how drinking lots of water cured Alzheimer's.

Oh, and in the process, he hit on my wife.

Anyway, good luck with the speed reading thing.

Should've left him alone in a room with Boris to test his immortality.

DomCasual
07-09-2012, 12:53 PM
Should've left him alone in a room with Boris to test his immortality.

Boris would rip of his head and ejaculate into his skull.

But Boris doesn't have testicles.

Hence, Boris would just eat his kidney.

Fear Boris.

https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/545611_10150724307312148_556800554_n.jpg

Beantown Bronco
07-09-2012, 12:57 PM
Important question: was it you or Boris that chose the box with the big "69" on it?

DomCasual
07-09-2012, 01:02 PM
Important question: was it you or Boris that chose the box with the big "69" on it?

I hadn't caught that part of it. I'm sure it had something to do with it. Boris loves the ladies.

Seriously, I bought my daughter an aquarium one night, and Boris took the box. He spends time in there almost every day - it's more tape than box right now. Whenever he gets a little worked up or nervous, to the box he goes!

I love that dumb dog. He's easily the most eccentric animal I have ever had. He's a neighborhood icon here - to know Boris is to love Boris.

DomCasual
07-09-2012, 01:08 PM
Here's Boris, enjoying the sun. As soon as the weather gets warm, he utilizes the dog door we have, and spends most of his day catching rays.

The ladies like tan skin.

https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/294511_10150289927542148_3678194_n.jpg
https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/456248_10150767840032148_953644308_o.jpg

Okay, no more Boris.

Chris
07-09-2012, 02:34 PM
Took me five minutes to read Marineland.


On another note, my ADD definitely doesn't help. On some days I'll look at a page for 5 minutes thinking about other ****. I can spend an hour on a chapter. Otherwise I'm totally in rhythm. I did a lot of speech stuff when I was younger (not st-st-st-stuttering - performance) and I can't help but read in some sort of old British narrator's voice.

Will try the audio book thing first as it seems easiest and might be better for my **** attention span towhat were we talking about? Oh yeah, Borisssssssssss.

Kaylore
07-09-2012, 02:34 PM
I knew a guy with a photographic memory. It was truly amazing. He could pick up any book, look at the page for 2-5 seconds, put the book down, and tell you any word on the page. You would say, "Seventh word, fourteenth line," and he would tell you what the word was. He'd hold the memory for several days, at least. He NEVER missed. It was incredible.

He was truly the biggest douche I've ever known. He wasn't smart. He was egotistical. He ended up starting a bunch of MLMs, deciding he was immortal (I'm not kidding - he told everyone for about ten years that he was never going to die), moving to Missouri and taking about ten wives, getting rid of them all, going broke, and going on the speaking circuit to talk about how drinking lots of water cured Alzheimer's.

Oh, and in the process, he hit on my wife.

Anyway, good luck with the speed reading thing.

Hilarious! That needs to be a movie.

theAPAOps5
07-09-2012, 03:08 PM
What does BroncoWarrior have to do with this?

I knew a guy with a photographic memory. It was truly amazing. He could pick up any book, look at the page for 2-5 seconds, put the book down, and tell you any word on the page. You would say, "Seventh word, fourteenth line," and he would tell you what the word was. He'd hold the memory for several days, at least. He NEVER missed. It was incredible.

He was truly the biggest douche I've ever known. He wasn't smart. He was egotistical. He ended up starting a bunch of MLMs, deciding he was immortal (I'm not kidding - he told everyone for about ten years that he was never going to die), moving to Missouri and taking about ten wives, getting rid of them all, going broke, and going on the speaking circuit to talk about how drinking lots of water cured Alzheimer's.

Oh, and in the process, he hit on my wife.

Anyway, good luck with the speed reading thing.

DomCasual
07-09-2012, 03:17 PM
What does BroncoWarrior have to do with this?

Man, I had to finally unsubscribe from his updates on Facebook. It was getting to be two or three posts of sheer drama a day!

Taco John
07-09-2012, 03:25 PM
I tried to speed read using some course or other about a decade ago. I had to do some visualizations, and sit in the most attentive position possible. My WPM went up, but it was absolutely no fun. You have to sit there super focused - and who wants to read a novel super focused? When I read a novel, I don't want to be in hyper-focused posture. I want to be in a relaxing position and half day dreaming half reading so that I can visualize the book and the happenings properly.

DomCasual
07-09-2012, 03:26 PM
Hilarious! That needs to be a movie.

This is totally off the subject of the original post (unlike the Boris diatribe :)).

But this guy tells me one day that before he became apostate (and wrote his own scriptures - I kid you not - I have a copy of them, and he forbade me from opening the middle section, which is sealed with a gold seal), that he served an LDS mission. This would have been in the mid to late-80's. He tells me he went to an area in the southern US, and started baptizing whole cities and towns. In the year prior to his arrival there, the mission had 84 baptisms. He did more than that his third month, when he "started getting his feet under him." So, he hits eighteen months (back during the experiment of missions being eighteen months), and he gets a call from the mission president, asking him to extend.

Anyway, after a month or two of extending, the requests started coming from the first presidency. Finally, after a little over three years, he refused, and came home.

By the time he was telling me this story, we had known each other for a little over a year, and I had gotten past any pretentiousness with him. So, I said, "Don, you've told me some stories that were full of crap in the past. But that story is, by far, the fullest." He wanted to fight me over it. Honestly, he was up in my face - like I had just called out his mother.

Oh, and I didn't mention he was a nudist.

It really should be made into a movie.

Taco John
07-09-2012, 03:29 PM
I highly, highly, highly recommend audio books. You can absorb information while mowing the lawn, driving the kids to school, working in your garage, doing dishes, taking a shower, you name it. Audible has a program where you get two audiobook credits a month for something like $10/month. This is a very reasonable way to go and you can listen to their audiobooks on your phone.

Pontius Pirate
07-09-2012, 10:36 PM
I speed read. For instance, I speed read-ed this post and I just have to say that: I agree that disgusting dead superpowers are in fact instant.

houghtam
07-09-2012, 11:55 PM
I don't buy into the whole speed reading thing, but as someone who also has ADD, don't take my opinion for much more than that. I will say though, that a technique I learned that helped me in high school (not so much in college) is to read the first and last sentence of every paragraph ONLY, as well as reading the first and last page or so of each chapter. It's great for writing high school essays and discussing things topically...not so great if you have to do more than prove you read the thing.

kappys
07-10-2012, 01:27 AM
I can do it to a degree with text material though I do agree that comprehension slows down a bit.

I find it most useful to quickly look through the parts of an article that tend to have fluff or less usefull information. On the key portions of the articles I will slow down to normal speed - I need the time to consider the information presented and decide if I agree.

I find I can't do it on a computer or backlit screen though - too much strain on the eyes

Jay3
07-10-2012, 05:55 AM
I highly, highly, highly recommend audio books. You can absorb information while mowing the lawn, driving the kids to school, working in your garage, doing dishes, taking a shower, you name it. Audible has a program where you get two audiobook credits a month for something like $10/month. This is a very reasonable way to go and you can listen to their audiobooks on your phone.

I use those. I'll even get the audiobook for a long book that I'm reading. Read a while, get in the car, find my place, and listen a while. It's stimulating, because you use different parts of your brain for the same book, and it takes on a "voice."

Jay3
07-10-2012, 05:58 AM
I can do it to a degree with text material though I do agree that comprehension slows down a bit.

I find it most useful to quickly look through the parts of an article that tend to have fluff or less usefull information. On the key portions of the articles I will slow down to normal speed - I need the time to consider the information presented and decide if I agree.

I find I can't do it on a computer or backlit screen though - too much strain on the eyes

It's perfect for that kind of thing. Particularly newspapers or magazines like New Yorker that have narrow columns (from dual column print). Your eye can scan a narrow column without moving, so your eye can just move down the the column (no left-right). And you can rapidly get a sense of what's on the page, slowing down if you want to really absorb it.

But fiction has such a voice. Good fiction can be poetic. I could practically speed read some crap Brad Meltzer novel, but if it's a book that's at all literary or artsy fartsy, you need to slow down to appreciate what's on the page.

kappys
07-11-2012, 02:43 AM
It's perfect for that kind of thing. Particularly newspapers or magazines like New Yorker that have narrow columns (from dual column print). Your eye can scan a narrow column without moving, so your eye can just move down the the column (no left-right). And you can rapidly get a sense of what's on the page, slowing down if you want to really absorb it.

But fiction has such a voice. Good fiction can be poetic. I could practically speed read some crap Brad Meltzer novel, but if it's a book that's at all literary or artsy fartsy, you need to slow down to appreciate what's on the page.

Exactly. Its useful only when you want to get through something quickly. It takes concentration and work to do it right. If I'm reading for enjoyment there is no point

Chris
07-11-2012, 04:42 PM
Took your advice Taco. The better option, at least initially, seems to be speed listening, both for retention and your ability to listen while doing mindless tasks. I took to youtube for a public domain audio book as a trial.

George Orwell's "1984", which I've admittedly never read, is a roughly 300 page book. It is divided into 13 43 minute sections and one 34 minute section. Using the new speed features on youtube's HTML5 trial, I can watch videos at various speeds. I can do 2x speed during slower sections but let's assume I stick to 1.5x speed where every word is comprehensible.

At 1.5 speed I can listen to each section in 32.25 minutes
x 13 sections = 419.25 mins + 25.5 mins for the final section
= 444.75 mins or 7 hours and 25 minutes

Not bad for a 300 page book. Hypothetically I could get through a book a day if only confronted with menial tasks. Weekend cleaning here we come.

Anikai
07-11-2012, 04:45 PM
Anyone do it? Does it work?

Can you speed read a novel? Do you miss out on any of the joy of reading?

I ask this because I've got a disgusting lineup of books I need to tackle. The problem is by the time I burn through the first couple books my interests have usually moved on so I have a lot of "dead" books sitting there.

If I could pick one superpower it might be the ability to read a book instantly.

I scrolled down this thread as fast as I could and the only thing I recall is a bulldog on a table...I think it works.

houghtam
07-11-2012, 04:46 PM
Took your advice Taco. The better option, at least initially, seems to be speed listening, both for retention and your ability to listen while doing mindless tasks. I took to youtube for a public domain audio book as a trial.

George Orwell's "1984", which I've admittedly never read, is a roughly 300 page book. It is divided into 13 43 minute sections and one 34 minute section. Using the new speed features on youtube's HTML5 trial, I can watch videos at various speeds. I can do 2x speed during slower sections but let's assume I stick to 1.5x speed where every word is comprehensible.

At 1.5 speed I can listen to each section in 32.25 minutes
x 13 sections = 419.25 mins + 25.5 mins for the final section
= 444.75 mins or 7 hours and 25 minutes

Not bad for a 300 page book. Hypothetically I could get through a book a day if only confronted with menial tasks. Weekend cleaning here we come.

Let me know what you think of 1984.

It was an earth-shattering revelation to me, though I admittedly first read it about 15 years ago.

Chris
07-13-2012, 09:48 AM
On 1984 (which I "read" in a day and a half): Man Orwell was a genius. Not only was he aware of the awful extent to which regimes were attempting to control populations in his own time, he was even more valuably prescient about the total destruction of societies, freedom, humanity this would ultimately lead to. He doesn't just attack Stanilist Russia. I see all superpowers in there too. A lesson for all mankind. I knew it had to end badly for it to have real power.

On Orwell - if you haven't read "Down and Out in Paris and London" I highly recommend it. It's semi-autobiographical, though he uses another name. In many ways he's a man after my own heart, Orwell, though I default to capitalism as the best worst option.

houghtam
07-13-2012, 10:00 AM
On 1984 (which I "read" in a day and a half): Man Orwell was a genius. Not only was he aware of the awful extent to which regimes were attempting to control populations in his own time, he was even more valuably prescient about the total destruction of societies, freedom, humanity this would ultimately lead to. He doesn't just attack Stanilist Russia. I see all superpowers in there too. A lesson for all mankind. I knew it had to end badly for it to have real power.

On Orwell - if you haven't read "Down and Out in Paris and London" I highly recommend it. It's semi-autobiographical, though he uses another name. In many ways he's a man after my own heart, Orwell, though I default to capitalism as the best worst option.

Way ahead of his time. The two best parts of the book IMO were his description of perpetual war. They are enemies with East Asia an always have been. Until the next day when they were enemies of whatever that other superpower was...and always have been. Remarkable how the same thing can be applied to the US with countries like Japan and Germany on the ally side, and Iran, Iraq and China on the other.

The other, more powerful part to me was his description of the raw power the proles have. Reading it both invigorates me for political action and disappoints me that, for the most part, people who are not in the elite class are not even aware of the power they have, that they STILL have, over their political overlords.

ludo21
07-13-2012, 11:18 AM
i do it when i want to get through a part of the book that lulls.

When it comes to school work reading, I MEGA speed read