How to Read Fast – And Remember What You Read!

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Hi Everyone!

We know leaders are readers. They also are time poor.

One leader I knew said he never had a problem getting through his piles of reading, because he just read what I didn’t already know. I must admit, I never knew how that was possible and never pursued it further…

…until one of our readers asked us for tips on how to read fast and remember what was read, so we asked one of our volunteers, Sarah – who was a slow reader – to research for you her best recommendations of books and courses designed for speed reading strategies.

Sarah looked for the best ten books, but only found three. She looked for the best three courses and only found one. And she has four tips of her own.

Please enjoy her article below and take action – by clicking on any book title, you will be taken to Amazon where you can review the book, read a summary of it, find thousands of real customer reviews and buy from Amazon at no extra cost. You’ll also be helping mybestchoices.org – a volunteer organization – as we may get a small fee (I am talking typically less than $1).

You also can click on the audio-book course from our article and go through to the producer’s site. We earn nothing if you decide to buy.

My Personal Experience of Being a Slow Reader

I have always been a slow reader. This made me dislike reading fiction, as I would see reading as a chore (my mum would always make me read). This developed into an anxiety of being a slow studier throughout high school. Increasing my reading speed helped me throughout my final year at school.

I realized that one of the main factors that increased my reading speed was to stop worrying that I was slow! Sounds easy, right? Anyone who has this issue would agree with me when I say that it is not.

The main strategy that decreased my anxiety was telling myself:

  • “ok, so maybe I am a slow reader and studier”
  • “if you don’t understand every sentence, just keep reading”
  • “Just keep going and you will probably understand what the sentence you don’t understand or remember was saying, due to what is revealed in the next sentences”.

About a month ago, mybestchoices.org asked me to research and find a “top 10” list of speed reading books and my “top 10” speed reading courses. I really can only recommend a “top 3” list of books and 1 audio-based course. I rated books and courses based on my opinions of them, given my reading challenges, and the opinions of others in the same situation.

Top 3 Speed Reading Books

  • Become a SuperLearner: Learn Speed Reading & Advanced Memorization, by Jonathan A. Levi et al
    • Become a Superlearner is a written version of the #1 best-selling course (discussed in Top Speed Reading Course, below).
    • The book covers many aspects of speed learning, such as speed reading, and memorization skills.
    • The author, Jonathan A. Levi, from Silicon Valley, is himself a superlearner – he is an experienced entrepreneur, private investor and is a master of finding short cuts to increasing efficiency. Jonathan has been one of the top performers on Udemy since 2014 and has launched a successful company, SuperHuman Enterprises. SuperHuman Enterprises produces products that help with learning, reading and efficiency.
    • The memorization skills section helped me a lot with my speed reading ability as, silly as this may sound, I became confident in remembering what I had just read and stopped over thinking it.

  • Breakthrough Rapid Reading, by Peter Kump
    • This book’s program focuses on one of my worries – if I’m reading faster, will I be taking everything in?
    • Breakthrough Rapid Reading concentrates on increasing reading speed, as well as increasing your comprehension.
    • Author Peter Kump is the former National Director of Education for Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics and hence has much experienced in the area.
    • Many readers say that the techniques helped them significantly.
    • Some people increased their speed up to 3 times over!

  • Become a Speed Demon: Productivity Tricks to Have More Time, by Jonathan A. Levi et al
    • Become a Speed Demon is again by Jonathan a Levi.
    • This book focuses more on increasing study speed. When I struggled with my reading speed, the main time it was a problem was when I was studying so it’s all tied together.
    • I liked the book’s focus on productivity, automation and efficiency.
    • Many readers gave it 5 stars and said that it gave them lots of great tips.

Top Speed Reading Course

I was surprised to find only one course that I would recommend…

  • Become a SuperLearner online course
    • Not surprisingly, the Become a SuperLearner online course was the #1 best-selling course…with over 135,000 people in 203 countries having completed it.
    • The course enables you to improve your reading speed and memory in just 30 minutes a day for 10 weeks and my research is that it delivers on its promise.
    • It contains a good mixture of 14 videos, many worksheets and chat room discussions.
    • The course claims to be able to increase viewers reading speed up to 320% and, at the same time, improve memory retention by over 80%.
    • The course gets a 5-star rating (out of 5) – reviewers all seem positive.
    • You can jump to the producer’s site by clicking here.

What Helped Me Increase My Reading Speed?

Here are my personal tips for you:

  • Minimize your number and duration of fixations
    • People do not read at a consistent speed. Our focus jumps along the line we are reading. It helped me a lot to become aware of this and then try to cover a larger amount of words with each jump, as well as to pursue for a smaller amount of time.
    • I benefited from a blog by Tim Ferriss available by clicking here.
  • Eliminate regression and back skipping
    • This was one of the major causes of my slow reading speed. I would read a paragraph and then worry that I hadn’t remembered enough and hence would read it again. This could happen multiple times for the same paragraph.
    • My speed increased a lot when I decided to not allow myself to re-read more than once.
    • I noticed that it was mainly anxiety causing the issue, rather than a reading problem.
  • Audio books as well as physical
    • the strategy that has helped me the most for increasing my reading speed is listening to the audio book at the same time as reading the physical book.
    • I found this a bit strange at first, but it stopped me from re-reading and from pausing as my mind would then go off on a tangent.
    • Now I mainly read without listening to the audio book, but I feel as though I can hear the voice and read at more of a consistent speed.
  • Read a book, do a course
    • Don’t do nothing – that will just mean continuing to suffer with your problem.
    • I recommend reading a book or doing a course so you can find your own way to improve and identify exactly what is slowing you down.

Conclusion

If you disagree with my recommendations of the books and course, or think that I have left a book or course out that helped you, please post your comments below my article.

Also, do you have any questions about my tips or have any tips of your own? Again, feel free to comment below.

Sarah.

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Comments

  • Dale

    I have been one of those lucky people who can read fast and understand and read slow and enjoy.  When I read a great Stephen King novel I like to take my time and read it slow.

    When I read tech or books about my marketing I read them fast.  Personally I taught myself to read right down the middle of the page.  Its not quite speed reading but its pretty darn fast.

    This is a great article and for people who want to learn to read faster they should look no further.

    Dale

    • Sarah Kelly

      Thank you Dale

      I wish I could read as fast as you…especially given I am studying a Business degree, with a amjor in Marketing!

      I am glad the article helped.

      Regards

      Sarah

  • Paul

    Dear Sarah,

    Thanks a lot for the informative and helpful post.

    I am a full-time blogger and I do read a lot of books. I have a lot of books on my shelves and in my Kindle as well and often I use to think “It will be great if I can read fast” so that I gain more knowledge. So your post means a lot to me.

    Thanks a lot for the recommendations and your research saved us a lot of time and effort.

    Your personal tips are a greater help too.

    Wishing you great success!

    Paul

    • Sarah Kelly

      Thank you Paul!

      I feel good that I may have helped, as I was a little bit nervous about writing an article.

      It must be a challenge being a full time blogger and I can only imagine how much reading you must do!

      Regards

      Sarah

  • Ahmad

    Hello Sarah, great post I must say. Like you mentioned in the article, my problem with reading is that I would always re-read the paragraph that I have just read. I am starting to realize that if I just continue to read without going back, then my reading skills and speed will improve. I have also notice that audio books are a big help, even though I don’t really use them. Thanks again for the share. 

    • Sarah Kelly

      Thank you Ahmad

      It sounds like you are similar to me! I hope you have good success with improving your speed and comprehension.

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