What Are The Best Speed Reading Books that You Need to Know
Speed reading implies that we are capable of reading fast and yet comprehend what we read. All may not have acquired this skill during their school and college days. But in the competitive world of careers, it becomes a highly essential skill for students and professionals in every field. The good news is that today there are numerous books and apps that provide special techniques to develop the skill systematically. We just need to choose the one that suits our needs best and practice well.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed-Reading by Abby Marks Beale
The author of the book is a reading specialist. The subtitle of the book – ‘Time-Saving Strategies ……… More’ gives us a fair idea of the contents and purpose of the book. It is suitable for students and professionals. The profuse tips and examples help the speed reading effort a more manageable and enjoyable task. There are different sets of tips for reading from a printed book and off a computer screen. The book outlines simple strategies that we can understand and adopt. We are encouraged to skip words and lines we don’t really need to grasp and thereby read much faster. The principles of skimming and scanning are clearly explained.
We can approach different types of reading material like magazines, fiction and non-fiction in different ways. As a bonus, the book also provides strategies to expand our vocabulary. All these ensure that we can improve our reading efficiency with confidence. On the whole, it is a well-organized and well-written book.
How To Be A Super Reader by Ron Cole
This book by the well-known author Robert Cole introduces memory training. It provides tips about the approach to learning, attitude and achievement. These are attributes that help our reading efficiency. The subtitle of the book makes clear the three-fold purpose of the book – to improve reading speed, comprehension and retention. It is meant for students, professionals and learners of English as a second language. It is also suitable for dyslexic readers.
The book outlines techniques to help us overcome our in-built poor reading habits that hinder speed. We are guided to process mentally a group of words in one go instead of isolated words. This contributes to our reading speed, better comprehension and accuracy.
The tools and techniques that the author suggests in the book are those he had personally applied in his long teaching career with professionals and students of all age groups. He has also modified some of these to keep in tune with the changes in the field of digital technology. It is noteworthy that the book was a New York Times’ bestseller with over 400,000 copies in print.
The Speed Reading Book (Mindset) By Tony Buzan
This speed reading book offers a very innovative technique to develop reading efficiency. It has sold over million copies and gained popularity in about 100 countries. It has also been translated from English into nearly 30 languages.
The book is an excellent learning tool for students, teachers, and executives and in fact, anyone who desires to enhance his reading proficiency.
As a motivational background, the book outlines the history and the new developments of speed reading. It offers plenty of practice exercises and tests.
The author clearly explains the common and crucial reading problems. These include sub-vocalization, regression, and finger-pointing while reading. He also suggests practical measures to overcome these defects. It also emphasizes the advanced techniques of skimming and scanning. Another positive feature is the list of tips on reading different types of texts like newspapers, poetry and stories.
The author is well known for developing a novel note making strategy called mind mapping. He shows how this can support the reading process to ensure high levels of comprehension and retention. This is of great benefit when we take up study-oriented reading.
10 Days to Faster Reading by the Princeton Language Institute
The book offers to develop our Reading Skills over a short period of time. It claims that by spending as little as ten days, we can register significant improvement in speed reading skills.
The book has a set of quizzes/tests to find out our current reading level. (slow, average, or good). The rich collection of graded exercises helps to develop the desired skills of speed reading and comprehension quickly.
One important area of focus is how to get over our bad reading habits. Two habits to avoid are sub-vocalization and reading words as isolated units. The book also suggests ways to improve our ability to concentrate and have peripheral vision. The benefits of techniques like scanning, skimming and focussed reading are also explained well. These go a long way in reducing the reading time and increasing our reading proficiency.
Two special techniques that the author presents are “Preview” and pacing, not mentioned in most other books. She also stresses the need to vary the reading style to match the kind of reading material and the purpose of our reading.
Guide to Speed-Reading Nathan Armstrong
This book aims to enhance the speed of reading along with optimal comprehension, which is a key skill in today’s world. It claims to bring about a three-fold increase in Reading Speed. It imparts the basics of speed reading as a means to improve learning. It provides tests to first determine our current reading speed. Once we get into the training mode, we are helped to carefully monitor our progress. The book is packed with standard speed reading techniques, and matching exercises. A few of these are visualization, skimming, scanning, keyword search and meta-guiding. For instance, the strategy of skimming lets you assimilate the meaningful words in a sentence.
The author makes an important distinction between “words-per-minute” (WPM) and “effective words-per-minute” (EWPM). The relatively concise book achieves its overall goal of enhancing reading speed without compromising on effective comprehension.
Super Reading Secrets by Howard Stephen Berg
This beautiful book is created by Berg who figures in the Guinness Book of World Records, 1990) as the fastest reader. He is credited with reading 80 pages per minute! He has presented a good blend of latest learning techniques along with psychological insights on speed-reading.
The author makes a distinction between reading for pleasure and reading for information or study purposes. Most of the exercises in the book are meant to improve proficiency in the serious type of reading.
In addition to the speed reading tips, the book offers a lot of useful study techniques and tips. These can prove valuable to students in high school or college. The book claims to teach the skill to read really fast to the extent of about 20 pages a minute. This amounts to reading a page in 3 seconds! The steps suggested are simple and easy to understand and practice. The book also shows ways to measure the progress we make.
Triple your Reading speed by Wade E. Cutler
This useful book claims to increase the reading speed three-fold. The crucial strategy used is the well known Acceleread Method. It is a classroom-tested and widely applied learning principle.
It serves to get rid of poor reading habits that slow us down. Thereby, speed as well as comprehension, gets enhanced.
Part one of the book sets the background by assessing our current level and motivates us on the need to improve our reading speed. The author believes that once this desire is created it becomes easy to go forward.
Some of the related techniques that are involved help us to keep our vision focused and expand it. We are guided to practice block reading and pacing rather than reading words in isolation.
The remarkable success of the reading method lies in the intensive, specialized training and practice. These include effective previewing techniques, better study habits, and improved test-taking skills. The book is also full of fun quizzes and tests that monitor our progress.
PhotoReading by Paul R. Scheele
This beautiful book by Scheele projects the innovative technique of PhotoReading to achieve incredible speed reading skills. It recommends utilizing ‘PhotoReading’ or a process of mental photographing’ to absorb a page of reading text in a second. The information is then to the brain. Here, the new information is processed along with the knowledge we already have about the topic involved. It is a technique that taps the power of our subconscious. This, in turn, improves our memory and sharpens our concentration. All this leads to developing good reading speed along with comprehension. The book claims that with the right understanding and practice of the strategies provided, we can achieve reading speeding of up to 25,000 words.
The book provides a lot of tips and techniques based on the author’s expert knowledge of not only accelerated learning, Preconscious Processing and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. That is the true strength of this well- written book.
Speed Reading For Dummies by Richard Sutz
The book offers guidelines for fast and efficient reading. It is a practical, and down-to-earth guide for lay readers. It offers time-tested and sound techniques for all those who desire to read faster. These could be students, professionals and all those who need to read a lot but don’t have the time required.
The book highlights the importance of silent reading and getting rid of poor reading habits. These include sub-vocalization and reading blocks of text rather than single words. The initial reading level of the person is determined before we go further. There are plenty of helpful exercises to widen our vision span. The book encourages the use of standard reading strategies like pre-reading, skimming and scanning.
The book also helps us to expand our vocabulary by providing a well-chosen list of common words, prefixes, suffixes, and roots. In this efficient process we build our power of concentration and begin to follow the thought pattern of the writer. That ensures fantastic results.
The Evelyn Wood’s Seven- Day Speed Reading and Learning Program by Stanley D. Frank
This is a popular book first published in 1959 and has established its reputation as a standard source of speed reading training. It has been successfully used by thousands of grateful readers across the globe.
It encourages the tapping of the power of the mind to improve reading proficiency. It outlines a short but focussed 7-day program that promotes rapid reading. The book assures the possibility of improving speed by 50% to 100% in a very short period of training. The author rightly points out that when we learn to read faster, our mind is forced to concentrate better. All distractions are cut out and we comprehend better.
Interestingly, the book goes beyond fostering reading proficiency. It also imparts tips on the skills of effective note-taking. This ensures that the reading for information and study purposes becomes highly productive. It results in better writing as well, which is a big bonus for the users.
Speed Reading For Business( Barron Business Success Series) by Steve Model
The book is by an expert in reading techniques and well-versed with the needs of business executives and managers. He understands their need to acquire high efficiency in reading to get through all the paperwork inevitable in running a business. The time they save can be better utilized for monitoring more important aspects of the business venture.
The book that forms a part of the Series on Business Success offers the ideal solutions to overcome poor reading habits and improve reading speed as well as comprehension levels three to five fold from the starting situation. The book’s appeal is enhanced by relevant and clear illustrations in line art form and carries useful sidebar information.
Speed Reading 4 Kids: George Stancliffe
The subtitle of the book is a pretty long one and gives a clear idea of the purpose and the main target group for the book. It says – A Simplified Manual for Teaching Speed Reading to Children and Making it a Universal Skill in Your Community, Even If You Can’t Speed Read Yourself!
The declared objective is to ensure that at least the younger generation is not deprived of the much needed proficiency in reading that the elders may have missed out during their period of education. The author clearly realizes the value of such a skill for the future career prospects of the younger generation. It is also linked to the progress and well-being of the whole society/community. The book sets out systematically a series of sound techniques and practices to enhance better reading speed along with excellent comprehension.
We have taken a look at some of the leading speed reading books. These offer speed reading techniques and practices based on well-established learning principles. Hence, we can use them and conveniently improve our reading proficiency with commitment and practice. However, of all the books reviewed here, I would rate ‘How To Be A Super Reader by Ron Cole’ as the best.