There’s a considerable difference between mechanically reading at high speeds and actually understanding anything of what you read. In other words, what I’m talking about here is the difference between merely reading text and actually comprehending it.
This is a crucial aspect of any form of reading, because we rarely read for the sake of reading – there would be no purpose in that. The written language has always been a method of communicating information, and the aim and purpose of speed reading is to enable you to take in more information in less time – to absorb information more efficiently and effectively, in other words.
There’s such a thing as visualization and dynamic comprehension. This means that as you read, you form visual pictures, instead of repeating the words within your mind, or ‘listening’ to yourself mentally. If you can manage to do this, it is astoundingly effective. If you happen to be reading a story, you seem to be ‘inside’ the story – if it’s facts you’re absorbing, say about a new mechanical device, your reading will actually enable you to visualize just how that device works.
You see, a human being is basically a visual creature. Sight is a crucially important tool to us. Language is not a natural tool of the mind, but a learned tool. In order to comprehend effectively while speed reading, you need to ‘translate’ the language of words to the language of the mind, which is visualization. And if you can do that, you’ll find that your comprehension of what you’re reading can jump 30% or more.
When you start to use this technique in conjunction with mechanical speed reading skills (these are best learned from a professional course), I would advise you to start with stories and fiction rather than factual reports or manuals. This will build your visualization and comprehension skills. Only when you feel comfortable visualizing more ‘true-to-life’ written matter, such as stories, should you go on to apply your visualization skills to more technical reading.
Actually, speed reading is an essential necessity for visualization and dynamic comprehension. You see, speed reading trains the purely mechanical aspect of reading so that it becomes as efficient as possible. This mechanical aspect of reading is what can slow down visualization, because visualization works at the speed of the human mind itself, which is very fast indeed. So by bringing the mechanical aspect of reading ‘up to speed’ with that of the human mind, you can maximize both reading and comprehension, and easily triple your reading speed – and remember everything that you read effectively as well.
There are a few ‘bad habits’ that you will have to unlearn while learning to speed read. For example, when you first learn to read, you’re taught by your teacher to repeat each thing that you read aloud. This made sense to your teacher, because he or she had to keep track of every single student in a fairly large class. As your skills improved, you were encouraged to read silently, but you kept repeating the words within your mind, out of sheer force of habit – habit that has probably become ingrained by now.
To effectively learn speed reading, you’re going to have to unlearn this habit, because it is an artificial one that greatly slows your speed of reading and comprehension because it is antithetical to the way your mind has been designed by nature to work, which is quickly, efficiently and perhaps most important of all, intuitively.
With a good speed reading course, and the application of some intelligence and common sense, you will soon find that speed reading is simple and intuitive – and that rapid reading can feel natural, and best of all, be fun.