Some say that the advent of the Internet marked the true beginnings of the Information Age, where the winding corridors of information on the world wide web have as much importance and reality as the tree outside your window. If there is a tree outside your window – there probably isn’t. Obviously, a person who can navigate this ocean of information is one who has a vast advantage over competitors and co-workers.
Hence the added interest in speed reading courses and software. So which IS the optimum speed reading program? Well, there are a great many programs on the market, and there’s even more hype surrounding them. Generally speaking, I’d say an excellent rule of thumb is to see whether the claims a programs manufacturers make for it are sensible or ridiculous. If a manufacturer promises that their speed reading program will double or even triple your reading speed, well, that’s certainly possible, and even likely.
But if they claim that their software will give you a reading speed of anything between 2500 to 25000 words per minute, just step back and think for a moment. Is that at all likely, given the fact that the average human’s reading speed is between two to four hundred words a minute? It’s not likely – as a matter of fact, such claims are little short of ridiculous.
It’s true that there are people who can actually read at these speeds, but those are people with exceptional, unique ability, the way an Olympic gold medalist has exceptional ability. It’s not within the reach of everyone. Remember that these programs work on scientific principles – they aren’t magic, and so any claim that seems to come into the realm of magic should be immediately rejected.
Some interesting speed reading programs on the markets these days are Speed Your Read, Stretch, 7 Speed Reading and RapidReader.
Most of them are very good. When you want to choose one of the over the other, the first thing you need to do is download the trial software. Almost every software these days has a limited trial version that you can use to assess whether the software meets your needs. If a software doesn’t have a trial version, you need to go to someone who does provide a trial version. Because this really is the best way to assess a software.
Now, when you look at the trial softwares, try to see how suitable they are, and also whether they seems to be based upon science or theories. If there are a lot of flashing lights and colors on the screen, but no words, the chances are that the software is a scam. Time your reading speed before and after use of each software with a stopwatch, and see whether it really helps you. Consider the interface and whether the software is easy to use. And of course, consider the price of each, and whether you can afford to buy it.
Personally, I’m sold on 7 Speed Reading – it suits me extraordinarily well, has tripled my reading speed (I can now read light text at 1500 WPM, and complex text at 600 WPM or more). It is also extremely sophisticated and very interesting to use. All of which makes for an unbeatable deal. I personally would recommend 7 Speed Reading as one of the most genuine and value-for-money softwares on the market.