INTRODUCTION TO SPEED READING
When I was in 7th grade, I had a lot of trouble reading. My mother
used to sit by my side, and explain each paragraph of each school
reading assignments to me because I didn't understand what I was
reading. She would have to read each paragraph to me, and then after
each paragraph, she summarized what we just read.
In class, I tried to hide the fact that I couldn't read. My teachers
gave us the last 10 minutes of class to start our reading homework,
and I would sit there for the last ten minutes of class staring
at the page, pretending I was reading it -- I remember a terrible
feeling of not wanting to get in trouble for not being able to comprehend.
I had to wait until I got home so my mother could explain it to
How did I ever get into Cornell University? By eighth grade I started
understanding a little on my own, but I was reading at an incredibly
slowly rate. In eighth grade, I got hold of all the speed reading
books I could get my hands on. I read them all very slowly at the
time. I even went out and took a course on speed reading. Then I
developed my own system which was easier and produced quicker results.
I started practicing these techniques every day, and as I started
to read faster, my understanding increased. I found that I stopped
daydreaming and thinking about other things while I was reading,
and started getting the larger meaning. I was reading faster and
I found that when you read slowly, word by word, you get lost in
the words, lose the bigger picture, and your comprehension drops.
When you read faster, your concentration actually increases and
your comprehension goes up because instead of getting lost in the
words, you see the overall picture.
Senior year of college, I decided to put my skills to the test.
I decided to not do any reading the final third of the semester
in any of my courses until one week before the final. I was carrying
a full load, taking five courses, and each had about 350 pages of
reading to do for that third of the semester. I allowed myself only
one day to do all of the reading for each class. On Monday I did
all the reading for my psychology and the Law course. I had to read
200 pages of handout reading material, in addition to 7 chapters
of text, each having at least 25 pages. In the past I wouldn't have
been able to get through two chapters in a day, and now I was getting
through two chapters like it was nothing. The next day, I did all
my reading for another course, and the next day I did the same thing
for another course. I was able to do all the reading for each course
in a day, and I did extremely well on the exams.
The technique of speed reading which led me to be able to do this
is what you are going to learn today. My passion for teaching others
is driven by my excitement of knowing how much others can improve
and seeing them improve with my guidance. The techniques you are
about to learn, I have taught to thousands all across the country
who have already doubled and tripled their speeds. It is my sincerest
hope that you will benefit from reading this book, and then use
what you learn here to help others succeed as well.
If you are thinking, "I am a really slow reader, there's no
hope," don't worry. You are going to improve tremendously in
this chapter. If you are a fast reader, that doesn't mean you won't
improve either. You are going to improve dramatically, as have executives
of large businesses and students of top IVY League Universities.
I was recently speaking at both Harvard and Cornell University giving
lectures. Many students of the students in the audience were fast
readers to begin with. Each student in those large filled rooms
at Harvard and Cornell tested their initial and final reading speeds.
We will do the same for you in this book. Of the students attending
those two programs, over 80% at least doubled their reading speed
by the end of the hour and a half! So again, if you are a good student
or a fast reader to begin with, you will still improve greatly!
John F. Kennedy was a speed reader. He read seven newspapers and
a book every morning while President. He was upset at his cabinet
for not being able to keep up with him, so he hired a speed reading
instructor to come in and teach his entire cabinet. The same techniques
he had them learn are the same techniques you are going to learn
Did you ever read something and have no idea what it was about?
Do you notice that you start daydreaming or drifting while you read?
Are you the type of person who has to always re-read what you read,
because you don't understand it? I used to be the master of these
type of things, and now I've mastered faster reading with an increased
concentration and comprehension. I'm going to show you how to break
these habits. I'm going to teach you a little technique of using
your hand to reading faster.
You're going to learn how to double your reading
speed in this chapter. You're going to learn how to widen you eye
span, push yourself to read faster, prevent re-reading paragraphs,
and stop daydreaming while you read. You will learn how to be awake,
alert, and reading at your best using these techniques. Ready?