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Speed Reading by Tony Buzan

Speed Reading (1971)

by Tony Buzan

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568627,902 (3.11)2
Tony Buzan presents information about your eyes and brain that will improve all aspects of your reading and proves that reading speeds of over 1000 words per minute are possible.
Title:Speed Reading
Authors:Tony Buzan
Info:David & Charles PLC (date?), Edition: 2r.e., Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Speed Reading Book by Tony Buzan (1971)

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I'm not 100% convinced a star rating serves a book like this well, unless I come back and re-rate it in a week, then a month, and perhaps some time next year.

Upfront, this a one-view method for speed reading. When the author's name has a TM, you know you're being fed a line from a very particular angle.

In principle the book lays down how we get tied into slow reading from childhood - because once we grasp the basics we're left floundering to work out anything more of our own accord - and how, if given the right guidance, incentive and motivation we can easily increase our rate considerably. Based on the fastest readers in the world, most people could - potentially - increase their speed tenfold - from 150 - 200 wpm to 1500 - 2000 wpm. The fastest speed readers manage getting toward 4000 wpm, so they're consuming one or more books an hour - and comprehending them, too.

To me, I can see the essentials laid down here, but like any skill it'll warrant practice. Motivation definitely figures heavily. Buzan indicates that most adults lose the motivation to read when they exit the education system and their rate drops down to the one they had when they started school. I hit the first test in this book at 156wpm (with 80% comprehension) and did the final test at 294wpm (with 66% comprehension). In the middle, I seemed to gain speed at a loss to comprehension... which, isn't practical or useful. However, if I continue to use the basic techniques and work at it every day - I hope both speed and comprehension will improve and stabilise.

Buzan suggests a doubling of speed is settling for second best (OK, I might be paraphrasing him a little), but if I can attain 300 - 400wpm with 80% comprehension, I'll be happy. If I read productively for 40 minutes in an hour and read for 8 hours a day - that's 128,000 words, which should cover most basic books, or at least a substantial part of them.

We'll see how I manage and improve over the next month - and I'll come back and adjust my review accordingly.

I suppose that I read the whole book (more of less) in one morning has something positive to say about the principles. ( )
  PaulBaldowski | Jan 24, 2015 |
I read the shortened version of this. There is some good advice in there - just enough to make it worth reading the full edition although on the negative side I thought the exercises were poorly laid out and not really good measures. In the first it said choose any text you want so I picked the trashy novel I was reading at the time. The second exercise uses a piece of non-fiction which is obviously going to take longer to read. This is the only explaination I can come up with for having a slower reading speed at the end of the course than at the beginning :-)

I've just seen a good quote in the (completely unrelated) book that I'm reading over lunch:

"I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia" - Woody Allen.

Buzan would tell you otherwise but my gut feeling is that speed comes at the cost of comprehension and retention... ( )
  neiljohnford | Nov 28, 2007 |
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