Based on the number of searches on speed reading, you know that many people are interested in finding the best speed reading method.
Questions You May Have on the Best Speed Reading Method
- Will speed reading impact my ability to comprehend what I read?
- What is the best speed reading book?
- What is the best speed reading course?
- What is the best speed reading method?
Below you’ll find my summary and thoughts on the book, BrainRead: Effective Speed Reading – Reading like the Swedish by Göran Askeljung.
Best Speed Reading Method: What’s BrainRead About in a Nutshell?
Are you familiar with the book BrainRead, which outlines an effective speed reading method? I purchased BrainRead: Effective Speed Reading – Reading like the Swedish by Göran Askeljung, after waiting months for the English edition. The book deals with what could be the best speed reading method around. Göran Askeljung was born in Sweden. And that’s important for you to know, because the Swedes are among the fastest readers in the world with a high level of comprehension.
It turns out that Swedish children learn to read quickly from watching television. The population in Sweden is not big enough for film makers to invest in dubbing films in their language, so sub-titles are used. If children want to understand the story, they have to read the subtitles quickly. By doing that consistently, they learn to read quickly. Who would have thought that watching a lot of television could be good for you?
On the other hand, people in English speaking countries do not like reading subtitles, myself included. In fact, I seldom go to see foreign films because I watch films to be entertained and reading subtitles is too much work for me. Interestingly enough, most of my friends love foreign films.
Back to BrainRead, I really appreciate the book because Askeljung talks about the science of reading, and the book is loaded with exercises. The first exercise is testing your effective reading rate (ERR), which is the product of the number of words per minute that you read, and your level of understanding of what you read.
People who purchase the book have access to a web-based app that trains you to read by scrolling down the page. Isn’t it great to have access to a speed reading website? Some of the information in BrainRead, such as regression and sub-vocalization, I already knew, but there is a lot of new information.
UPDATE: This was first published on April 21, 2014
Getting into the Heart of BrainRead
With the massive amount of information that bombards us each day, we must learn to process information more effectively. BrainRead reports that, “A 2012 study by McKinsey Global Institute of office workers in the US, Germany, France, and Great Britain to find out how much time they spent reading and answering emails and processing written information found that the average was 5.6 hours a day.”
That’s more than half of a workday spent reading work-related information. To excel in the workplace means that we have to process all of our reading in less time without compromising the level of understanding of what we are reading.
The book includes a lot of drills, which is good, and it chunks information together, so that you get accustomed to doing that while reading. In speed reading courses, you are introduced to chunking information, but in BrainRead, they explain how to chunk words together using punctuation as a guide.
One of the things that I have found annoying with speed reading extensions and bookmarklets, is that when you adjust the setting to chunk say four words together, you may have three words and a period then another word, which throws you off because a period means a pause.
In the PhotoReading system that I also purchased, to increase the speed at which I read, they recommend that before you start reading any material, define your purpose for reading the material. BrainRead recommends something similar:
Use the following questions to define your purpose for reading!
- “Why am I reading this?
- Who wrote this text and what can I expect from it?
- What questions do I have that I expect this text to answer?”
The author borrows the technique from journalism – the six “wh-questions.”
- “Who wrote this text or who might have written it?
- What exactly is this text’s main topic?
- When was the text written? Is it current or is it an older text? Where: which country and/ or which region is it about?
- Why has the author written it?
- What does the author want it to communicate?
- How: which techniques does the author use to be persuasive?”
The book explains the difference between scanning and skimming. It’s interesting the way that Göran Askeljung approaches speed reading. The rate at which you read depends on the level of comprehension you require, the technical difficulty of the text, and the amount of effort you are prepared to invest in the process. For this speed reading method, it boils down to the purpose for reading. Before you read, to get the most from the activity, take time to prepare first.
Preparation could be in the form of scanning and skimming the text to get a sense of what it is about, paying attention to headings, sub-headings, bold and italicized text. And before you start the preparation stage for reading, be aware of the six wh-questions to open your mind to receive the answers. If you have prepared in that manner, you will read through the material a lot faster because you are somewhat familiar with the information already.
Most of us get way too many emails each day. BrainRead shows you how to pre-read emails to determine which ones need your full attention. I like the funnel method of reading described in the book, which is actually different levels of reading and honing in on the important parts of the text. This method of reading allows you to go through the text several times at different reading speeds.
Should You Buy a Copy of BrainRead: Effective Speed Reading?
Yes, I think you should buy BrainRead. Is it the best speed reading method? Based on what I have experienced with speed reading books, it is one of the better speed reading methods. And since it works for so many people from a country, that is an endorsement for the techniques in the book. Is it the best speed reading book? It’s up there, but since I’ve read BrainRead, another book, Triple Your Reading Speed, came highly recommended as well.
BrainRead is detailed enough to be viewed as a course. And it has many speed reading exercises. Is it the best speed reading course? I honestly don’t know. The PhotoReading course by Learning Strategies is supposed to be pretty good. I got distracted while taking the at home course, so I need to get back on track.
From the summary that I’ve done of BrainRead, do you think this speed reading method will work for you? I recommend BrainRead: Effective Speed Reading – Reading like the Swedish by Göran Askeljung because it is interactive and the reader gets many speed reading drills. And on top of that, BrainRead has a speed reading website where there are many exercises to work on. Practice makes perfect!
Best Speed Reading Book? Check Out These Three