Anytime I mention to someone that I instruct professionals and students how to read smarter the inevitable question comes up: "Oh, you mean speed reading?" Rather than debate the difference I simply say, "Yes, and also how to be more discerning and deliberate in choosing what they read, when and how to read it along with techniques to maximize comprehension and retention so they are Reading Smart."
The next thing that happens is they will either share their own personal techniques with me and/or they will ask for advice, which I am more than happy to share with them as Abby Marks Beale, author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Speed Reading shared with me years ago. Below are 3 Facts About Reading that can help you to have a better understanding...
(1) You Don't Have to Read Every Word- One reason people are unable to make significant progress towards increasing their reading speed is they cling to the belief that "If I don't read every word than I am not reading" or "If I cut out some of the words I am reading than I'm cheating." Both of these are direct quotes from my clients and neither one can be farther from the truth. The paragraph below helps illustrate why...
The phaomnneil pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in what oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
(2) The Faster Your Read the Better Your Comprehension - I know it sounds counter-intuitive and admit I found it hard to believe at first. According to many sources, the average adult reads between 200-325 words per minutes and if you ask most individuals who read at this rate you'll find that they experience excessive mind-wandering or lapses in focus thus hurting their ability to fully comprehend the details of what they read. So, if you are able to double your reading speed you reduce the amount of mind-wandering because as you speed up you simply need to focus more. When your focus is higher then as a by-product your comprehension must follow as well.
(3) Reading is an Important Part of Your Day - Reading studies show that professionals who commit to read 1 hour a day, 6 days a week for 2 years in their chosen field they will:
a. Be in the Top 1-5% of knowledge holders in their industry
b. Double their income (at least)
c. Earn the equivalent of a 4-Year college degree