Now, your obvious question is of course: Can I do this? Do I have what it takes to read 2, 3 or even 5 times faster than I do right now? And can I do it without losing comprehension?
Let’s begin by addressing the first question and then we’ll talk about comprehension more in detail.
The initial reaction most people have when I say they can boost their reading speed by 2 to 5 times is that it’s downright impossible for them to attain it.
In fact, learning to multiply your reading speed IS difficult to do. But only for a small category of people — those that have a reading handicap like dyslexia.
So how do you know if you have a reading handicap? How do you know if you’re dyslexic?
Easy. All you need to do is a simple test with your daily newspaper.
The Newspaper Test
Pick an average article and read it out loud to a friend or family member for a few minutes. If on average you get stuck on more than one word in ten, there might be a problem.
The rule doesn’t apply if it’s a foreign langue and your vocabulary in this language is so-so. I’m talking about if you’re an American and you’re reading an English language newspaper and have problems with more than 10% of the words.
We call this the newspaper test. Most people pass it. And if you pass it you can quite easily become a speed reader and go from where you are right now to reading at the rates I’m referring to.
Here is the important part: I don’t care if you read that newspaper slowly.
I don’t even care if you’re going painfully slow.
All I care about is whether or not you can read without getting stuck on individual words or letters.
It’s really that simple.
Our course caters to normal, slow readers. It is not directed at readers with a handicap. And the reason a normal reader — even someone reading as slowly as I used to do (156 wpm) — can increase their speed to such impressive levels so quickly, is that our reading technique (the one we were taught in school) has so many mistakes built into it, it's scary.
Okay, let’s address the question of reading comprehension...
Most of us still believe that the slower we read, the better our comprehension.
If that is the way things work, then tell me this: Why is the biggest problem for most readers their inability to understand and comprehend what they are reading? They go at a snail’s pace, but they’re still having problems.
All speed reading research of the past fifty years shows that the way 9 out of 10 adults read creates fatigue, boredom and causes them to lose the context of the text. They lose their place and have to re-read words, sentences, paragraphs, even whole pages… and… that slows them down even more.
We also know from decades of experience that our schools produce lousy readers, starting in third grade with an average of only 215 words per minute and approximately 65% comprehension. When these kids are tested for reading speed in high-school, college and graduate school, their rate hasn’t increased to more than 240 words per minute on average. And, comprehension hasn’t improved at all.
In fact, when this person graduates from college and steps into the professional world he reads so slowly that he forgets 75% of what he has read within 60 minutes!
Here is a profound scientific fact: The slower we read, the WORSE our comprehension… and… the faster we read a page, the GREATER our concentration and long-term memory.