Join Paul Nowak for an in-depth discussion in this video How to get through a book a day, part of Learning Speed Reading (2014).
- In this video we're going to focus on getting you through material that you've been wanting to read, but haven't had time to. Do you have a stack of books or magazines that you've been wanting to read? If so this lesson is for you. You can get through a book a day by utilizing some of the concepts we've discussed in earlier lessons. Specifically the preview technique and the 80/20 principal. The reading strategy we're about to talk about is suitable for informational material, so make sure you're applying it to non-fiction rather than fiction. Here's how it works: Step one, do what you would normally do with a brand new book.
Read the back, the inside flap and the table of contents to get an idea of what the book is about. Step two, read the introduction and conclusion to every chapter. If you don't have a clearly specified introdcution and conclusion, try reading the first two to three paragraphs, and the last two to three paragraphs of each chapter. By doing this, we're essentially previewing the whole book and utilizing the 80/20 principal. Reading a small portion of the book, less than 20 percent, in order to get a large amount of information, maybe 80 percent.
Another way to think about this is that you're spending a small amount of time, less than 20 percent, in order to get as much information as you can, possibly 80 percent. For many non-fictions book, this process would take 10-20 minutes, and even if it takes a little longer, you're still spending a relatively short amount of time consuming a lot of information. The goal here is to get as much information about the book in as little time as possible. We're obviously not reading the entire book here, but you can get through a majority of the most important information by following this strategy.
Reading the introduction and conclusion to each chapter allows you to get much more than just the jist of the material, in many situations you'll almost feel as though you read the book even though you only read a small portion of it. This is because reading the intros and conclusions cover the central concepts of the book. And if you decide to read the entire book in the future, you'll already have a good idea of what it's about, allowing you to read it faster, with better comprehension. Or maybe you'll decide that you know enough about the subject and don't need to read it. So you can use this strategy of previewing the book to act as sort of a filter, to figure out which books are worth your time.
If you're looking for a quick way to fly through books, try this specific preview strategy that we've been discussing. See if you can do it on a book each day for seven days. You can think of this seven day challenge as unofficial homework for this lesson. Starting today, try doing this strategy on a book for a full week. You may find this so helpful that you'll want to turn it into a daily habit. You'll be surprised at how much information you can consume in such little time. If you're hungry for knowledge and love consuming information, this is a great reading strategy for you to implement.
The course then focuses on improving comprehension by understanding how memory works, practicing the "read and recall" method, and breaking down technical terms. The final chapter introduces some advanced tips and strategies for reading different types of media: news and magazine articles, textbooks, technical material, and ebooks.
- Measuring your reading speed
- Reading faster on the computer
- Reading groups of words
- Previewing and overviewing
- Improving comprehension and retention
- Understanding the 80/20 principle of reading
- Reading magazines, textbooks, diagrams, and ebooks