on December 13, 2008
I began training for increasing my reading speed about two month ago. I bought possibly every book on the subject found at amazon.ca but also others in french (namely the Richaudeau method).
I am writing this review for people who are starting speed reading. There is no need for you to buy all the books I bought because The Complete Idiot Guide to Speed Reading is by far the best among them all and here is why:
1- It is really really well written, comprehensible and the key point are easy found out. On that point, many speed reading says that you need to find the key point and don't read what you don't need (purpose)... and in those books you find many many pages of worthless stuff. Here the author go straight to the point, making the key points very easy to find and making the book easy to read, NO endless pages of anecdotes of marketing hype, just full pack pages of real information.
2- The flexibility. Most speed reading books present you a rigid method to be follow. It does work for certain people... Here we are presented all the methods possibles, and we just can take whatever we like and want so we don't need to buy 5 books to be sure we have all the information. Really, flexibility of this book is what works for me. I did increase my speed with other books before, but the new tricks I found here (with all the others from the others methods) just enable me to get to a new level (and I will not use Words per Minute because this book make you understand that you need to become a flexible reader, so pure WPM score doesn't really mean anything). Finally, some people will say that there are not enough drills because we are presented only the 3-2-1 drills and the one minute drill. I have seen all the fastest drills in other books and well they were not that useful to me. They do develop pure speed, but they do really take a lot of time to master and believe me, when you'll really have understand the principles of intelligent flexible reading from this book, you'll see that the 3-2-1 drill is plenty enough for practice. Really, applying the basics concepts on flexible reading by having more organisation and doing some basic 3-2-1 practice drills on a regular basis will give you 2-3x faster reading and that is already a major improvement. Going faster take a LOT of time, and most people can't get there anyway because it ask for a very visual intelligence. Moreover, if you want to push further then this book, the internet formation (Rev It Up Reading) by the same author should really do the trick (I haven't not tried it yet, I feel pretty confident about the author teaching style).
3- The part on On-Screen reading. I want to use less paper, so I read most of my stuff on screen. When I started speed reading, all the techniques and drills apply to hand techniques, so I could not use anything on-screen... Well here the problem is solve. Everything you need to read on-screen. Just fantastic.
As a final word. Finally a comprehensive book on speed reading. This book is not a rigid method. This book offer you the real knowledge to more flexible and intelligent reading. I believe that this way of teaching to read faster is what is going to prevailed in the future. Mrs Beale is a very talented writers (even if she says she like more teaching). So don't waste more time and just buy this book (by the way, it is so much not expensive...).