Photoreading

I read quite a bit. At any given time I’ll have about three books going at the same time. Reading one book at a time is too boring. I’ll plow through about 2-4 books a month using this method. Mostly non-fiction. I particularly like autobiographies and books about mountaineering or stories about human endurance. I also read newspapers during lunch and lots of online periodicals. I’d say I spend about 90 minutes every days reading in this way. This doesn’t include all the e-mail and work related reading I have to do.

I consider myself a pretty fast reader, but have lately been wondering if I could speed things up even more. When I was a kid I tried a speed reading program. I used Howard Berg’s system. I saw Kevin Trudeau schlepping it on an infomercial and nagged my dad to buy it for me. Yes, this is the same guy who was banned from TV a few years ago for making false claims about other products of his. I’m sure you’d recognize the guy if you saw him. Regardless, the speed reading program didn’t work very well, but I also must admit that I did not give it a 100% sincere effort. I was also 12 years old at the time! It doubled my reading speed but it took so much energy to use the techniques, I couldn’t keep it up.
I’ve decided to give it another try. I read Steve Pavlina’s personal development blog, and he recomm different Photoreading system. He claims to have experienced many benefits, including:

Read books at least 3 times faster. I’d say that’s the low end. Some books you’ll be able to read 10 times faster — or more.
Read more books. The faster you read, the more you can read.
Read faster online. PhotoReading adapts nicely to online articles and blog posts. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can blast through this site’s 500+ free articles.
Extract ideas more efficiently. PhotoReading’s nonlinear, multipass reading strategies allow you to extract the key ideas from a book without getting sidetracked by the fluff.
Avoid reading lousy books. In just a few minutes, you’ll determine whether a book is worth reading… or discarding. You’ll love using this technique the next time you visit a bookstore.
Improve your memory. Because you’re focused on idea extraction instead of scanning every word, you’ll retain more of what you read.
Enjoy reading more. PhotoReading keeps your mind fully engaged, so reading becomes much more stimulating.

I ordered it today and it should arrive in a week or so. I’ll let you all know how it works out.

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11 thoughts on “Photoreading

  1. Hi Ravi,

    Did you ever end up finishing the photoreading challenge? I could only find up until round post 8 – is it worth looking into and do you still use it?

    • Hey Dan,

      I did finish the challenge….the technique works but is VERY hard to keep up. I quickly relapsed back into my old form of reading. However, the techniques for skimming/skittering are super useful and those I still use today to increase comprehension. See some of my comments further below for additional thoughts.

  2. I’m interested in knowing if your Photoreading investment paid off? I couldn’t find your promised daily reports of progress on the site.

    • I did see a dramatic increase in reading speed and comprehension. However, it took way too much effort and I have since regressed to my old habits. Honestly, I don’t think the system is sustainable long term and it took a lot of the enjoyment out of reading. There are a few tips, however (skimming, etc.) that I still do apply and they are very helpful.

  3. Ravi,

    I’m interested in knowing if your Photoreading investment paid off. I couldn’t find your promised daily reports of progress on the site. I notice your posts are from Nov. 2006… Are you still Photoreading or was it a bust?

    Thanks

  4. I found your blog during my search on “photoreading”. I noticed that you got your package back in Nov. 2007.

    I could finding nothing more on your site.

    Has it worked for you?

    Thanks for the interesting blog.

    Andy

  5. Hi Akeel, thanks for visiting my blog. I ordered the photoreading system a few days ago. It should arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday. I will be posting updates on this blog as I start using the system.

    Have you tried any other speed-reading systems before?

    Ravi

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