Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Reading Speed

A few days ago, I bought the book Triple Your Reading Speed by Wade Cutler, which is supposed to help readers… um… triple their reading speed. This is something I’d really like to learn and practice, if only to help me get through reading voluminous texts. There’s quite a few books I want to dig into, but I don’t have the time, much less the patience, to go through them.

Reading non-fiction is fine. Give me a textbook or a manual on a subject that interests me and I’ll eagerly go through it from beginning to end. But fiction is one that I’ll toil over. It’s kinda weird, but I’ve theorized that I’m able to tolerate non-fiction more because information is served in packets. I’d learn something at the end of each section of non-fiction, and I’ll be satiated till the next time I open the book, content at the thought that I learned something concrete from the last reading session. But in my limited view, the point of traditional fiction happens in the end. When I stop after a few chapters from the beginning, I only get a piece of the whole pie.

This is one reason why I’ve been going through short stories in the meantime, working my page-count up the ladder till such time comes that I’m able to sit through a whole chunk of pages without succumbing to the urge to do something else. That argument can be refuted ten times over, for sure, but doing something is better than not doing anything at all. If I want it enough, I’ll find a way.

(Oh, and I’ll be speed reading for content and comprehension only, for it’s impossible to appreciate the fine art of writing when you’re zipping through pages at over 400 words per minute.)

So in the meantime, speed reading is my course of action. That is, if and only if, I’m able to implement the divine teachings of the Cutler’s Acceleread program, which is what’s essentially contained in the book. I’m getting a bit of a hang of it, yet practice makes perfect, and there’s a lot of that to do.

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