I started this blog those many months ago with the greatest of intentions. I wanted to read 1000 books a year using speed reading. See, I have become convinced that it is possible to speed read even when all the experts out there say it is not really possible. I’ve read articles in medical sites and journals explaining how speed reading is not physically possible because of the anatomy of the eye and the brain and this and that and blah blah blah.
Well, I haven’t researched this but I am willing to bet that the same kind of argument was being made against a human running a mile in less than 4 minutes. We know how that turned out. (In case you are not a runner, yes, a human can run a mile in less than four minutes although this was considered physically impossible back in the day)
Also, I saw a show about a guy in India who can wire himself up to the wall socket, throw the switch, and live to tell about it. Plus I have a personal experience or two about what the human body can do. Oh heck, I’ll tell you about this one because this one has actually been explained to me and it is a well known phenomenon. Back in my college days, I solved a complex Calculus reduction problem instantaneously. For many years I was mystified about this until recently when it was explained to me that some people can solve math problems with the part of their brain that processes vision and for some reason, this allows them to solve math problems at prodigious speeds. So I was able to do it once and I tell you, it was downright religious!
So, speed reading doesn’t seem all that impossible, or hard even, when one considers all these other cool things we can do with our bodies. Just watch So You Think You Can Dance and you’ll see what I mean!
I began this speed reading project by buying a number of software packages that basically force you to read fast. After using them however, I decided to start from the beginning and began to read books word by word. You may ask, were you NOT reading word by word already? Well, I don’t know about you but I wasn’t. Turns out that I was skipping a bunch of words because the context gave me all I needed. I don’t know if that makes sense but once I began, like a child, to look at every single word two things happened: First, my power of concentration went up a gazibillion times. It was amazing. I came to the conclusion that you can train concentration. Unfortunately, like speed reading itself, once you stop concentrating, your super power sort of goes away. This doesn’t make it any less real or any less useful though. Second, I noticed that once I was looking at every word, looking at groups of words became much easier, and, looking at groups of words is the holy grail of speed reading.
But I digress…
Sometime around February, I decided that I really wanted to get back to reading Japanese, or that is, learning how to read Japanese. After a couple of months and much progress, I decided to embark on the Romance Language project. This project will have me speaking Italian and Portuguese at an advanced level by New Year’s 2015 and speaking Catalan, French, and Romanian at at intermediate level by the same time.
Needless to say, my 1000 books a year sort of became neglected and forgotten.
I am not discarding it forever though. I WILL speed read and by golly, I will read 1000 books one year.
Over and out.