About two weeks ago, in preparation for reading 1000 books in 2015, I began training on speed reading. My current reading speed is 500 words per minute (wpm) plus or minus, with full comprehension. For the first week and a half of speed reading training, I just practiced the speed reading exercises, then I began to read using the new skills I’ve picked up. These skills include:

MINIMIZING SUB-VOCALIZATION. Almost every expert who believes there is no such thing as speed reading says that there is no proof that eliminating sub-vocalization helps anyone read faster. These same experts say that a person can read at a maximum rate of 600 wpm because we humans can sub-vocalize that fast. I like to repeat a one-syllable word such as ‘one’ or ‘ma’ while I read. After 2 weeks of doing this on a consistent basis, at least 20-30 minutes a day, I can read text while I say ‘one’ or ‘ma’ repeatedly and understand the text. Eventually, I plan on singing the entire theme of the Flintstones while I read.

ELIMINATING REGRESSION. This one was a tough one but I think I have it licked. For the last two weeks, I have been forcing myself not to go back on any word I read. I believe this alone allowed me to go from 400 wpm to 500 wpm in the last two weeks.

FORCING MYSELF TO READ LARGER WORD CHUNKS. I have a book with exercises that train you to read using your peripheral vision. Apparently, you can be trained to trust your peripheral vision. Normally, people stop at each word on a printed page. With training, one can take in more than one word at a time. Allegedly, one can eventually learn to take in one whole printed line at a time. I am training myself to make two eye stops per line and not to regress. I imagine, sooner or later this will become my main reading mode.

FORCING MYSELF TO READ AT 10,000 WPM. Reading this fast will result in zero comprehension. What I am trying to accomplish with these exercises is to be able to be aware of the words in the page. When I started doing this two weeks ago, the words in the page were a blur. Now, I can see the words although I cannot comprehend any of the material. As the books claim, after doing this for 30 minutes, when I go back to my normal reading mode, I seem to fly through the words with full comprehension. The effect doesn’t last however, after 10 minutes or so afterwards, I find myself slowing down. I read that eventually the effect will last longer and longer. That would be cool.

BOOKS. I re-read The Hobbit. I had read this book waaay back when, sometime in High School. It was fun to see how different it is from the movie. For example, in the book, the Orcs play no role whatsoever. The main baddies, besides Smaug, are the Goblins. I must admit that the action added to the movie is really good, like having the dwarves battle Smaug and adding the battle sequence to the barrel escape part. The Battle of the Five Armies is very, very short in the book,

I read Code To Zero by Ken Follett. This is the story about a rocket scientist; Dr. Lucas, who discovers a plot to destroy the first rocket the U.S is trying to launch to start the American Space Age. The culprits drug, kidnap, and induce amnesia on the good doctor to keep him from informing the military about the plot. The story is about how Dr. Lucas rediscovers his identity and the plot, and discovers who is behind his memory loss. Oh, and he rediscovers a long lost love.

I am halfway through my third book. I hope to post about it yet today.

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