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Packing Heat 100: Relearning Reading

Relearning Reading

10 Days to Faster Reading is the first book recommended at Personal MBA. Since I had tested my reading rate years ago (and come in at a third-grade level!!!) I decided it was in my best interest to see if I could improve my reading rate to enable myself to plow through all the business books I wanted to read.

10 Days challenged several of my basic assumptions about reading.

  • Reading rate is fixed

  • I won't enjoy reading if I go faster

  • I won't comprehend what I'm reading

  • There's only one way to read

Grouping words

While many of us (meaning: me) read one word at a time, we comprehend multiple words at a time. I could say "red" and you'd imagine the color red as one concept. I could say "red rubber ball" and you'd imagine that as a single concept too, not three distinct words.

The website Eyercize dynamically challenges us to read in word groupings rather than individual words. Give it a try. It's free!

Your assignment

Get thee to Eyercize! Try it out and see if it shifts the way you think about words and concepts. (And if you already think that way, yay! Some of us, ahem, are still working to graduate from the third grade.)

Listen here


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
I was doing okay with the Eyercise (sort of) until it included the instructions for going faster or slower; after that I lost track completely because I was looking at the keyboard not the words. I found it a bit off-putting that it didn't pay any attention to the punctuation when setting the word groups made what I was reading seem stilted. I think I'll be trying again later!
Apr. 21st, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
The punctuation thing annoyed me, too. It's all very nice to be reading 340 words or whatever a minute, and reading in groups, but "the groups should / not be lumped / into set that / don't make a / sense. The period / and

paragraph breaks / in particular made / things frustrating.


That said, I DO read fast, and I do read in 'concept' rather than single words -- which has directly resulted in editors tearing out their hair because I frequently hand in copy that I think is clean but in fact is missing words. A lot of words. *blush*
Apr. 21st, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
Agreed, I wish eyercize were smarter and broke the text into clumps that made sense, and also the punctuation handling leaves something to be desired. I think for those of us who read word-for-word, it's a cool and interactive (and free!) way to start thinking in word-groups rather than single words.

In the podcast I talk about different styles of reading based on purpose; I think it's critical for a writer to be able to switch from phrase-clumps to single words for exactly the problem you mention.
Apr. 21st, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
For sure! It's a vital skill, really, and one I'm always trying to improve upon, if only so I stop getting edits back that are full of comments of confusion. :D
Apr. 21st, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
I haven't played with the speed thingy yet. I'm sure I'll be distracted when I do!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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