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GK- Speed Reading Print
March 2013

This note is about the techniques for speed reading with effectiveness.  The scope is reading for knowledge and not for entertainment or pass time and excludes demonstrations on the use of language or writing skills.  Some techniques are restricted to materials personally owned such as books as repeated readings at different times are needed.  The note here is based on personal experience, not from an authority, and therefore read with caution.

The pre-requisite is a desire to gain knowledge in a specific area and the more specific the more effective.  If there is no desire or scope, the techniques may not work.  How do we know if we have a desire to learn?  We ask this question ourselves and we will know the answer.

The 1st technique for speed reading is the assumption that our brain works mostly by association.  Mind mapping is an effective way of expressing functional associations.  The game tick-tat-toe offers a format of 3x3 cells that can be used to express associations explicitly.  The centre cell is the topic or question. The other 8 cells are associated info which can be further questions or answers.  Each cell on the periphery can have an extension of 8 cells and so forth.  Our knowledge level of a topic is high if we can express the topic with a large mind map or many levels of pigeon holes.  Ask 5W1H- why, what, when, where, who, and how often.  The more descriptive a piece of info is, the more knowledge we will have gained. When we come across a piece of external info, it will make sense to us if we can associate it.  Obviously for information not identified, the information is new and the reading speed will be lower than if associated.  This criterion determines the effective speed of reading.

The 2nd technique applies to the process of reading.  When a topic is new, do a scope search first on the info available and attempt to build an association of info available.  In the case of a book, read the preface and the table of contents.  Flip through the pages to reinforce the familiarisation of this source of info.  Now read the content either sequentially or selectively.  Read fast and do not stop the flow even when hitting terms of new, unclear, or confusing meaning.  The association of content with the context is more important than details.  Read on until a concept begins to be visible.  A concept should be constructed by association of content in the right context.  It is perfectly fine to read the same sentence several times in case different meaning keeps coming out each time.  Go out of the book to seek meanings of new, unclear, or confusing terms as desired.  This situation indicates a new formation of association of information in the brain.  You will know very soon if the book is too shallow, too deep, or about the right level for you. It is also possible that you find new knowledge from old info- a book you have read before because your association of knowledge may have changed during the interval.

The 3rd technique is for coordinating the progression of reading.  We can read any time we like and for very short duration each time and yet we will build up our knowledge quick.  When we read in a short interval, we can read any part of the book as long as we know where it belongs to.  A short period may be used to refresh the association of info only and this will help tremendously.  Many small intervals can be as more effective than one long reading period, and this allows us to learn at all times.