23 Nov 2011
Around 6 years ago, I didn't believe in speed reading. Still, I bought a book about speed reading anyway.
I didn't really believe in the techniques it offered. I still don't believe them these days except for one technique so called “thought unit”.
“Thought unit” suggests that we should read 1 paragraph, stop to ponder what the paragraph is about, then conclude it with in a few words. This largely improves the understanding of the text you read.
For example, you may read a paragraph and conclude that this paragraph is about the definition.
The super important part of human intelligence is to utilize the language and encapsulates the meaning within a simple phrase or a few words.
You may notice that every great person speaks very well and use their language fluently. That is because when they think, they think in words.
Being good in language (writing, speaking, reading and listening) is crucial to being smart. There is a study that CEOs (in US) generally has larger vocabulary than a normal person. They know like 10,000 words or something. Normal people know only 3,000 words. I don't remember where I read this anymore, probably, a book from Malcalm Gladwell.
The key to practice this technique is to read fast and conclude. If you cannot do it the first time, then re-read again and try to come up with the best conclusive phrase.
From now everyday, I will read 3 paragraph very fast and conclude them within a few words. I will also time how fast I read each day.
The text that I will use to practice is from the book “Getting Real” since it is free and a good book. It's about the new way to run a business. Here is the link to it: http://gettingreal.37signals.com/toc.php