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Breakthrough Rapid Reading
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Breakthrough Rapid Reading

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  369 ratings  ·  44 reviews
A previous National Director of Education for Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics presents his do-it-yourself program for increasing reading speed and boosting comprehension.Speed reading is one of the truly useful educational ideas of the last few years, and this book can be the least expensive and most efficient way you can learn it. --William Proxmire, United States SenatorThe ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Prentice Hall Press (first published 1979)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,526)
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Aug 05, 2010 Jeremy marked it as gave-up  ·  review of another edition
Unlike the rest of the books in my "gave up" shelf, this book ended up here by no fault of the book itself. The content that I did cover was very good, well-organized, and effective. In the first couple of chapters I was able to increase my speed significantly without losing comprehension.

What I came to discover, though, is that I don't want to read fast. There, I said it. For me, speed reading is like speed eating. I don't want to learn how to eat my meal in 30 seconds because I LOVE food and I
Amy Hardison
I am already reading at least 3 times faster than I did before I started reading this book. It is amazing. However, it is a hands-on book. It has daily exercises. While I have explored some speed reading in the past, the thing I love about this book is the idea that rapid reading with good comprehension is a learnable skill. Your brain learns how to read and comprehend words as units, without subvocalizing them. In other words, the frustration that might occur early on because comprehension is l ...more
This book actually works, if you put in the effort to practice daily. (OK I skipped a few days so it took me two months to finish instead of six weeks.) My reading rate tripled with full comprehension, from 215 words per minute to 655. I can achieve much higher rates with some comprehension loss. If you are a student or need to read for your job, the techniques around selective reading and recall will help you to hit much, much higher rates while getting everything you need out of a book (or art ...more
Jun 09, 2012 Bryan457 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
So many books, so little time!

Before practicing any techniques, I tested out on 3 different types of reading at 230 WPM, 252 WPM and 290 WPM.

After practicing the 1st technique my WPM on the easiest type of reading went from 290 to 470 WPM. I'm impressed. I feel that my comprehension has suffered a little.

I need to practice the excercises in the first half of the book for awhile before I move on to the rest of the book. But, I do intend to finish this eventually.

Okay, after finally having some time to read books again, I realized that I was going to have to learn how to read faster. I had heard little things here and there about speed-reading, but I didn't understand it. I love reading and hated the idea that I would be pushing myself to read faster at the expense of enjoyment or comprehension. But this book pointed out that there are ways to read much faster that can help with both. It does come down to that old paradox about quantity vs. quality a lit ...more
This is the best speed-reading book I've read so far. I tried it out and it worked, even after only a few chapters. Reading with your hand is hard with paperbacks, but that is a huge recommendation by the author. Because I'm self-conscious, admittedly I still don't read with my hand in public. However, if I have a bigger book and I'm at home, I'll read with my hand. You can get to a level where you're reading so fast you're actually just skimming the book, which is bad in most cases. So after ea ...more
Aug 25, 2007 Zanny rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ambitious readers
As far as I know, this is the premier text for speed-reading. I first used it for a class during my second year of college. Despite the fact that I was far less consistent in working through the book than I should have been, I more than doubled my reading speed without substantial loss in comprehension. If a slacker like me can make that kind of improvement...
I recently started going through the book again and have once again seen a drastic improvement in both my fiction and nonfiction rates. Co
Leon M
Ingenious book on speed reading techniques that really guides you through acquiring the skills as if you were in a real course with instructor and everything. Be warned: You will really need to practice if you want to acquire the skill of speed reading - I took an hour and more for all the pratice drills every day in the last week!
This book was an interesting read for so many reasons. The biggest because it will challenge the way you read. Instead of stressing complete comprehension, it stresses quick reading thru of material while active organizing how the material is arranged and structured. So it's as much a course about understanding the process of reading as speed reading. By the end of the book I have found that my reading rate has doubled, and my comprehension has increased. It's almost one of those situations in w ...more
I read 3 books to learn to speed read and this was my favorite of the three. It was a really good resource. This is a long term book. My library copy is going back and I'm going to buy my own copy and have it on hand to teach my kids when they are ready. I need to do the drills and get my speed up. It was really good.
Practiced this during holiday of my junior year of my high school. Now my finger keeps moving in the zigzag fashion on the page :D It's a good training program

Having said that, speed reading is good when it is just to scan for its ideas. Deeply reading any book requires a lot more interaction and hence time.
Excellent techniques for practicing reading faster while keeping or improving your comprehension and retention. Also covers what to focus on when you're reading - what is it your trying to get out of the material you are reading. The purpose changes how you read.
This book is not just about reading fast (moving eyes quickly, etc.), it's more about enhancing reading comprehension. So I think it's good. But to become a fast reader, you have to practice, practice and practice........
Samar Ahmad
قرأته قبل تحدي الثلاثين كتاب لصيف 2010 ، شعرت معه بأنه سيؤخرني ولذلك لم أكمل 80 صفحة ربما .. وبدأت بالتحدي الذي صرت أعاني فيه من سرعتي الزائدة في القراءة !

هذا البيتر يثرثر كثيرًا :\
George Simons
Highly recommended, above almost everything else. Lets not call it "speed reading" lets call it "reading and learning exceptionally".
Allan Fisher
Good for the practical side to kick in hopefully.......
It took me a long time to read this book.
Terry Kim
Great book to get started on Speed Reading. Before reading this book, I was pretty skeptical about the whole speed reading. But now I can understand how it words, and how I can improve my speed drastically.

To be honest I have not done any of the drills. I did double or triple my reading speed immediately just by using my fingers to read (totally valuable skill). If I spend each day practicing the drills I do believe I can improve my reading speed upto 10x at least.

All in all, not a bad read. I
Saleh Al-saadi
Useful! But you need huge afford and effort for many practices. My result was I read five times faster than before with better comprehension. It is really wealthy book.
Sreejith Pp
I could see someone with a slow reading speed benefiting from this book but sadly I was looking for something with which I could increase my speed from an already high level (~500) to more than 1000 with perfect comprehension. That being said, I do find the drills used in this book to be pretty effective and I'm sure a dedicated person could improve his reading speed significantly. All in all, 4 stars.
I appreciate the idea of reading as a practiced skill being repeated through each of the methods for accelerating that skill's development. Drills and training plans are provided. (I merely read this instruction manual; maybe I'll practice some day.)
Tim Andersen
This is a workbook designed to help you drill on other materials to help you read faster. It can sometimes get a little monotonous, but practicing speed reading is hard work. These drills have helped me push up my reading speed from 250 wpm to 400wpm, if I practiced more I am certain I could push it higher. If you have too much to read, get this book first and use your other books as your drilling material.
A very helpful book for those who read a lot. Full of practice drills to improve speed and comprehension. I have done speed reading before so I really just wanted to brush up and regain some speed and found it very good for this purpose also. Plenty of helpful information on the structure of books, on the reading process and how to retain what you've read if you want to do so. Thoroughly recommended.
I found many interesting ideas in the book, but ultimately I consider it a bit dated. The exercises are particularly not suited for users of ebook readers, such as myself, as they add a lot of overhead. Also, the exercises are mostly of one type so personally, I feel the need to explore more books on this topics.
May 25, 2009 Kris marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this to anyone who wants to increase their reading speed. I haven't finished it, and don't know about the claims on reading at what I consider insane speeds right now, but regardless, I've doubled my reading rate and have the same (or better) comprehension.
I have purchased 5 of these. I keep two at home, because I like lending it out, but I don't want to be missing my copy.'

I don't do a great job of practicing what this book preaches, but when I do the results are large and obvious.
Hossam Saed Samy
من أفضل كتب تعلم القراءة السريعة , استمتعت به كثيرا و طور من مهاراتى فى القراءة

الكتاب عبارة عن دورة تدريبية لمده شهر و نصف جدولها الزمنى هو فهرس الكتاب

ستخرج من الكتاب عندك المقدرة على القراءة اسرع و بفهم اكثر
Alex Strick van Linschoten
Excellent overview of skills necessary to improve reading speed. I liked how the the book was also a 6-week 'course' which allowed for drilling of the techniques. Learnt lots. Highly recommended.
Stephen Fox
Apr 18, 2013 Stephen Fox marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
So far read a book in a few hours in one sitting and did a few stop and recall notes, very surprised how much I remembered. Still working through the book at 600 a minute so far
Kathy Sandlin
I think the methods would really work and I would continue this book if I had "work" books to read. I didn't really want to follow some of the methodology with my leisure books.
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“There are many famous people who could read extremely fast. It was said that England’s Samuel Johnson could read almost as fast as he could look at the pages. While in the White House, President Theodore Roosevelt used to read a book every day before breakfast, and he occasionally read three a day. John F. Kennedy was well known for being able to read 1,200 words per minute.” 1 likes
“Rapid reading is not a difficult skill to learn.” 0 likes
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