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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2012
I was a pretty slow reader until recently, despite having bought two other speed reading books, that made very little difference. What I like about this book is that it has lots of exercises that help you get that eureka moment when suddenly you realise that you can both read fast and retain the information.

At this stage I am in chapter 9, but I wanted to share my progress so far, as the exercises for this chapter will probably take a few days or weeks to really sink in. Here is my progress so far with comprehension remaining at 65-80%
Self Test 1: 170 words per minute (wpm)
Self Test 2: 210 wpm
Self Test 3: 280 wpm
Self Test 4: 375 wpm

I have managed to read at 800 wpm but at that rate comprehension takes quite a dip. But it's all about practice.

If you want to increase your reading speed then this book does the job.
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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2001
Reading AND Retention. None of this skimming rubbish. Self-tests, diagrams, examples, practice exercises to train the eyes and brain to take in and retain information at high speed. Excellent.
Listen - if you're reading this then you obviously have an interest in improving the speed and quality of your information intake - Buy this book - And I don't get paid for saying that. It's also got a great Mind Map and vocab section. I started at around 240 word per minute - Now I'm at 600 (after 2 weeks) and with much better recall. 1000 wpm here we come...
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2000
The book is well structured and provides a comprehesive look at speed reading. Inaddition it gives an insight into other topics such as memory retention and vocabulary. On the principle subject of speed reading it is excellent. It should provide anyone with an effective way to increase reading speed with the minimum of time and effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2013
My copy of The Speed Reading Book is the 1997 BBC edition. Until I read this book, I had a poor impression of Tony Buzan because I felt he spun too much mileage and fuss out of the mind mapping idea. Sure enough, it even rears it's impertinent head in this book! That was my only gripe, since I don't consider mind-mapping to be a speed reading skill. Nevertheless, the rest of the book definitely deserves a five star rating. Originally written over 35 years ago, it is excellent even by today's best standards. It is an extremely comprehensive, well planned, well-written book. It is interactive, with several speed/comprehension tests at various stages of the book. It has a special chart at the back to record your progress as you work through the book and there's a useful index and bibliography. This is the only speed reading book I have read, but it seems to cover every aspect of the skill I could hope for. My reading speed (with good comprehension) very quickly doubled before I was even one quarter of the way through the book. They will need to pry this one from my cold, dead hands!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2011
This book offers something that everyone wants, the ability to process more information faster. The book starts brilliantly by testing the readers starting speed so you can see the progress being made. Using simple tips the first half of the book can have you reading comfortably at speeds, in my case, of 420 Words per minute.

The main tip this book gives is using different reading approaches for different things. To read at 420WPM you really need to be "actively reading" for me this means sitting at a desk, with a reading rest using a pen to keep my eyes moving fast. Obviously this isn't enjoyable like sitting in bed with a novel.

Don't get the impression this book will help you read everything super quick.

Above 400ish WPM it becomes more about skim reading and at this point it appears that there is a huge trade off between speed and comprehension (proven by the tests throughout the book). This did not help me for the type of reading i do. Techniques such as reading two or three lines at one go have not provided me with any benefit.

In summary this book has made me more aware of my reading abilities and given me the option to adjust this depending on factors such as time, enjoyment, and level of comprehension required. 4 Stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2012
Half way through the book my reading rate was at 475 wpm up from 220 before i started.

When i bought the book, i was only expecting to increase my reading rate, but was pleasantly surprised when my comprehension and retention also improved.

Highly recommended!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2000
I wanted to increase my ability to read things quickly. Although I have no problem with recognising letters and words, I had always found it hard to concentrate on reading long passages. The words seemed to blur into a mess after only a few seconds and I couldn't develop a flow.
After reading this book, I am now able to read very quickly and have found this wonderful for the research I have recently been doing. This would have been impossible without reading the book first.
The book is a must for anyone who finds it difficult to read books or articles and it's written in a way which holds your attention.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2013
Apart from the fact that "SELF TEST" 4's answers do not correlate to the test, all the exercises gave me a sense of accomplishment. Tests such as these should be applied to schools, in fact when i quailfy i'll revolutionise education in the UK!

I recommend this book to students especially those seeking further education or attending university,ie undergrads.

I am still an average reader, but will improve with practice as per recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2014
Tony Buzan has written many books. Many of them are really good books. 'Use your head' is one of them. This one is more of a brief treatise on speed reading. Nothing wrong with that but if you want a longer more in depth treatment of the subject this is not for you. However, if you know the subject area and want a reminder of the principles this will fit the bill.
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on 1 October 2014
Whenever a book or course makes semi-scientific claims verging on the supernatural it pays to have some scepticism. Sadly this book is full of them and fails to reference any research to back the many assertions.

Sadly, a few google searches swiftly revealed that many of the ideas in this book are unverified and often contradictory to current research (e.g. Buzan claims subvocalisation slows reading and isn't necessary for comprehension, whereas a perusal of the academic articles linked to from the Wikipedia article on subvocalisation shows scientific literature thinks it is beneficial).

So, why 2 stars? Mainly because it's well written, well put together, and it seems to be a comprehensive introduction to the claims and ideas of speed reading. So if you're interested in knowing what speed reading is about it's certainly worth a read. Just don't buy it believing the marketing hype.
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