A little rant of mine, that has been developing for some time now...
I came across an article that is similar to many that appear around the web, called "Easy Techniques to Increase Reading Speed", and there's nothing really bad about this article. But, it's the millionth version of this article, along with the Dr. Jay Polmar articles, and the like that tell all of us how easy it is to read faster.
Saying things like, "Just stop saying the words in your head," or "Don't pay attention to the small words, just the big ones," or my personal favorite, "Don't re-read, just keep on reading, but make you sure you're comprehending what you're reading." Well, if I understood it, I probably wouldn't need to re-read it would I? So, how do I stop this vicious cycle?
And so you read on, hoping to see the "How It's Done" part, but it never comes. These articles upset me so much, because they remind me of when I was one of the slowest readers in my class. They seem to evoke this feeling of hopelessness, because they tell you it can be done, and that others can do it, but that you can't. And I hate that, because that's not education, it's bull-...well, you know what it is.
I'm fed up with speed reading being associated with scams, informercials, 1-800 numbers, and easy short-cuts for 3 easy payments of $19.95. I want people to know that if they're interested in learning about increasing their reading speed, or increasing their comprehension, the information on how to do it is out there.
There was a time for these kinds of advertisements and sales pitces, but not anymore. It's one of the reasons I don't run ads on website, no ppc, no Chitika, no adsense, or whatever, because I DO NOT want to be associated with any type of scam speed reading program. I just want to be honest with readers everywhere at all reading speeds and comprehension levels.
So, in case my comment isn't approved for their website, I've decided to post it here. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.
"I agree with your four steps:
1. "eye examination" - Yes, great for assessing your physical capabilities for reading and general vision health.
2. "Stop pronouncing the words" - Yes, sub-vocalization can slow down reading speed.
3. "concentrate on the most important words" - Yes, I think it's perfectly okay to skip over the the's and the and's and the a's and the an's. Think about how much faster you would have read that last statement if you had skipped over them.
4. "stop regressing" - Yes, several researchers have shown that the amount of fixations that a person makes while reading a line of text correlate with their reading rate.
And while these are great tips, how does a person learn to stop sub-vocalizing when it's become a habit like breathing? How do you learn to ignore the words "the" "and" and so forth? And why should you stop regressing, when you can't remember what you just read, isn't comprehension more important? Shouldn't you re-read so that you get the main idea?
The answers are out there and many of them are free because they date back to 1900's with the publications of W.B. Secor's study and E.B. Huey's 1908 book "The Psychology and Pedagogy of Read", which is available on Google Books to read for free and download. The research and the answers are out there for everyone to read.
Good luck to everyone looking to read faster."