to cook pork chow mein tonight, you don't read every page in The
1,000 Recipe Chinese Cookbook. You read only what you need to know. This tip alone
will enable you to read four books in the same time it takes to skim a newspaper.
Another tip: do NOT read "slowly and
deliberately". Look out your window right now. Then reflect on your brain's fantastic
ability to take in all that information instantly. Remember those 130 million light
receivers in each of your eyes, and their magic ability to flash that scene to your visual
cortex. That's your brain's holistic ability to "photograph" a complete picture.
Learn to use it.
Even those pages you think you need to read will
include much information that can be skimmed. Remember your purpose, and the key answers
you are seeking. For instance, school teachers, business executives and people approaching
"retirement" are probably reading this book for different reasons.
So learn to skim for the points you want. Start by
holding this book in one hand far enough from your eyes to see the entire page - generally
about 18 to 20 inches: about 50cm. With your other hand use your index finger or a
retracted ball-point pen. Practise running either your finger or the pen quite quickly
down the center of each page, with your eyes looking just above the point of your pen or
finger, following it down. You'll be amazed at what you can take in, if you know
specifically what you are looking for.
This is not just speed-reading. It's sensible
skim-reading and selective reading. If you're looking for main principles, then that
skim-reading may be all you'll need. If you're looking for specific information and quotes
to include in a report, article or book, you'll need to stop and note them. If you own the
book, use it as a dynamic resource. Mark key information with a highlighter. If the book
is not yours, write down page numbers. Return to them and write or type out the key
points. The physical act of writing or typing will help embed them in your brain's
memory-vaults - learning through the sense of touch as well as sight. Better still,
highlighting will make it easy to refresh your memory when you want to retrieve the
10. Reinforce with pictures and sound
Because you've read this far, you're obviously a
print-oriented learner, and a linguistic learner. But you can also learn better if you
Contents Page Preface