I recently read the book „PhotoReading“ by Paul R. Scheele to see what the originator of this reading method actually suggests. PhotoReaders claim to be able to read more than 25,000 words per minute. That’s on average about a fully written page in a second. This implies that it should be possible to finish that book with 169 pages in less than 3 minutes. I needed about 45 minutes to read it with the speed reading technique at an average rate of 800 words per minute.
So what’s the secret to PhotoReading then? I would say none, because reading at such a speed is not possible. Even Mr Scheele agrees to this himself.
According to Mr Scheele, one should first get acquainted with the reading material. This means, one should flip through the entire pages of the book to get the gist of it, read the table of contents, chapter titles and scan the text. This of course, takes time. Then one should exercise yoga or such to calm down. This of course, also takes some time. Only then you PhotoRead the pages of the book, with “X-ray vision”. This can be described as looking at the pages with a gaze focused somewhat behind the pages. Thusly, our right brain cortex can process the whole of the page in an instance. I don’t subscribe to this statement, as one can’t process what one can’t see. This has to do with the anatomy of the eye, something I wrote about in an earlier blog post here. The PhotoReading process might be very fast and only take a few minutes. Then one should page through the book again to reactivate what one just “read”, which of course takes additional time. And finally, one should page through the book once again to read passages of importance and reviewing titles and headlines. This of course, also takes time.
If I spent 45 minutes reading the book thoroughly, or followed Mr Scheeles advice, I believe would have cost you more time. So in the end, there’s nothing like “reading” at speeds of 25,000 words per minute. Anyone can do that, flipping through a book, but it won’t give you any comprehension.
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