Speed reading

In this day and age we are being overwhelmed by ever increasing amounts of information that we need to effectively work our way through. Even though we are experimenting with other forms of information like video or audio, we receive the majority in written form.

But how do you tackle those textual torrents? Speed reading.

Tony Buzan gives some excellent techniques on how to improve your basic reading speed and Spreeder let´s you train those techniques on any text, but that´s only th tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Real speed comes from a combination of skimming and scanning, which means quickly going over the unimportant stuff and only reading that which matters. We waste a lot of time reading that which we already know or that we don't need to know. The only problem is that we were taught to read a text from beginning to end with equal intensity and understanding. While this may be true for novels, it hinders us with everything else we read.

For example, articles on a work related subject usually want to make one or two specific points, but they also give and introduction, provide some background and add arguments to prove their point. All this is excess baggage if you're already up to speed on the subject. In that case you only need to read the point being made. The combination of skimming and scanning lets you jump over the extra's to get to get to relevant part of the text. Once there you can use your basic reading speed to take in the passage, capturing all the information in only a fraction of the time.