October 7, 2020

How to Read Faster and Recall More (Gordon R. Wainwright)

How to Read Faster and Recall More: Learn the Art of Speed Reading with Maximum Recall

Readlax: #1 Speed Reading App. (promo)

Best notes from the book:

“I would suggest you set yourself the following targets: 100% increase in reading speed; a recall level of at least 70%. ”

“Most progress will nevertheless be made if you have a positive mental attitude or PMA, as it is sometimes called. ”

“It will also help if you approach the work with a certain amount of confidence.”

“Research has shown that there is a mechanism in the brain which switches vision off 40 milliseconds before the eyes move and does not switch it completely back on again until 40 milliseconds after they have stopped moving. The amount you read at each fixation depends upon your span of perception or eye span. ”

“What all this means in practical terms is that, in order to increase your reading speed, you have to learn to space these fixations out more. Most slow readers read every word and yet you only have to look at a word to realise that you see more than one word at a time ”

“Whatever you can see without moving your eyes is your available eye span. Clearly, reading one word at a time is a wasteful use of resources.”

“Research into reading in the United States has, in fact, identified fourteen characteristics of 'the mature reader'.”

“The biggest problem that the inefficient or slow reader (the two are usually synonymous) has is that he or she regresses, that is, goes back to read things again. ”

“Many people vocalise or subvocalise as they read. Vocalising is simply a technical term for reading aloud. Some are unable to read silently. More subvocalise, that is, they read aloud silently. It is often called inner speech ”

“Once you are operating at speeds above 300 w.p.m. you tend quite naturally to take in information in terms of groups of words rather than single words. ”

“The faster reader has a choice and can be flexible, reading easy materials quickly and demanding material relatively slowly, after skimming first.”

“Many slow readers experience tension when reading under pressure, for instance, when time is short. The efficient reader remains relaxed, even when reading against the clock. ”

“Faster readers make sure that they have a clear knowledge of their purpose and expectations before they begin to read something ”

“Vocabulary is a significant factor in reading. ”

“Another factor is your general background of knowledge and experience. The broader this is, the more likely you are to be able to tackle materials of greater difficulty drawn from a wider range of subject areas. Breadth of scope breeds more breadth as well as greater depth of understanding. ”

“Instead of looking at every word, try looking at alternate words. If you can do it, it will clearly instantly double your reading speed. ”

“try to identify groups of words rather than single words ”

“Reading speed (words per minute) x Questions score %

Example: 250 x 70% = 175 = Effective Reading Rate ”

“READING COMPREHENSION. We should be able to select the important points from what we have read and be able to draw general conclusions. We should look for key words and phrases. We should be able to differentiate between fact and opinion. We should be able to make deductions, draw inferences, be aware of implications and interpret information. We need to relate what we have read to our prior knowledge and experience, to see it in context. We should evaluate and discuss what we read with others. ”

“FACTORS AFFECTING COMPREHENSION: speed of reading, our purposes in reading, the nature of the material, the layout of the material, the environment in which we are reading”

“Who can read faster? 1) Most people, if they have: Motivation, Confidence, Effort, Persistence 2) Those who are prepared to practise, practise, practise ”

“Information is easier to remember if it has a pattern of organisation, a structure. ”

“Visualisataions help us to remember things. ”

“Associations. We should look for easy to remember associations between what we want to remember and what we readily remember already. ”

“Mnemonics is the name given both to the study of memory and to the techniques which enable us to use it more efffectively. ”

“questions in the form of self-recitation can be very useful in recalling information ”

“Acronyms or words formed from the initial letters of the words we wish to remember. Examples would be SHAPE - Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe - or HOMES - the five great lakes in America: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior. ”

“Rapid reading is the gear we are trying to get as far into as we can here. It involves groups-of-words-by-groups-of-words reading, largely without regressions. Speeds range from about 300 w.p.m. to about 800 w.p.m. though some authorities place the maximum higher than this. ”

“The late US President, John F. Kennedy, was reputed to read at 1200 w.p.m. ”

“Skimming involves allowing the eyes to move quickly across and down the page, not reading every group of words nor even every line. Skill in skimming depends on a clear sense of purpose ”


Preview - skim for structure, main points, relevance, etc.

2. Read - as quickly as purposes and material will allow.

3. Review - skim to check that nothing has been overlooked and/or to reinforce points to be remembered. ”


“Skimming can be used in the P2R flexible reading strategy. ”

“To skim effectively you should first of all identify key words and/or questions you wish to have answered (self-recitation and mind mapping will help enormously here). ”

“Reading faster often makes you tense, nervous, irritable, depressed (to quote the old commercial). Try to take it a little easier. If this is not possible, try some physical relaxation exercises. ”

“Maybe your motivation for reading is not clear to you. You do need to be motivated to read well. You need to generate some interest at least in what you are reading. ”

“Firstly, you need to keep practising, for the next few weeks at least. Find some time every day - five minutes is better than none ”

“Always keep the idea of improving your reading skills in mind ”

“21st Century Guide to Increasing Your Reading Speed, Laurie E. Rozakis, Ellen Lichtenstein (Dell Publishing, 1995). ”