Reading should be a relaxing and entertaining activity. However, very often we are faced with a situation when we have to read for professional and academic reasons, for example when preparing for an exam or studying lengthy reports and journals.
These are not exactly enjoyable tasks but maybe necessary for our personal and professional advancement. This is when photoreading might come in useful.
How long does it normally take you to read a book? Probably several hours spread over many days depending on the number of pages. How much can you remember? Generally, we can recall about 10%.
Photoreading is not about developing a photographic memory but a system whereby you can achieve in less than 30 minutes the same results you would normally get after three to six hours of normal reading time. Of course this depends on how big the book is and how familiar you are with the subject at hand.
It works because the non-conscious mind takes in information very quickly. You also need to know your objective beforehand. Only 4% of vision is light being received by the eye while the rest is manufactured in the brain via other senses and kinesthetic and emotional reactions.
Generally, books are over-written anyway and things are said more than once or in different ways. Remember, you probably know a lot of the information so you are only looking out for something you don’t know.
You just need to practise, so here’s how to do it…
- What do you want to get from the book? Your reasons for reading it.
- Spend about 3 minutes just browsing, the title, introduction, the blurb, etc.
- Focus your attention on a point about 20cms above and a little behind your head and relax.
- De-focus. Place the book on a flat surface in front of you. Make sure it is within your peripheral vision and then let your eyes go slightly out of focus, like looking at a 3-D image.
- Turn the pages one at a time at a rate of one per second, making sure that your eyes are de-focussed on the centre.
- At the last page, turn the book upside down and go through it again backwards and upside down.
- Put it down and forget about it for about 30 minutes.
- Jot down notes. This activates the brain very quickly.
- Speed read. If you need the information more immediately, then speed read by skimming down each page following your finger as it moves rapidly down the middle of the page.
Well, there you are. See if it works for you!
Happy English learning!!