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6 Steps to speed read a 300 page book in 2 hours, and remember what you’ve read

I love reading books, and if you’re like me you know the problem is there are too many books and too little time!

If you can relate to this, then this post is for you.

I overcame this problem by going through several Speed Reading books to develop my reading & comprehension skills.

I’m now able to read a book several times faster, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that I can read a 300 page book in 2 hours. Though most Speed Reading Books focused on Reading Drills, what I found was that by adopting a few basic techniques, one can dramatically & instantly improve their Speed Reading Skills. In this post I’ll be sharing with you these secrets. (A Note: these techniques work best with Non-Fiction books)

Step 1: Know the purpose of reading the book

This is the first and perhaps the most important step to enhance your speed in reading. It is to know the purpose you’re reading the book. Is it pleasure reading, self-improvement or looking for details on a particular subject ? Without knowing why you won’t be able to jump into the pool of information to get what you want.

Ask yourself:

First: In an overall scheme of things how worthwhile is the material that I am reading

Second: What do I want or need to remember, as specifically as possible, from this material that I am about to read?

Step 2 & 3: Get an Overview of the Book & Author (15 minutes)

  • Go through the Front Cover, back cover & inside page cover
  • Table of Contents (make a note of chapters that seem interesting)
  • Amazon Reviews
  • Preface
  • Introduction

While going through the Amazon reviews, preface & introduction gather some more information about the author and form an opinion of the Author and why has he written the book.

Doing the above should not take more than 15 minutes. By the end of this step, you should be able to explain to someone in a few sentences what the book is about. If you can do this you’ve completed this step successfully.

Step 4: Flip through the entire book (10 minutes)

You’ll be surprised by the wealth of information you’ll come across by just doing this. Flip through every page of the book, spending 0.5 sec to 3 secs a page. You’re not expected to read through the text, but during this exercise, make notice of the following:

  • Diagrams
  • Sub Headings
  • Summary points
  • Any exercise

By noticing the above you’ll find your mind automatically absorbing bits of information & connecting the dots between them.

Step 5: Getting into the details (1 hour 20 minutes)

Most readers read books by diving right into the details without doing any background work. But by the time you’ve reached this step, you know:

  • Why you’re reading the book?
  • What the book is about?
  • Who the author is?
  • How can this book can help you?

Congratulations, you’re well in control of the book and to navigate through it with ease.

From step 2 you would have highlighted the chapters that interest you the most. Be brave start going through these chapters. Don’t feel guilty by jumping to the end of the chapter, usually the end of the chapter will summarize the whole chapter.

You’ll notice more often that not, there are a only few chapters that you need to go through, to know what you need to remember in Step 1. It’s using the 80/20 rule. 80% of the information you require is found in 20% of the book. 20% of the book is approx 50 pages which not take an average reader more than an hour and a half to read. Make sure you underline the Major themes and ideas of each chapter you read.

Step 6: Mind Map (15 minutes)

Mind-Mapping is a proven method to effecting summarize lots of information in short use of time and space. You can learn about Mind Mapping from this YouTube Video.

With the information you’ve underlined in Step 5, create a Mindmap to connect the central ideas of the book and each chapter it contains. The center of the MindMap can be the name of the book, and each Chapter you’ve read is a branch from the center. From each Chapter connect the lines

How it Works?

Speed reading is not about reading words fast, but it’s more about improving one’s ability to extract the message of the text that is being read. All the techniques above enhance your ability to understand the message of the text, without the need to read through every letter.

Benefits of Speed Reading:

  • Absorb new ideas faster
  • You’ll be able to make time to read a wider range of material
  • Greater career success as your ability to acquire and retain knowledge increases dramatically
  • Increased confidence to sifting through thick books to get what you want

Try it out! and share your experiences below.

20 Responses to “6 Steps to speed read a 300 page book in 2 hours, and remember what you’ve read”

  1. Raza Ali says:

    Nice article :)

  2. Esther Chee says:

    Hi, Thanks for this sharing about “How to read better and faster ” message. I would like to know where can I get the book? only in MPH?? or is there any website is allow for free download pdf file?? thanks

    hope to hear from you soon

  3. arif says:

    Hello Esther,
    Sorry don’t know if the book is available in soft copy. The book is quite commonly available in bookstores in India. Here’s a link.

  4. Giang Nguyen says:

    Hi,
    Your article is very useful. Would you mind if I bring it to our website, which is a forum for Marshall students. We need some useful guide like this for helping students. Thank you very much. Hope that you can visit our website and show us some of your experience.

  5. Mohammed Ali says:

    Hi Giang,
    No problem as long as the source is acknowledged with a link.

  6. Teen says:

    Please arrange for some soft copy available or advice me the best writer of the book entitled “How to read better and faster”.

  7. No problem as long as the source is acknowledged with a link.
    I have given to this best article after publishing in my site
    sitehttp://seasonsali.blogspot.com/2010/10/6-steps-to-read-300-page-book-in-2.html
    Thank you very much

  8. I think I read this post a long, long time ago and it just faded in my mind, but resurfaced (by theme) in a post I wrote a few months ago: How to Win Against Your Reading List.

    I’m sad I didn’t remember this post at the time, because it would have made for a perfect reference to get even more speed at crunching huge reading lists.

    Cheers,

    Ruben

  9. ... says:

    Flicking through odd chapters isn’t exactly reading. You might as well just read a wikipedia article.

  10. Solomon says:

    Please where can i get copy of the book here in nigeria

  11. rahul jain says:

    hi i am rahul jain. i read ur book that is realy more helpful for devloped reading speed within a day thanks

  12. Abubakar Magaji says:

    hello, it is quite impressive.. =D

  13. Nehal says:

    WTF This ain’t helpful 0.5 – 3 seconds to a page thing is totally crap.

  14. Adam Martin says:

    This can’t actually work. The person that speed reads Anna Karenina in six hours probably remembered 10% of it.

    Maybe this would work with The Hunger Games, or articles about your favorite baseball team.

  15. JoeDude says:

    This is indeed BS. I tried this method in college. I would read the first sentence of every paragraph and look for key words. I did get the main idea, but my level of compression was low and I poorly retained it. When I read every single word of a chapter, I understood so much more. The thing is, an author will put various words and ideas to build up to the main idea. The 80/20 rule is flawed. You need to read every word (some things can be skipped if they are talking about nonsense).

  16. Sharon says:

    Sorry,but this method is ridiculous and unrealistic. In order to appreciate and critically comprehend literature, you must actually read what is written. The “texting” mentality might be adequate for some, but in the real world, intelligent reading requires reflection and time. I would hate to hear your short cuts for cooking and sex. I’ll take knowledge and quality over laziness and speed.

  17. ronald says:

    you should know if you are a writer yourself, the key sentence of every paragraph is the first sentence, the rest just follow the first sentence idea.

    so you can save time and speed read just by reading all the first sentences of every single paragraphs of the pages or random read the paragraph not in order from the first page to middle of the book, and then from end of the book to the middle of the book and then from first page to middle of the book again.

    speed reading for me is usually 100~150 pages per hour , sometimes more depending on the book and book writing style.

    And for my writing style, i do not have any specific writing style, i do automatic writing from my mind/soul.

    scanning 3 seconds per page is not crap. i can memorize 40%-50% of the information of the page within that 3 seconds

    not everyone can do this hyper speed reading, you have to be talent and gifted from birth and God.

  18. MAZE RUNNER LOVER says:

    This is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO hard for me it actually made no difference I just need to know how many pages I need to read a day for me to finish it in 4 days but I tried this way and it took me 3 hours to read so in my opinion this doesn’t really help sorry:(

  19. Lisa says:

    thanks for the tips! i will give it a try…

  20. Mrudhla says:

    Really nice

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