How I Managed To Read 30 Books In One Month — The Speed Reading Habit

A 20-minute Investment and you read 100% faster for the rest of your life? Fuck Bitcoins, now this is what I call a return!

One of my favorite Movies of all Time is The Matrix. And one scene, in particular, stands out for me. The scene where Neo fights Morpheus in a Test Program. In the Scene Prior to that epic fight, Neo gets plugged in with a wire and one of the Techies on Board of the Nebuchadnezzar uploads a kung fu data in Neos brain. Seconds later the upload is completed and Neo opens his eyes and is a master in Kung fu and says „ I know Kung Fu“.

 

After watching that scene for the first me, I thought how badass and useful it would be if you could learn any skill that fast. To bad that it is impossible in real life. But is it really? What if we could 10 x or 100 x our reading speed? What would happen to our life if we could accelerate our learning exponentially? Isn’t the life that we are living right now a direct reflection of the things that we have learned up to this point. 

 

I always enjoyed learning. What I didn’t enjoy were the hours you had to put in to learn something complex.

Sometimes reading a book took me forever. Being the lazy bastard that I am I always look for shortcuts. Shortly after I found myself fascinated with accelerated learning and speed Reading in particular. If you have read my other articles than you know that I have the superpower to fail spectacularly. I got kicked out of multiple schools and I failed so many exams that at a certain point I began to question my very self. Maybe school just wasn’t for me. Maybe I was not smart enough. Luckily for me, I started studying psychology. I began to study the ways of how our brain processes information, how we store memory and how we learn. I also learned that our school system was founded like 100 years ago, and that during that time we know very little about how humans learn, and that the entire system sucks. 

This to me was a revelation and the lifting of a burden. It was not that my brain was not capable enough,  I was not too stupid, it was a combination of bad habits and a system that didnt understand really how our brain learns. We get taught basicly that and intelligence is a fixed entity. When I learned how our brain really works, I also learned that I didnt have to stay stupid. That I can get smart, and that I can get smarter fast.

In the following article, I describe an easy hack that allowed me to up my book total from 1-2 books a year to 200 plus. In my past, I had tons of learning disabilities and problems in general with my education. Eventually, I became tired of fucking up and started to really research what learning is about. I studied memory champions, speed readers and read tons of books about accelerated learning. Have you ever started a book and it took you forever to finish it? Then this article might be something for you.

 

The Px Project —How to improve your reading speed by 300% 

 

What is the Px Project?

The Px Project

is a cognitive speed reading experiment. It is based on the human visual system and works with mechanisms that eliminate eye movement inefficiencies that we have while reading. The improvement rate of this experiment is bananas.  In a 3- hour cognitive experiment the average increase in reading speed was 386%. I tried the method for myself, and within 20 minutes I doubled my reading speed. A 20-minute Investment and you read 100% faster for the rest of your life? Fuck Bitcoins, now this is what I call a return! Tim wrote an amazing article on the topic and highly recommend that you check his blog out. click here

Who is Tim Ferris

Tim Ferris is an American best selling author, entrepreneur and self-proclaimed“human guinea pig“. He is most famous for his self-help books. You might have heard of his book „The 4- Hour Workweek. But what he is most famous for is his Podcast the Tim Ferris show which has over 80 million downloads. In his Podcast, Tim Ferris interviews world experts and masters of any field imaginable. Guests like Peter Diamandis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Fox, Dave Asprey and other incredible high achievers.

How Do we read?

We do read in saccadic movements. That means we read in jumps. I always thought for example that we read in a straight line, but that’s wrong. Our eye jumps to a certain point and stays there for a millisecond. Imagine your eye like a camera rather than a video recorder. Your eye camera takes different, separated pictures and your brains binds them to a holistic picture together.

 

So what are the 3 Bulletpoints of Speed Reading?

We must minimize the number of jumps and the duration of the fixations per line.

We do not read in a straight line.

 

  1. We must eliminate jumping in the wrong direction.
  2. if we increase our vision ( think of it as getting a better and wider camera objective) we can increase the number of words in our focus.

So speedreading is not about skipping content, it is about implementing information of how our visual system actually works. Think of your eyes as your car, and the word lines in a book are your streets. So far you always took the long route. Implementing knowledge about how our eyes move is basically taking a shortcut or the most efficient way to your goal.

Call to action

1. Hold your hand in front of your left eye, and now read the last sentence again. Now you can see how your eyes jump from fixation point to fixation point.

So what is the technique to double my reading speed?!

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it — Oscar Wilde

 

3 Steps Of The Habit Of Speed Reading–Self-experiment!

Have you watched Tim Ferris video? No? Here a short summary.

First, take out a book a book that is fairly standardized. Meaning a book that has mostly text in it and not many bullet lists for example.

 

Step 1 Determine your reading speed

First, we need to look how we can measure reading.

  1. Take out a book
  2. Now count all the words in 5 lines of your choice.
  3. Now divide this number by 5. This is your average number of words per line. In my case, I was reading a tony robbins book and I had 58 words/ 5 lines = my average number of words per line for this book is 11.6 ( round it up to 12)
  4. Next, count the number of the text lines on 5 pages and divide them also by 5. This is your average line per page.
  5. Now read with a timer for 1 minute. After 1 minute multiply the number of lines you have read by your average words- per- line. This is your reading speed. Your words-per-minute. Your wpm. Now write down your wpm!

 Step 2 — Pacers!

Awesome you have determined your reading speed. Now it is time for the second hack, and it couldn’t be more simple.

Now grab a pen. Take the pen and slide along the lines and focus your eyes on the tip.

The second enemy of reading fast is regression and back skipping. Have you ever caught yourself reading and then your mind wandered off and you had to read the line again? When you use a pen or your finger or a pacer you solve this issue.

It is super hard for our eyes to focus without a focus point. It is impossible for us to see words and not read them. By artificially creating a focus point with a pen we create the tempo of how fast we want to read and also we minimize back skipping, therefore saving tons of time. Imagine you are taking the bike to school and you have to write the way 3 times instead of one time only.

Speed Reading exercise 1 – Tracer 

You already know how to measure your reading speed. Now do it again but this time uses a pen. Underline each sentence with your pen, focusing your eyes on right above the tip. Take no longer than 1 second for each line! DO NOT CONCERN YOURSELF WITH COMPREHENSION AND RETENTION. This exercise is for your eyes to get used to reading faster. Do this for 2 minutes.

Speed Reading exercise 2 – MORE SPEED

Repeat the technique, but double the speed. Now you have half a second for one line. So 2 lines per second. Do not worry if you don’t comprehend anything, this is expected. You are training your eyes to become faster.

Our Eyes can be trained very quickly, and we want to focus our eyes to adapt and make our visual system more powerful

Focus on this exercise and try not to daydream while reading. Do this for 2 minutes.

 

 

Step 3 – Expand your vision  ( 9 mins )

The third step is about expanding your perceptual Expansion, meaning how big your focus point is. Focus on the middle of your computer screen, or smartphone, you can still see the sides of your screen right? You can train your eye to have a bigger focus point. Imagine that you are at the moment need 5 jumps with your eye to read a sentence. If you train your perceptual expansion you only need 3 jumps to read a sentence, hence you read faster.

Let´s illustrate this with a joke from Woody Allen:” I took a speed reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes, it involves Russia”.

If you be able to start with your eyes at reading and end at minutes you would eliminate 7/17 Words. Almost doubling your reading speed. Combine this hack of starting at the 3rd word with using a pen for speed and you really accelerate your reading speed. Let’s put that to the test.

Speed Reading exercise 3 – Combine 

A) “Use the pen to track and pace at a consistent speed of one line per second. Begin 1 word in from the first word of each line, and end 1 word in from the last word.

DO NOT CONCERN YOURSELF WITH COMPREHENSION. Keep each line to a maximum of 1 second, and increase the speed with each subsequent page. Read, but under no circumstances should you take longer than 1 second per line.”

B) Begin at least 3 words in from the first word of each line, and end 3 words in from the last word. Repeat the technique, keeping each line to no more than ½ second (2 lines for a single “one-one-thousand”).1

C) Begin at least 3 words in from the first word of each line, and end 3 words in from the last word. Repeat the technique, keeping each line to no more than ½ second (2 lines for a single “one-one-thousand”). Some will comprehend nothing, which is to be expected. Maintain speed and technique-you are conditioning your perceptual reflexes, and this is a speed exercise designed to facilitate adaptations in your system. Do not decrease speed. ½ second per line for 3 minutes; focus above the pen and concentrate on technique with speed. Focus on the exercise, and do not daydream. 1

Now Calculate Your New Reading Speed!

Congratulations you have just found a gold nugget. If done correctly your reading speed has improved drastically, and all this without money or gadgets! All you need is a pen and a book.

Sources

1.https://tim.blog/2009/07/30/speed-reading-and-accelerated-learning/

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Hi, I’m Daniel!

I am a Behavior Designer, a Writer, and Digital Nomad.

I write about big ideas and life hacks that don`t suck.
Some people say I`m a moron. Other people say I changed their life.

Read and decide for yourself.

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