Enter my two favorite online reading apps – Beeline Reader and Bionic Reading.
Beeline Reader is a software system which adds color gradients to digital text to improve reading ability and focus. The text at the end of each line is colored the same as the beginning of the next, so the color of the text acts as a flag post that directs the reader’s eyes through the text more easily.
Bionic Reading revises texts so that the most concise parts of words are highlighted which supports the reading flow. The eye is guided through the text by means of typographic highlights. It definitely plays a supporting role in the absorption of volume text.
Both programs are customizable and available to add to your computer’s browser. Mostly, they both provide you with an opportunity to increase the pleasure of reading by finding a safe escape from the noisy and hectic visual world in a more focused way and without distraction. Below, you’ll see a sampling of both reading tools side by side:
If you’re an avid online reader, I strongly recommend you check these out! And if you haven’t done so already, be sure to take a look at my online reading course to become an even stronger reader. You can get a free sneak peek right here.
I remember when the start of the school year corresponded with cool, crisp fall air. Now, most schools are back in session long before Labor Day. Still, there is something special about this time of year, even for professionals. Maybe it’s the idea of new beginnings, or maybe it’s getting back to our daily routines that bring much-needed structure to our lives.
Either way, I’d like to honor the back-to-school season by sharing some of my favorite tips for fostering a love of reading in your family.
Reflecting On Your Own Reading Journey
We often pass on our own likes and dislikes to our children without even realizing it, so first things first: take a moment to reflect on your own reading journey. Did someone read to you? Were there a lot of books in your home? Did you go to the library often? Why is it that some of us gravitate toward reading as either a learning or pleasure activity while others are repelled by it?
My answer is that it depends first on our schooling, second on our upbringing, and third on what strategies, if any, we have learned to use. Since I have already shared many strategies on my blog, I’ll focus on the upbringing part here.
Getting Your Kids to Read
To instill good reading values in our children, here are some common-sense ideas for helping our children become life-long readers:
1. Limit Television And Screen Time
Limit television and screen time to no more than an hour per day. That is plenty of time for a busy school-aged kid. Better yet, restrict screen time, including playing video games or watching internet videos, to weekends only.
2. Read To Your Kids Daily
Read to your kids daily from the time they are born through first grade (about age 7). This quiet time, usually squeezed in at bedtime, is highly valued by both the child and the adult. It sends the message that reading is an intimate, quiet activity that both adults and children can enjoy. Encourage visiting friends and relatives to share in the ritual.
3. Let Them Read To You
Let them read to you once they’re able to read on their own (around 1st grade). Don’t feel the need to correct every missed word, but offer help when they ask for it.
4. Go To The Library Often
Go to the library often, even after they start school. Most public libraries have wonderful family reading programs for all ages and stages. Get your child a library card and call it their “ticket to the world.”
5. Help them find 20-30 minutes per day
Older children who are no longer read to each night can read independently and learn to enjoy daily reading as a pastime. Whether it’s on the way to school, during their after-school snack, or just before bed, help your child pick a time that works for their schedule and preferences.
6. Encourage Your Child To Read What THEY Are Interested In
Go to your local library or bookstore and tell them they can pick out only “x” number of items. You’ll be amazed at what they find when given the chance.
7. Let Your Children See YOU Reading Often
You might read the newspaper in the morning (and share the appropriate parts with them as they mature), your snail mail in the afternoon and magazines and books in the evenings.
8. Give Books As Gifts
Give books as gifts for birthdays and special occasions. If you travel, bring a book back and they will look forward to your return AND your gift.
Remember, learning new things is not just for our kids. As busy adults, it can feel daunting to have a list of reading material to get through. Bring more enjoyment to your reading life by taking my 90 day course and learning to speed read. Grab your FREE sneak peek here.
People say they really need to read slowly in order to find the word not. But who says that reading slowly will ensure you find it? Slow readers miss it, too. So, here are your choices:
a.) You can read everything slowly in fear of the word not.
b.) You can read faster, trusting that your eyes and brain will find it. If they don’t initially see it, your brain will tell you to go back and double-check your understanding because something that you are reading doesn’t make sense.
c.) You can read faster and train yourself to look for the word not.
Either of those last two choices will enable you to overcome fear of this little word and at the same time encourage you to trust your brain. Which choice are you deciding upon?
For more tips on how to improve your speed reading abilities, check out my eBook here or get a (free) sneak peek into my online course!
Registration to Speed Reading Summer School includes:
– Your choice of class time (12p EST or 8p EST)
– A live experience (via zoom) with plenty of opportunities to ask me questions as you learn new skills.
– 24/7 access to all class recordings through the end of the year (don’t miss a beat if there’s a week you can’t make it live, or simply revisit any of the lessons any time you want)
– TWO Workbooks to help you follow up along with class content and use your new skills on the spot
Best of all, with a LIVE class, you have built-in accountability to keep you on track to achieving your goals!!
Originally published as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed Reading, I secured the ebook rights, updated it and am thrilled to have it ready for release in the end of January! I can honestly say that as I revisited and updated this content, I am more than pleased with all 256 pages of its contents.
Enter Our FREE EBOOK GIVEAWAY
In celebration of the book’s release, I’ve created a special giveaway of ONE FREE EBOOK a week – chosen on Monday’s starting January 31, 2022 – for the month of February to those who enter here. Winners will be emailed directly and posted on our Facebook page.
Early Purchase Discount
If you want to secure your copy at our early-bird purchase price, you can enter this coupon code to pay just $9.95 for this 256 page book (retail $15.95). Use the coupon code SUPERPOWER at checkout. Good until February 28, 2022
If this is your year to up your reading and/or learning skills, then this Speed Reading book will be your guide!
Wishing you speed when you read!!
Some think it’s about learning to read everything super-human fast which is rightfully viewed as fantastical and unrealistic. Others won’t even try to read faster because they believe it’s sacrosanct to read any material quickly, especially when reading for pleasure. Trying to speed-read on one’s own . . .
Some think it’s about learning to read everything super-human fast which is rightfully viewed as fantastical and unrealistic. Others won’t even try to read faster because they believe it’s sacrosanct to read any material quickly, especially when reading for pleasure. Trying to speed-read on one’s own commonly results in “speed-looking” which means seeing the words but not understanding them. For the record, reading means looking at AND understanding the words.
From over 30 years of experience in the field of speed-reading, there is this gross generalization of what it looks like: Point out the index finger of either hand and move it quickly down the center of a page of words, then move over to the next page and do the same while the eyes try to grab what it can on the way down. Then turn the page and keep going. For most people, this is superhuman and not easily achievable. Even for me.
So I’d like to formally dispel this myth of what “speed-reading” is, at least for me. Here’s my definition:
Speed reading is a set of active, mindful and conscious strategies that allows you get what you need quickly from any reading material in an efficient and effective manner.
It also means understanding that you have a built-in stick shift which allows you to speed up or slow down depending on many things such as why you’re reading something, what you need to get from it, how familiar or not you are with the material, and most importantly, what reading strategies are you using to achieve your reading objectives.
If all this makes you curious about specifically what I mean, I invite you to review my new webinar playback called Getting Started Speeding Up Your Reading. You’ll learn more and gain a better understanding of what this is about. You’ll discover your own reading speed and begin to experiment with several efficient and effective strategies. You will find easy access to it on the home page of our website.
I hope this is helpful for your understanding of just what speed-reading is and isn’t. If you have any questions, please be in touch!
It’s time to rethink some of these ideas to modernize your thinking and improve your reading experience.
It’s time to rethink some of these ideas to modernize your thinking and improve your reading experience.
With the massive amount of reading available to you, both on paper and on-screen, everyone can benefit from a few mental adjustments to make your reading more effective and efficient. I’ve listed the top 10 commonly held beliefs and then my simple reasoning for reconsidering them. Which one(s) could you let go of and then update?!
- I have to read every word. Seriously, who’s got the time??! Learn to read using keywords to let some of the less important ones go.
- I need to sound out every word OR hear each one inside my head. This encourages word-for-word reading which slows you down to around 150 to 200 words-per-minute. Not very efficient or effective. Learn to read in phrases.
- I shouldn’t use my hands or fingers to read. The eyes naturally follow movement so moving your hands appropriately DOWN (not across) the lines of text can help you move your eyes faster and help you focus. Also consider using a blank white card.
- I need to completely understand everything I read. Sometimes getting the gist is enough! Besides, who’s testing you on it now?!
- I need to remember everything I read. You remember things when you use active, mindful and conscious reading strategies as well as through repetition over time. That is why it’s unrealistic to try to memorize something on a first read. It’s helpful to read with the intention of remembering while also having a great system for refreshing your memory (hint – good notes OR a good filing system!).
- Go for quantity – the more the better. If you have all the time in the world, great, but try quality instead! Learn to say “NO” to material that doesn’t interest you.
- I shouldn’t skim – that’s cheating. Some material should only be skimmed. I call it “smart reading”. Before reading, ask yourself “why am I reading this” and “what do I need it for?” Sometimes an effective skim is all you need.
- I shouldn’t write on reading material. Schoolbooks were the property of the school but now that you buy your own and/or read online, make it your own. Just like an animal marks its territory, so should you mark your books and online pages with effective highlights and margin notes. Consider Evernote and Evernote Clipper to catalog useful materials.
- It doesn’t matter what I read as long as I read. See #6.
- Speed is not important. Not only does reading faster help you read more in less time, it also greatly increases your concentration, which in turn improves your comprehension which ultimately helps retention. A great argument for increasing reading speed!
Every one of these ideas are addressed in the Rev It Up Reading Online Course. So if you’re looking to update your reading skills, consider investing a little money and some time (just 5 hours to complete the course) to help you become a smarter, more modern reader. Now’s the time.
Some of you know that I came into this profession because I used to hate to read. Yes, it's true - the creator of the Rev It Up Reading Online Course and author of several books on speed reading used to hate to read! I felt I was a very slow reader and I never turned to reading for anything.
Some of you know that I came into this profession because I used to hate to read. Yes, it’s true – the creator of the Rev It Up Reading Online Course and author of several books on speed reading used to hate to read! I felt I was a very slow reader and I never turned to reading for anything.
It wasn’t until after four years of college that I was exposed to speed reading concepts and learned how simple they were to adopt. That was over 30 years ago.
Since then, I’ve researched, experimented with and taught thousands of people the simple secrets of how to read smarter, faster and just plain better. Some call it speed reading, but for many that concept can be very misleading, almost fantastical. Here’s my definition of speed reading:
Speed reading is a set of active, mindful and conscious strategies that allow you to get what you need q-u-i-c-k-l-y from ANY reading material in an efficient and effective manner.
(It’s NOT reading War and Peace in five minutes and saying it’s a book about Russia!)
So if you’re looking to upgrade your reading skills, learn faster and read more in less time, now’s the time to get up speed with what you read.
In the spirit of keeping healthy, busy and social distancing,
Abby Marks Beale
I have been teaching speed reading for over 30 years and feel compelled to update folks on a few things.
I have been teaching speed reading for over 30 years and feel compelled to update folks on a few things. Evelyn Wood was THE founder of the concept speed reading because she knew people could do better and read faster. She was certainly on to something powerful and had an amazing business model. However, I believe she pushed the envelope too far for the average reader. Expecting readers who average 250 words per minute to instantly jump to thousands of words per minute – with comprehension – was ultimately achievable by only a select few.
Since then, speed reading has been looked at as something fantastical and superhuman. I know, because I hear this thinking often. However, speed reading, in the way I have recreated it, is similar yet very different. My definition of speed reading is not just speed for speed itself, rather it’s a set of active, mindful and conscious strategies that allow you to get what you need quickly from any reading material in an efficient and effective manner.
What readers need to understand is that having the ability to read even two to three times faster than where they start (say they start at the average of 250 and then go to 500 or 750 words per minute) will not only help them read more in less time but more importantly will force concentration. Think about it: while you walk, there’s a multitude of things you can do such as daydream, window shop, kick a can, chew gum, talk to a friend, and more. But while you run, you can’t do those any of those things as efficiently or effectively. Instead, you need your focus placed on where you are going, hence the increased concentration. Evelyn Wood understood that idea but again think she pushed the envelope too far.
Once there is good concentration, there is a higher chance for better comprehension and then improved retention. Too many readers read too slowly which is a breeding ground for daydreaming, the antithesis of concentration.
Nowadays, speed reading strategies should be looked at as a continuation of one’s reading education. Most people stop learning reading skills in elementary school and are then expected to manage a high school, college and/or professional reading workload, which has increased by a factor of 10 in the last decade, with these antiquated skills. Speed reading is a welcome retooling providing even the slowest readers with ways to read smarter, faster and just plain better.
Abby Marks Beale is a speed-reading expert and creator of the Rev It Up Reading Online Course. She is also author of 10 Days to Faster Reading and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed Reading. www.RevItUpReading.com
However, this year, I have been so busy that my business reading has piled up, maybe because I’m interested in a lot of things or because I’ve ordered more books online than I actually have time for. Whatever the reason, I just know I am feeling more motivated and eager to read my non-fiction material than a novel or magazine.
And that’s okay. I’m reminding us all that WE are the masters of our own reading universe! In order to be productive in that universe, there are some important factors to consider (feel free to adapt the idea to your favorite vacation spot):
- Take Yourself Out of the Action – Where you read this non-fiction material will directly correlate with how well you’ll concentrate, how fast you’ll be able to read and how much you’ll understand. For example, setting yourself up further away from the sand volleyball net will result in more concentration than if you sat next to it.
- Taking Notes? – Since you may want to highlight or write notes in the reading material, reading in a beach chair without a writing surface might be a challenge. If this is the case, try not to bring things that will need noting or see number 3 below.
- Choose Best Book, Page and Font Size – Try to be selective about the page/book size and weight of the material (no one wants a large heavy book to rest on the stomach), if there is an ability to fold it back or not, and how large or small the print is. As I get older, I prefer larger dark font with some spacing on a page. But that’s just me. There’s nothing more tedious than trying to read non-fiction with few or no paragraph breaks.
- Reading on Screens May Need Sun Cover – If you’re reading on an iPad, Tablet, Kindle or other device outdoors, plan ahead by bringing sunglasses, a brimmed hat and/or umbrella to off-set the outside brightness with the inner brightness of the device.
- Avoid Being Interrupted – The tendency to be interrupted and/or day-dream are both strong realities. So, don’t expect to get a ton of non-fiction reading done unless you’re on a remote desert island with no one around to distract you.
I do hope many of you reading this are going to read your fiction this summer as that’s so fun and appropriate for summer! And if you do decide to read your non-fiction, keep the above guidelines in mind. Though I will miss my novels this summer, I’m happy to know that there’s always more time after to get the entertaining stuff read.