‘Thin slicing’ of Malcolm Gladwell’s new book Outliers: The Story of Success

The secret of how to master anything: 10 000 hours of training

A fair slice of his latest book might be summed up in the old saw about genius being 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. His own favourite figure is that to be genuinely good at anything, from writing a book to being a Beatle, takes a magic total of 10 000 hours of intensive training – that’s about 4 hours/day for 10 years (like in this joke: “Excuse me, how do I get to Carnegie Hall? “Practise.”). Plus you have to be born at the right moment, at the right place, to the right family and then still you have to work really hard. That’s about it. I just saved you £17.

The mobile phone novel – a novel way to spd up yr rdng

5 of the top 10 books sold in Japan in 2007 began life as cellphone novels – books typed in text-speak and then posted online.

In Japan, a new literary genre has taken off. It’s called keitai shosetsu, or the mobile-phone novel.

These short books are written by text message and posted on the web. The stories have taken a particular form; most are written by and for young women and are about difficult subjects such as pregnancy and abortion.

These novels are hugely popular. Maho i-Land, Japan’s largest mobile-phone novel site, contains more than one million titles. The site is visited 3.5 billion times a month.

Publishers have caught on, and text-created books top many Japanese bestseller lists. Love Sky by Mika, and its sequel, have together sold 2.6 million copies. Many titles are filmed or made into manga cartoons.

Critics argue that predictive text makes the books repetitive, but the cellular age has turned Japan into a land of quietly tapping thumbs and wild imaginations.

Download free ebooks for your mobile phone

Txtng – gd 4 ur kids!

In case you were worried that the abbreviations commonly used in text messages might be hurting the nation’s (or your child’s) literacy – you can relax. Apparently it’s doing the opposite.

The more children send texts using abbrvtns, the better their reading ability! Apparently with all the texting, children are reading much more these days, and playing with the language is an important part of learning how it works.
We teach both that reading more (of anything) will improve your reading – and that it’s important to get the message from what you read rather than concentrating on the individual letters (or even the individual words). And it’s no coincidence that we called our book ‘Spd Rdng’!

By the way, have you already seen the following on the internet?

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. And you touhhgt taht sepllnig was iprmoetnt!

Further info in the New Scientist 22 Feb 2009 reporting on research ‘Exploring the relationship between children’s knowledge of text message abbreviations and school literacy outcomes’ by Plester, Beverly1; Wood, Clare1; Joshi, Puja1, published by the British Psychological Society in British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Volume 27, Number 1,March 2009

Move your hands when you’re learning

Remembering what you read is as important as taking in the information.

On our speedreading/photoreading courses we have been teaching that linking specific ideas/words to gestures can help you remember them – something that can be particularly useful for actors.

Now, Dr Susan Goldin-Meadow of the University of Chicago, has done some research into hand movements which seems to prove that if you make appropriate hand movements, it can help you think.

And since the beginning of good memory is how you ‘lay down’ the information in the first place, it obviously makes sense to gesture as you speak the information you want to remember (see technique number 22 in our forthcoming book ‘Spd Rdng – get up to speed with your reading’).

Does that mean that Italians – famous for their extravagant gesturing – think and remember better than the rest of us?
Check out the report in The Economist, 19 Feb 2009 for more information.

Guinness Book of Records – The Longest Subtitle for A Book

Look out for us in the Guinness Book of RecordsSpd Rdng: The Speed Reading Bible
We’re sending our book Spd Rdng Bible to the Guinness Book of Records to be included for having the longest subtitle! Which is: “Learn speed reading techniques and habits with proven results for you to apply immediately to any reading material (books, reports, journals, manuals, textbooks, online texts, ebooks, etc) so you can read more, more quickly, more effectively, whether you are a professional, an entrepreneur, a student or teacher, a home educator, or simply interested in your own learning and personal development, in any subject (including business, medicine, law, IT, acting and languages), by showing you, among other things, how to use your eyes more efficiently, remember more, access your learning intelligence, focus on your purpose, take meaning from the minimum of input, find the hot spots of information you need, and put it into practice, with the result that you free up time and save money as you become more successful in business and life.”