Spd Rdng – The Speed Reading Bible – The Speed Reading Book which Gives Speed Reading Techniques, Tips & Strategies For Ultra Fast Reading By Susan Norman and Jan Cisek

Spd Rdng-The Speed Reading Bible: Speed Reading Book with 37 Techniques, Tips and Strategies For Ultra Fast Reading (Speed Reading, Study Skills, Memory And Accelerated Learning) by Susan Norman & Jan Cisek

Available on Kindle and paperback

The Speed Reading Bible: easy speed reading skills 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, take meaning from the minimum of input, focus on your purpose, find the hot spots of information you need, and put it all into practice, with the result that you free up time and save money as you become more successful in business and in life

Copyright ©2010 and 2012 Susan Norman & Jan Cisek
Susan Norman & Jan Cisek assert their legal and moral right to be identified as the authors of this ebook.

All rights reserved. Prior written permission required of the publisher to use, post or reproduce any part of this ebook in whole or in part in any form on- or off-line, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles. This ebook is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior written consent in any form other than that in which it is published.

First published as an ebook October 2010
This is an updated edition 4.0 – published in August 2018 by

Saffire Press,
Loufenway, East Lane, Wheathampstead, Herts AL4 8BP, UK

Contact authors

Get Spd Rdng-The Speed Reading Bible: Speed Reading Book with 37 Techniques, Tips and Strategies For Ultra Fast Reading (Speed Reading, Study Skills, Memory And Accelerated Learning) by Susan Norman & Jan Cisek on KINDLE or paperback

Read the free sample of the Spd Rdng-The Speed Reading Bible: Speed Reading Book with 37 Techniques, Tips and Strategies For Ultra Fast Reading (Speed Reading, Study Skills, Memory And Accelerated Learning) below

This book is dedicated to you – the Spd Rdr


INTRODUCTION – and how to use this book
What do you want from your improved reading?
What is your current reading speed? And ‘Quick Test’
Checklist – where are you now?
Double your reading speed – right now

>1     Apply skills you already have
>2     Preview before you start reading
>3     Don’t think ‘reading’, think ‘finding information’
>4     Have a clear purpose for reading
>5     Apply the 80/20 rule to your purpose
>6     Read the message, not the words
>7     Smile – enjoy what you’re reading
>8     Take fewer ‘stops’ per line
>9     Open your peripheral vision
>10   Take your awareness to your concentration point
>11   Focus on ‘hot spots’ of key information
>12   Read for sameness and difference
>13   Speed up your brain with ‘super-duper-reading’
>14   Get in a good state for reading
>15   Use speed-reading patterns
>16   Remember by doing something
>17   Take notes with mindmaps and rhizomaps
>18   Have 20-minute work sessions
>19   Talk about what you read
>20   Review information regularly
>21   Read different texts at different speeds
>22   Use ‘syntopic processing’ to work with several books
>23   Set time frames and stick to them
>24   ‘Rapid read’ from cover to cover
>25   Get the overview before the details
>26   Rd sumrys
>27   Take frequent breaks
Exercises for eyes
Fizzical challenges and Brain Gyms
>28   Download the book into your non-conscious mind
Summary of terms
>29   Download books for ‘direct learning’
>30   Read a book three or more times
>31   Trust the process
>32   Use different techniques with different materials
Study skills
The Spd Rdng System
>33   Ensure that physical factors are in your favour
>34   Set high expectations
>35   Celebrate success
>36   Read more
>37   Read beginnings and endings
If you find a better way … use it
The Extended Min
The Wise Teacher and the Jar
A History of Spd Rdng
What is reading?
Reading for pleasure
Factors affecting reading
Problems and solutions
If you’re still not getting it
Digital reading
Online reading
Children’s reading
About the authors

 – and how to use this book

Welcome to Spd Rdng – a collection of techniques we know will both speed up your reading and allow you to process material 10 times faster, or even more.

If you read the book in order, you will effectively be following our two-day workshop, but many of the techniques, insights and suggestions are self-standing, so feel free to read them in the order which makes most sense to you (there’s a lot of cross-referencing in case you need to check out something which has been presented earlier). But however you approach the book, we strongly suggest that you actually try things out as you go. As we say in the book, reading is just the first step; it’s only useful if you put the information into practice.

If you haven’t got time to read the whole book at the moment, then the techniques which will make the biggest immediate difference to your reading are:
>1 Apply skills you already have
>2 Preview
>3 Don’t think ‘reading’, think ‘finding information’
>4 Have a clear purpose for reading
>5 Apply the 80/20 rule to your reading
>6 Read the message not the words
>14 Get in a good state for reading
>17 Take notes with mindmaps and rhizomaps
>18 Have 20-minute work sessions
Plus the Underlining technique

We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you to pick up and review the ideas:
1) the titles of the techniques are self-explanatory
2) each of the techniques is summarised at the beginning of its section
3) there is an extensive and helpful glossary
4) we give examples of people’s actual experience – including our own
5) there are ‘expert tips’ throughout which will give you extra help

EXPERT TIP   While you’re learning, use well-written books you can understand easily – it will give you confidence in your new approach to reading. Once you’ve mastered all the techniques, you will be able to apply them to any written material – including books, journals, reports and articles, both on- and off-line.

Enough for now. But if you feel you’d like to get in touch with us at any point, feel free to contact us through our website: www.spdrdng.com

Susan and Jan

What do you want from your improved reading?
Most people say that they want to ‘read faster’ – and you will learn ways of doing that in this book. However, what they also mean is that they want to ‘save time’ and ‘get through many more books’. And when they think about it, they also want other things.

Highlight/tick which of the following you would like from this book.
[  ]  reading faster
[  ]  saving time by using more effective strategies
[  ]  finding information I need quickly
[  ]  getting the gist of what a book is about
[  ]  getting the detail as well as the gist
[  ]  reading more efficiently and effectively
[  ]  synthesizing information from a variety of sources
[  ]  understanding what I read
[  ]  organising the information so I can apply it
[  ]  retaining/remembering/being able to recall the information
[  ]  articulating the information (speaking or writing about it)
[  ]  building up my expertise in a subject quickly
[  ]  improving my concentration
[  ]  keeping motivated while I’m reading
[  ]  feeling confident in my reading ability
[  ]  reading critically – not just accepting everything I read
[  ]  ignoring information I don’t need
[  ]  applying all of this online, with any digital material and ebooks
[  ]  increasing my vocabulary
[  ]  passing tests
[  ]  enjoying the process[  ]    …………………………………………………………………

You’ll get it all – and more – with spd rdng!

What is your current reading speed?
If you’d like to find out your current reading speed, or judge how much more quickly you’re reading after implementing the spd rdng techniques, then do the following test before you start reading.

By the way …You can use the ‘Practice texts’or ‘More about reading’section at the back of the book to check your reading speed. We have already counted the words for you.

You need:

  • an accurate timer/alarm clock
  • a book you haven’t read (and won’t read until you’ve finished Spd Rdng) – with mostly continuous text
  • possibly a calculator and post-it notes

FIRST TEST (‘Before’)
Make a note of the title ……………………………………………………..
Choose a place to start reading, eg the start of any chapter, and mark it (eg with a post-it note).
Set your timer to five minutes.
Start reading at your normal pace, making sure that you understand what you are reading.
Stop reading when the timer goes off and mark your stopping place.

Calculate your reading speed(before//after) as follows:

  • Number of pages read ………………….//……………………….

(this figure is enough for most people, but if you want to be more accurate, continue with the following calculations)

  • Average number of lines on a page …………..//…………….

(count the number of lines on a typical page)

  • Average number of words on a line …………..//…………….

(choose three full lines, count the number of words in each, add them together and divide by three)

  • Number of words read in five minutes ………..//……………

(multiply together the three previous calculations – pages x lines x words)

  • Reading speed in words per minute (wpm) …………..//……………

(divide by five the number of words read in five minutes)

If you are using the Spd Rdng texts in this book, note the number of words read and divide by 5.

Do the test again after you’ve worked with the spd rdng techniques in this book.
For an accurate result, make sure you have actually tried out the techniques, not just read about them.
Prepare to repeat the test again. Use the same book, but start in a different place.
Before you begin, make sure you:

  • speed up your brain by super-duper-reading 10 or more pages from your test book (>13)
  • open your peripheral vision by focusing on your concentration point (>10)
  • get into a good state by taking a deep breath and smiling

Do the test (but, for test accuracy, do not test yourself on pages you have super-duper-read).
Afterwards, note how much more quickly you are reading: ……………………………….

Additionally, as you will know by now, spd rdng is much more than just reading more quickly – so note down at least three other techniques which will save you time:
1  ……………………………………………..
2  ……………………………………………..
3   …………………………………………….. 

By the way … When testing your reading speed and whenever you’re working with books, always go at ‘your best comprehension speed’ – as fast as you can while being able to understand what you’re reading.

Many of the individual techniques in this book can dramatically increase your reading speed. Where we recommend that you test yourself, do so by reading at a comfortable speed with comprehension for one minute with a timer before you try the technique – and compare it with a one-minute read (still with comprehension) using the technique.

Checklist – where are you now?
Before you start reading the techniques in this book, you might like to think about the sort of reader you consider yourself to be right now. Tick/highlight the statements in both lists that describe you as a reader. Just go with your first reaction. There are no right or wrong answers – what matters is your opinion of yourself. You will learn things about yourself that will help you to become a much more effective reader.

List 1
[  ]    I am not a good reader.
[  ]    Reading is a chore. I put it off as long as possible.
[  ]    I often feel overwhelmed by the amount I’ve got to read.
[  ]    I read really slowly.
[  ]    I don’t like to mark or write in my books.
[  ]    I feel I might miss something if I don’t read from cover to cover.
[  ]    When I’m reading, I always read in the same way.
[  ]    I worry that I won’t remember what I’ve read.
[  ]    I focus on details before I’ve understood the big picture.
[  ]    I think I am or may be dyslexic.

List 2
[  ]    I love reading.
[  ]    I read a lot.
[  ]    I can find key information quickly.
[  ]    I use a variety of techniques for different material.
[  ]    I’m familiar with the 80/20 rule, and with thin slicing, and I apply these concepts to reading.
[  ]    I ignore information that is not relevant or that I already know.
[  ]    I can decide quickly how useful a book is to me.
[  ]    I know the difference between a good and a bad book (before I’ve read it).
[  ]    I have strategies which mean I usually remember what is important to me.
[  ]    I always know why I am reading before I start.
[  ]    I want to improve the way I read.

If any of the statements in List 1 describes you, this book will help.

If you answered yes to 8 or more of the statements in List 2, you may already be a natural spd rdr. You may also be surprised to find that this book can give you new insights into how to read and learn even more effectively.

Once you have read and started applying the techniques in this book, you might like to return to this page and tick/highlight (or untick/unhighlight) some of the statements!

Double your reading speed – right now
If the only thing you want is to double your reading speed, then learn the underlining technique here. It takes about five minutes.

For learning purposes, choose a book with extended lengths of uninterrupted text. Alternatively use the ‘Practice texts’ or the ‘More about reading’ section at the back of the book.

Compare your ‘before’ and ‘after’ reading speed by doing the ‘QUICK TEST’.

To learn the underlining technique
1  Place your finger below the first line of text. Read five or six lines of text with comprehension at your normal speed, underlining the words with your finger as you do so. (This is to make sure you are reading the words and not looking at your finger.)

2  On the next page, still using your finger as a marker, start reading about one centimetre into each line and stop reading about one centimetre before the end of the line. This means that you’re not underlining or looking consciously at the words in the first centimetre or last of each line, but realise that you can still understand the text (you can pick up the words at either end of the line in your peripheral vision). Read in this way, with comprehension at your normal speed, to the end of the page.

3  Still starting and ending one centimetre into the line (ie underlining and reading just the centre words in each line), use your finger to set the pace – and the pace is one second per line. ‘Read’ to the bottom of the page at this speed, looking at the words above your finger. Don’t worry about understanding the text. You shouldn’t. The aim here is simply to speed up your brain. Just keep up the pace.

4  Continue at the pace of 1 second per line for about 10 or 12 pages. After four or five pages, begin to notice words and phrases as you skim past them. Your aim is not to understand at this pace so keep going quickly – do not slow down.

5  If you are testing your before and after speed, you are about to do your second test, so mark your starting point from where you have just stopped. Set your timer. Smile.

Start reading at your best comprehension speed. Underline as much of the line as necessary and read at a speed which allows you to comprehend what you are reading.

Most people find that they have at least doubled their reading speed just with this one technique.

Underlining is only one of the speed reading patterns (>15). It is very useful to be able to read quickly, but reading faster is only part of the picture.. If you put the other techniques in the book into practice, not only can you further increase your reading speed, but you should also be able to process textual material about 10 times more efficiently, while also retaining and using what you have read much more effectively.

Get Spd Rdng-The Speed Reading Bible: Speed Reading Book with 37 Techniques, Tips and Strategies For Ultra Fast Reading (Speed Reading, Study Skills, Memory And Accelerated Learning) by Susan Norman & Jan Cisek on KINDLE or paperback

The 37 SPD RDNG techniques

>1   Apply skills you already have

Summary You can immediately read more effectively simply by applying skills you already have:

  • get a book’s message by reading it like a newspaper
  • get specific information by using the book like a dictionary

Use books, rather than letting books use you.

Remember, you are not starting from nothing. You already have skills which you apply to reading. You already know how to extract information quickly and easily from newspapers, dictionaries, emails, etc. Start thinking about how you can use your existing skills more effectively by applying them to books.

Do you read each of these in the same way? If not (hopefully not), then think about what you do with them. How you actually read them. Compare your insights with our suggestions.

  • Newspapers
  • Dictionaries
  • Poems and novels
  • Emails
  • Factual books


People rarely pick up a newspaper and read it from the first page to the last without skipping anything. Typically they go quickly through the paper looking at headlines and picture captions. They choose one or two articles or sections which interest them to read in more detail. They might go directly to a section which interests them. They do not hesitate to omit sections which are irrelevant to them, nor to stop reading if they are no longer getting the information they want. And they throw it away – even if they haven’t read everything. To find out what a book is about, read it as if it’s a newspaper.

EXPERT TIP   If you want to understand a book’s message, read it in the same way as you read newspapers.


When you use a dictionary (or any other reference book), you look up a word and then close the book. If you simply want to find specific information in a book, you do not have to read the whole thing. Use the index or contents page, or flick through the book looking at chapter headings, etc, to find it. When you have found the information you need, close the book and put it back on the shelf until you need it again.

EXPERT TIP   Look up specific information you need from a book as if it were a dictionary.

Poems and novels

Poems and novels are usually read for pleasure (in leisure time). It is likely therefore that you will be happy to read them slowly, particularly if you want to savour the language, or get engrossed in the story. You may even wish to read poetry aloud to enjoy the sound of the words. So when reading for pleasure or leisure purposes, read in any way you like and as quickly or slowly as you please. (When studying poems and novels, use the techniques in this book.)

EXPERT TIP   Do not try to read for leisure and for information at the same time. Pleasure always wins.


You are probably already confident about sorting through emails quickly, deleting the spam, scanning through for relevant information, filing, and acting on those which are urgent or which can be dealt with very quickly. This approach is particularly relevant to skimming through reports, legal summaries, contracts, etc, to find out first what is important. If necessary, you can look at relevant details afterwards.

The techniques in this book also work for online/digital texts, but most people are already applying many of these techniques to web reading. It’s usually a case of transferring digital skills to books, journals, reports, etc.

EXPERT TIP   Transfer the skills you already use for reading emails and online to other materials.

Factual books

The spd rdng techniques are largely designed to help you get the information you need from factual books which you do not particularly want to read for pleasure. If you are enjoying the content, then you can read it slowly as leisure reading. However, if you want to retain the information, you need to apply the other spd rdng techniques. You’ll find there’s a different sort of pleasure – pleasurable satisfaction – to be had from being in control of your reading and getting information quickly and easily from books.

By the way … In addition to these specific strategies, remember that you are already in the habit of reading different things differently. We encourage you to do more of it more consciously. If you’re not convinced, just think how you read the following: a thriller, a love letter, a ‘keep off the grass’ sign, a recipe, a journal relevant to your job, a text from a friend, a letter from your bank about your overdraft, a letter from your bank about their new accounts, a religious book (eg the Bible, the Koran), a train timetable, a magazine in the dentist’s waiting room … the list is endless. The key is to read at the appropriate speed.

Although we usually refer to getting information from books, the spd rdng techniques work on all kinds of reading materials: reports, online reading, ebooks, journals, etc. Check out also ‘Reading for pleasure’ and ‘Digital and online reading’ in the end section: More about reading.

>2   Preview before you start reading

Summary Spend 2 to 5 minutes looking through the book, finding out what it’s about before you start reading. Just this one technique can save you hours of time and money (by identifying books you don’t have to read or buy).

“You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

It’s amazing how many people decide to buy or read a book based simply on its title, cover or subject matter. They buy it without even opening it. Then once they’ve started reading, they somehow feel obliged (to whom?) to continue reading to the end.

You no longer need to waste time like that. Just because a book’s on your subject, it doesn’t mean it’s a good book. Previewing helps you recognise the difference between good and bad books before you’ve spent time reading them all the way through.

The purpose of previewing is to find out what the book is about and to enable you to decide:

  • in general what this book is about
  • whether or not to buy/borrow/read it
  • what you think you can get from it that’s useful to you (your purpose)
  • how long it’s worth spending on it (or whether it’s a book of reference that you’ll want to go back to several times)

HOW TO preview

  • open the book and flick backwards and forwards through it two or three times to get a feel for it, noticing the layout, size of font, any graphs, pictures, illustrations, captions, etc
  • quickly read the cover blurb front and back (but be aware that this is written by the publishers to try to sell the book and it is not always accurate)
  • check the date of publication (this is crucial for subjects which go out of date very quickly, such as computing or quantum physics)
  • read the contents list, and look through the book at chapter titles and headings
  • look through the index for key terms and ideas which are relevant to you (notice how many entries there are for relevant terms)
  • search for something you know should be covered about this subject
  • evaluate the credibility of the author and the dependability of the information – and, if relevant, the people who recommended it to you
  • check the bibliography and references for credibility and for possible sources of further information
  • check for chapter summaries (a quick source of key information) – in particular check the first and last chapters and the beginnings and ends of chapters
  • open the book at random and read a couple of paragraphs to judge the style of writing

As you preview, you can be …

  • thinking what you anticipate learning from this book. Why spend time on it? What do you want out of it?
  • deciding how easy it’s going to be to access the information you want
  • thinking how much you already know of what’s in the book
  • noticing what’s missing. What do you need that isn’t in this book?
  • deciding whether to buy/borrow/read the book, or not.

At any stage, if you discover you’ve got the wrong book for what you need, put it down and find another. If you decide to go ahead, you will already have gained a good overview of what the book’s about and what information it contains.

Previewing digitally and online The previewing procedure for digital books or online texts is basically the same as for hard copy material. Remember to check online reviews. As soon as you’ve identified key terms, use your search facility to find things more quickly, and you can use your scroll function to look quickly through text.

Purpose If you’ve decided to go ahead, then decide (as part of your previewing time)

  • What is your purpose? (>4) Why are you going to read this book? What information do you want from it? What will you do with the information you get?
  • How much time is it worth spending on this book?

Jan’s experience Jan regularly spends an hour or two in a bookshop just previewing 15 to 25 books – after which he might buy one or two. The only books he regrets buying are the ones he buys online without having previewed them.

Preview a study reading list

Sometimes books are prescribed (eg for a course of study), so you have no option about which ones to read. However, as a student, spend a couple of days before your course previewing all the books on your reading list. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn about your subject and about where to find information when you need it – and it’s an excellent way of getting an overview (>25) of a new subject.

Getting through the book pile!

The more books you preview, the easier it becomes to decide how useful or valuable they are to you. Most of us have got a pile of books we feel we need to get through. So why not start by previewing all the books or journals on your bookshelves (and bedside table)? It’s a great way to discover where to find information you might need at a future date and to help you feel comfortable about all the material you’ve got to read. A lot of information will also be going into your non-conscious mind and long-term memory (see>29).

Thin slicing

The aim when you’re reading a book for factual information is to get as much information as possible by reading as few words as possible. (What Malcolm Gladwell calls ‘thin-slicing’ in his book ‘Blink’.) Previewing is an excellent start to this process.

How would you cut a cake in order to find out what it’s like?

Obviously you’d cut a thin slice vertically (hence thin-slicing).

But for many people, the way they read a book (chapter by chapter) is like eating a cake one horizontal layer at a time. You have to eat almost the whole thing in order to be sure what the cake is like. Not very efficient!

Bill’s experience Bill had so many books that he had to convert a garage into a library to store them all. When he actually starting previewing them, he found that he had several copies of many of the books, since he’d never opened most of them.


Practise your previewing skills on this Spd Rdng book. You’ve got a maximum of five minutes, starting now.

>3   Don’t think ‘reading’, think ‘finding information’

Summary Change your mindset from ‘how many books I’ve read’ (quantity) to ‘how much information I’ve got’ (quality). If you think about using books to look for information, you will approach them differently.

When you are reading factual books (rather than reading for leisure), it is important to realize that what you are doing is ‘looking for information’. You are in the same business as Google, and it is not necessary or desirable to ‘read’ in the traditional way in order to access information. Once you decide that what you are really doing is looking for information, it can be easier to put many of the other techniques in this book into practice.

Consider these two statements:

         ‘I read 20 books.’

         ‘I got all the information I needed to complete the task really quickly.’

Reading a lot of books (the first statement) sounds quite good initially, but then you might question, ‘Were they the right books?’ ‘How much of the information they contained was relevant?’ ‘What did I do with all the information I read?’ ‘How much do I remember?’ ‘Was the amount of time and effort worth the result?’

Getting the information you need is what helps you achieve your goals.

Change your thinking

from the quantity of reading

to the QUALITY of information.

Additionally, when you start thinking about what you’re going to do with the information you get, your reading will become more productive. It doesn’t matter how many books you read about swimming, you can’t swim until you get in the water.

Consider getting the information elsewhere

Remember there may be other sources or ways for getting the information you want. Does a summary exist? Maybe there’s a simpler (or more detailed) or better-written book more suited to your purpose. Or maybe you can get information online? Or from a mentor? Is it worth giving this book shelf-space? Is it worth committing time and money to it?

Get Spd Rdng-The Speed Reading Bible: Speed Reading Book with 37 Techniques, Tips and Strategies For Ultra Fast Reading (Speed Reading, Study Skills, Memory And Accelerated Learning) by Susan Norman & Jan Cisek on KINDLE or paperback

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