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the Message Continues ... 6/41

 

         

                                                                                                                         

 

 

 

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GOOD READING HABITS 

AND A LITTLE ABOUT SPEED READING
by M.Afzal Janjua 
Education Consultant (MAJEC)

 


SOME PEOPLE CROSS THE WHOLE FOREST AND NEVER SEE A TREE
Most people dread reading. They peruse their careers, complete education and do other things with minimum reading. Some even feel proud of it.

CAPACITY OF HUMAN BRAIN .....
The human brain is endowed with tremendous powers. It has a capacity of doing four billion calculations per second and reading 25000 words per minute. 

WHY WE ARE SLOW READERS?
Because in the primary school we are taught to read one word, then take a pause and read the next. This made us habitual of slow reading. While reading we focus our eyes on one word at a time.

CLASSICAL CONDITIONING .....
The Russian Psychologist Ivan Pavlov experimented on dogs. He would put meat powder on the tongue of a dog and the dog would salivate. Then he started ringing a bell while putting the meat powder on the dog's tongue. After some time his dogs started salivating on listening the bell only. They "associated" the bell ringing with food. This is very briefly the concept of classical conditioning i.e. associating events to one another to learn certain behavior.

People who read while going to bed sleep soon after. Their brains associate the book or reading with sleep. No wonder many people use books as sleep inducers. One may argue that people read till late in the night with their heads on pillows. Good argument but this is not serious reading. 

THE CORRECT POSTURE .....
Many people read while tilting their heads on one side or sitting on a chair almost in a bed resting position. This does not permit the system to supply sufficient oxygen to the brain. Soon they get tired and put the book away.

An erect posture on a chair with the book held at a distance of around 18 inches at 45 degrees is most ideal for reading. Distance however depends on  accuracy of sight. In the stated posture, the brain is functioning at a speed of 7 to 10 cycles per second. It means that the body is at rest and the brain is at work. The other way round is nothing uncommon in our culture. A state of awareness close to hypnosis or sub-vocalization level is not good for reading.

SMILE AS YOU READ .....
While reading bring a smile on your face. If you cannot bring a real one then bring the one of front office staff in a hotel. Tell yourself often that you are doing a good job. Tell yourself that you are improving and learning. Reading with crest-fallen face as if you have tasted rotten meat, will not enrich our mind.

SENSE OF DIRECTION .....

Have you ever told a tailor to make whatever he likes of a piece of cloth you supply or a cab driver to take you where he likes? The brain also needs a sense of direction. Having a goal like passing an examination, preparing a presentation, writing an  article or intellectual enrichment would make the mind receptive. No goal no retentions.

PREVIEW .....
A preview is helpful for reading a book or a ten-page article. . For a book seeing the title, glancing through the table t of contents, seeing the headings of chapters, topics and sub-topics will give a good idea of what the book is all about. For a ten-page auricle seeing the title, headings of paragraphs or first line of each paragraph if heading are not given will also set the direction. such a review may sometimes help you to decide whether or not you  should read this book or the article, It is very helpful at the book stalls where you can select a book or place it back on the shelf after two or three
minutes.

SPEED READING .....
With some exercises and practice we can increase our reading speed. First try to see two or three words at a time, then the whole line and then gradually the whole paragraph. Ultimately you will be able to read the whole page at a time. This is called photo reading., a skill that can be learnt to different levels by different people. I do have some techniques in mind but these require practicing a posture and  vision exercises; better done with an audience. But wait! It is not so simple as it appears. we need guidance by an NLP expert. So don't expect too much from me here. .

 

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