How to Triple Your Reading Speed in 20 Minutes

Last Updated Aug 13, 2009 11:52 PM EDT

Yep, you read that right: triple your reading speed. In 20 minutes.

And am I also selling a bridge, you may ask? Not so fast, my doubting friends. I'm actually riffing off a post written by Tim Ferriss (yes, he of The 4-Hour Workweek fame) about his PX Project. It's a 3-hour cognitive experiment that produced an average increase in reading speed of 386%.

Writes Ferriss,

"It was tested with speakers of five languages, and even dyslexics were conditioned to read technical material at more than 3,000 words-per-minute (wpm), or 10 pages per minute. One page every 6 seconds. By comparison, the average reading speed in the US is 200-300 wpm (1/2 to 1 page per minute), with the top 1% of the population reading over 400 wpm."
Ferriss's method is based on refining the principles of the human visual system to eliminate inefficiencies and increase speed while improving retention. Want to give it a shot? He's got detailed, step-by-step speed-reading directions on his blog.

I'm going to give it a try. Imagine how much more efficient you could be at work if you could tear through those reports in half the time, or less? Yowza.

(image by Dawn Endico via Flickr, CC 2.0)

  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for AnchorDesk.com and writes regularly for Law.com and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.