I’ve learned that one of the most effective tools in life is reading. Its not that long ago that I learned this either, which I wrote about here, but I’m amazed at the difference it has made in my happiness, career, spirituality and in my ability to help others. A few scary stats…

  • The average reader spends about 1/6th of the time they spend reading actually rereading words.
  • Good readers in 5th grade may read 10 times as many words as poor readers over a school year.
  • More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level – far below the level needed to earn a living wage.
  • In a survey of 2,000 adults, a third had not bought a new book in the previous 12 months. 34% said they did not read books.
  • 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
  • 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
Reference: http://www.readfaster.com/education_stats.asp
Reference: http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/Database/stats/readingstats.html

There are many other scary statistics about adult reading habits. What’s scariest to me however, is that children are never really taught to read in schools. They are taught to sound out the words, learn a vocabulary and to be able to read aloud text in class. After this, they are left to themselves to read and learn from it. The problem with this, is that it leaves a LOT of children reading in a audible way (called sub-vocalizing) which keeps there reading speed slow and well below the rate that the brain needs to stay focused. This leads to loss of attention and having to re-reading. Schools don’t teach anything about this, let alone scanning skills, training the eye muscles or any speed techniques. These could be taught in literally a few days and can make an amazing difference in one’s reading skill. Its no wonder if these are new to you, but I do encourage you to research reading skills a bit and to teach your children to read. Test their speeds, practice reading and measure for improvement. Its one of the best things you can learn or teach someone. I’ve pointed a few friends at these techniques and they have also helped them, so I can only hope this also helps you to improve your reading skills and gain access to a whole new world of knowledge with books. Some of these links should help to explore this subject further, please feel free to post your own online resources for reading. There are many other applications and reading courses available, this is a just a starting point!

More info and articles:

http://www.readfaster.com/speedreading/articles.asp
http://www.readingsoft.com/
http://www.bewell-dowell.org/sos/tips_speed.html

Software Applications:

http://www.eyeq.tv/

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”
– Confucius
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
– Frederick Douglass


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