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For The Sake of Literacy –

About Comprehension Speed Reading – as I know it.

2008 Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips, Cricket House Studios, USA1 – USAX1 – 041308

Originally, when I was very young – under five years old, I learned the Evelyn Wood Speed Reading course from a book because I wanted to read the dictionary, encyclopedias and Daddy’s college books on thermodynamics faster and better without reading every word. I also wanted to be able to do what President Kennedy could do and make books into a feast of all the information that I could learn from them. This was really harder than I thought it would be. In trying to read many things, I always worked too slow because many, many words had to be looked up in the dictionary or encyclopedias elsewhere in order to understand the passages’ meanings.

Then, about the time I was ready to give up, it occurred to me one night playing chess (with myself) so I could win the next day (by the light of a flashlight in my floor when I was supposed to be in bed asleep), that if I could simply remember everything on every page, then eventually I would learn more words and know what it said. So I started doing that. This was when I added two questions to the comprehension of materials list from the Evelyn Wood course materials I had found in that book about it. This way I could take in, even things I did not yet understand and use them when the time came that I could understand them.

So, here is the way I know to do comprehensive or comprehension speed reading:

First, the ground rules are this –

IGNORANCE = “You can’t know what you don’t know.”

It doesn’t mean uneducated or stupid.

And there is always stuff I don’t know. That is a given and an absolute constant, for me.

1. Comprehension Speed Readings – as I know it.

Scan, search & find –

–> What is important here?

–> Why did they write it?

–> What are they trying to prove? (or trying to say?)

–> What is this about (this passage, this book, or chapter?)

–> Where are the important parts the author wants me to remember?

–> What is the mindset, language & mental constructs (framework) of the author? Writer’s mental construct? (path of reasoning)

–> How does this information, this set of facts, this passage fit with the rest of the writing, (work), material, book, other passages and chapters?

–> What other materials has this author written? (and)

–> How does this information fit with those other materials?

–> Where is the information that I’m trying to find in this work, materials, writings, book, database, whatever?

This is what I use from the book I read about Comprehension Speed Reading and its course materials, which I’ve reviewed and re-instituted in my life many times over the years including in grade school, in junior high and during colleges and marriages. Then, later I’ve had to re-learn it several times over because of brain injury, stupid decisions that affected my abilities and even stupider people in my life “helping me out”.

Over the course of years, I’ve probably read millions of books this way and some I’ve committed to greater study. I know a couple things about the process, to say the least.

First, is that if you get the same answer on these three questions or think they are asking the same thing, then you’ve missed something:

–> What are they trying to prove? (or trying to say?)

–> What is this about (this pasage, this book, or chapter?)

–> Where are the important parts the author wants me to remember?

Second, there isn’t one question in the entire list above that yields the same answer when properly done. And, I know this by experience and by double checking with back-up sources and rechecking my work over a period of time. They are all different questions that may seem similar, but they are requesting different approaches of perspective to locate the information in the written materials.

Third, when I do read something this way, it is like a feast, an entertaining game of seeking the hidden treasures of an ebullient and diverse Universe filled with wonders and magic in each word, each passage, each paragraph and each page. It is wondrous and exciting to piece the scan, search and find together into a whole with other elements I know and those I’ve yet to recognize because of my ignorance and ineptitude, which is ever present.

Last, because I was not able to comprehend so much of what I read night after night as a pre-kindergarten person of limited worldly knowledge, I added two parameters to the list of questions above that had come from the initial comprehension skills set that I had found. These I’ve used for over 46 years and they do work: (They are for me, you do what you want.)

–> Author, book, page number, publishing house, year; passage position on page, paperback? hardback?, paragraph #, where I found this book, when I found this book, mental snapshot of each page, passage, book

–> How does this and each and every thing I’ve seen here on this page and in this book, fit with any and all other things I know now and in the future?

This is how I do it and I’ve been doing it this way for over 46 years – so do what you want or try this. I already know how to do it . . .

And, scanning a page does not mean to read every word, the mind and subconscious can process all of it in an instant because as the eyes scan down a page the human being’s build is such that it all goes into the brain and subconscious automagically. Recall is a learned skill and can be easily learned with intention and application. It doesn’t happen cohesively unless the human being directs the will properly to do it.

Written by Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips, 04-13-08 USXA1-UXA1-USA1

“Creating the Tangible from the Impossible every day.”

Cricket House Studios, 2008