How To Be An Active and Demanding Reader

There are several key ideas to consider in transforming your regular reading behavior into an effective tool for managing information overload. The PhotoReading course applies most of these ideas to reading with the whole mind. First we stimulate the right hemisphere of the brain by PhotoReading at tremendous speeds and develop flexibility across a broad range of speeds and types of materials.

Then we switch gears to the left hemisphere of the brain to develop sophisticated analytical reading strategies. The result integrates more of the PhotoReading concepts into everyday reading situations and applies them to more difficult reading materials.

This document begins by looking at the art of reading in terms of the different results one might want. Then, we will explore skill building in two functional areas, Whole Mind Reading (including Syntopic Reading) and Analytical Reading. We finish with some ideas on how to become more active and demanding in all of your reading present and future.

Different Types of Reading

When we talk about reading, we want to make a clear distinction between two different types of reading based on different goals. One type of reading is the type we use when we read newspapers, magazines, or anything else that, based on our skill and talents, we can understand readily. Such reading may increase our store of information and open us to the possibility of greater insight. We call this type of reading "Whole Mind Reading." The goal is speed and efficiency.

Another type of reading is that in which a person reads something that at first he does not completely understand. The writer is communicating something that can increase the reader's understanding. This type of reading helps a person understand more, not just remember more information of the same intelligibility as other information already possessed. We call this type of reading "analytical reading." The goal in analytical reading, to achieve comprehensive understanding of a book, assumes the reader has an unlimited amount of time.

What Results Do You Want?

One of the differences between the two types of reading is the results. Is the result that you are better informed, that you have gained new insights, or that you are more enlightened? Decide what result you want. To be informed is to know simply that something is the case. To have insight is to have information synthesized and linked with pre-existing patterns of information in creative ways. To be enlightened is to know, in addition, what it is all about: why it is the case, what its connections are with other facts, in what respects it is the same, in what respects it is different, and so on.

If you remember what an author says, you have learned something from reading. If what he says is true, you have even learned something about the world. But whether it is a fact about the book or a fact about the world that you have learned, you have gained nothing but information if you have only exercised your memory.

Insight takes you the next step. When you link and synthesize information acquired and processed by your unconscious mind, you will get new perceptions. You are more likely to view what you know from different angles, so to speak, and learn more about a thing's essential nature. But still, true enlightenment is a step beyond insight.

You achieve enlightenment only when, in addition to knowing what an author says, you know what he means and why he says it. Being informed and having insight are prerequisites to being enlightened. But do not settle for less than the best when it is important to you. The PhotoReading whole mind system, in conjunction with analytical reading strategies, will take you the final step to enlightenment.

Your Full Capacity

Most of us learned to read only with the left brain, and in only the most elementary ways. The PhotoReading whole mind system activates the right hemisphere of the brain and integrates it with the left brain to produce whole mind reading. The next step is to effectively use the analytical mind to build greater comprehension and learning.

Only by reading with the whole mind and by initiating analytical reading strategies can people get the maximum benefit from materials beyond their current level of understanding. As you read to your full capacity, you use all of the same skills that are involved in true discovery learning. They are keenness of observation, readily available memory, range of imagination, and an intellect trained in analysis and reflection.

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Responses

  • KALEVI
    How to become a demanding reader?
    6 months ago

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