Speed reading: reading faster than you normally do.
Is it real, does it actually work, and how does it change the process of reading?
I had all these questions a few weeks ago before I underwent the Super Reading Quest by Jim Kwik on Mindvalley, which promises to get your reading speed up to 1500 words per minute, from the average of around 250 words per minute.
So I want to share with you guys today everything I learned with and felt about the Super Reading Challenge, and whether this “skill” is real and worth your time and energy.
Why I gave mindvalley’s super reading quest a shot
In my line of work, everyone around me at some point in their lives loved books and loved reading.
But everyone also has the same problem: they can’t find the time for it anymore.
And I have the same exact issue.
No matter how many times I’ve tried to free up an afternoon or a full night for reading, I just can’t develop the habit again.
Is that an excuse? Maybe.
Maybe it’s because the modern world just has too many notifications and too many distractions, or maybe because I’m an adult now and I don’t have the free time I did when I was reading books every summer as a teenager.
But for one reason or another, reading has become this elusive hobby that I always want to do, but never actually find myself doing.
So when I first discovered Jim Kwik’s Super Reading course on Mindvalley, my interest was definitely piqued.
Before doing the Super Reading Quest, I had already completed Jim’s Superbrain Quest on the Mindvalley platform, so I already had some idea on what this teacher was like and whether or not he’d be worth my time.
I loved Superbrain; I’ve always been a huge nerd when it comes to life hacks and little things you can do to get more out of your brain and productivity.
And since I was already signed up to the All Access Mindvalley Pass, I thought — why not?
I felt that Super Reading might be the key I needed to finally add reading back into my life.
I was tired of seeing book after book piling up in my room, and tired of feeling guilty walking through a bookstore and going through all the books I wanted to read and buy but never actually doing it.
So before I signed up, I wanted to test just how much my reading words per minute (WPM) rate was.
I tried a speed reading test online and got a decent score of 338 WPM.
Better than average, but not as fast as I wanted it to be. That’s when I pulled the trigger and gave it a shot.
What super reading is all about
The Super Reading course is quite simple: it’s a program to boost the speed of your reading as well as comprehension.
Jim Kwik boils reading down to a science, and he explains that to speed up the way we read, we have to understand what goes into the thought processes behind reading.
There are three processes that make up reading, and these are:
Fixation: When we first look or fixate on the word, taking an average of .25 seconds
Saccade: When the eye moves on to the next word or phrase, taking an average of .1 seconds
Comprehension: Understanding what we just read
The idea of speed reading is to cut down on our fixation time, which is the longest part of reading, while increasing our comprehension.
This is done by killing a habit that almost all of us do called subvocalization when you use the little voice in your head to read the words as you see them.
The problem with subvocalization is that it artificially limits the speed at which we process words; we say the words in our head at the same speed that we would talk, but our brains can move much quicker than our mouths can; we simply don’t push it enough.
The course helps you cut out the habit of subvocalization while also learning a new habit known as “chunking”, in which you break down information and group it up in a more understandable and digestible way.
Super Reading teaches you all this and more, and it breaks down the science of speed reading into two parts:
Learning the concepts: Understanding what it takes to read faster and absorb more information at the same time.
Jim works with students to develop memory retention techniques, technical information reading, and more.
Learning new habits: Unlearning the bad habits that you currently have preventing you from reading faster (subvocalization) and learning new habits that you were never pushed to try to learn.
Essentially, Super Reading tries to reinvent the wheel of reading. With daily videos lasting 10-20 minutes per day, Super Reading gives you various drills and exercises that push you to create new reading habits that break you out of the framework currently limiting your speed.
The problem with school right now is that we’re taught how to read and nothing else; the way you read today is exactly the way you read when you first learned how to do it.
We never advance beyond the bare necessities of reading, making us much slower than we can be. Super Reading is the key to unlock those higher gears you didn’t know you had.
|You would love Super Reading if…||Super Reading might not be for you if…|
|You’ve had a taste of Jim Kwik’s teaching before with the Superbrain Quest and you loved it||You’re not into doing things fast; you’re the type who wants to enjoy the journey and take it easy while you read|
|You have an insatiable love for reading and want to be able to read more, understand more, and process more||You don’t have much interest in reading and you don’t think reading faster would make you like books more than you do now|
|You want to “get into” reading but hate how much time it takes to read when you barely have any free time to begin with||You don’t like a course that requires daily active participation with various challenges and drills|
Let me just say: Super Reading is not for everyone.
I’ve had a ton of people come up to me and say that speed reading misses the “point” of reading; that reading should be about the enjoyment of the book, rather than trying to get through it as fast as possible.
And a part of me agrees with that; there are so many books that I wish were longer because I didn’t want them to end yet.
But another part of me understands the bigger picture: the faster I read, the more books I can enjoy.
This means I don’t have to pick between whether I read a fiction book for fun or a non-fiction book for personal growth; I can read both in the same time frame.
When Super Reading is done right, you get a new freedom you never knew you could achieve, which is the freedom of enjoying reading again without feeling like you’re spending too much time on a single activity.
Super Reading is AMAZING for people who…
…once loved books but now live extremely busy lives with no time to read
…want to read more books and absorb as much knowledge as possible in this “knowledge economy” world
…are tired of seeing their “must read” piles stacking higher and higher
…love making their lives efficient, maximizing the time they spend on every activity
…just want to challenge their brains to something new
If you have no issues when it comes to reading, then you probably won’t benefit from this course.
But if you’re like me at all, you’ll find that this course can be, in some ways, life-changing.
What Makes Jim Kwik The Perfect Mentor
It’s easy to chuck up an amazing reading speed to good genetics.
After all, it feels like something that you’re just inherently born with.
But that’s what makes Jim Kwik the perfect mentor for something like Super Reading.
He doesn’t treat super reading as this innate ability; we’re not built-in with this amazing capability to read 1,000 words per minute.
If anything, our reading ability naturally decreases as our cognitive faculties become duller with age.
But Jim Kwik believes (and has proven!) that super reading is for everyone.
In fact, his story is a personal testimony to what brain training can do for your cognitive faculties.
Jim Kwik is pretty open about his personal journey.
At a young age, he met an accident that left him cognitively-challenged. Unable to process and acquire information the same way, Jim thought that he’d fall behind people with “right” brains.
Because of this, Jim worked tirelessly to figure out the mechanisms of learning and boil it down into simple, actionable steps.
From his teenage years to his adulthood, Jim has maintained his curiosity towards accelerated memory and brain “hacking”.
The culmination of his tried and tested methods, on top of his own personal experience, is his proprietary Super Reading technique.
I was also reluctant about the Super Reading Quest and wondered if people who were pretty much born with average reading abilities like me would ever have the opportunity to excel.
After going through the Quest myself, I can definitely see how Jim systematized his personal cheat sheet so anyone can improve their comprehension skills.
The Super Reading Quest is straightforward and easy to follow.
You don’t have to have Einstein’s IQ or have any kind of super-special abilities to get started.
In fact, a lot of students who started out had reading speeds as low as 200 words per minute.
As a mentor, Jim provides actionable tips and exercises that are both accessible and challenging; you don’t feel like you’re working with a “thought guru” whose approach to brain hacking is meditation.
Jim Kwik actually puts you to work and pushes your reading skills to the next level.
If you want a glimpse of Jim’s teaching style before getting this quest, I highly recommend checking him out on iTunes.
His podcast, Kwik Brain, is the leading training show on the platform.
It’s a great way to get acquainted with him as a mentor, and also get a taste of what his sensibilities are on accelerated learning and brain training.
Everything you get with the super reading quest
The Super Reading is part of Mindvalley’s All-Access pass for $599 a year. You can also choose to get just this course for $349.
Here’s the content you can expect for both the solo and all access passes:
- Lifetime access to the Super Reading quest, including any updates to the content in the future
- 21 recorded coaching sessions with Jim Kwik
- A complete curriculum for speed reading including exercises for practical application
- Seamless access with the Mindvalley App
- Digital access through all of your devices including phone, tablet, or computer
- Exclusive access to the Super Reading community even long after you’ve completed the quest
- A downloadable, printable workbook
If you enroll in the quest today, you also get four bonus group coaching call sessions with Jim Kwik.
These coaching call recordings are a more in-depth Q&A where you get to uncover additional techniques not covered in the program.
The Super Reading curriculum is broken down into three weeks and here’s what you can expect from each week:
Week 1: The foundations of speed reading
Week one is all about setting the foundation for the Super Reading Quest.
Here Jim takes the time to help you discover your individual ability to scale your learning capacity.
This introductory week is helpful in unpacking any biases you may have about learning that could inhibit your development throughout the program.
During this week, you’ll get a more intimate understanding of your reading capabilities, including your reading pace and comprehension.
Jim also takes the time to talk about the common obstacles to reading efficiently and shares actionable solutions for these problems.
Already on week one, you get a taste of what Super Reading is all about.
Towards the end, Jim divulges his secret on expanding your reading list by reading a book a week without having to slog through pages hours a day.
To give you an idea of how these weeks are structured, here’s a quick rundown of the video lessons you’ll be taking for week 1:
Day 1: Finding Your Starting Speed
Day 2: Clearing The Obstacles
Day 3: How To Use A Visual Pacer
Day 4: Why A Visual Pacer Works
Day 5: Indentation Reading
Day 6: Introducing The Infinity Technique
Day 7: Read A Book A Week
Week 2: Scientific techniques to enhances your speed & comprehension
Week two is all about the real science behind the Super Reading process.
Expect a more hands-on approach to brain training.
In this part of the program, you’ll be engaging in different exercises you can do every day to keep retraining your brain.
This is where Jim shares step-by-step instructions on how to exercise your brain.
For this week, you’ll be participating in speed drill techniques to increase the words you read per minute.
One of the most interesting parts of the course is when Jim teaches you to expand your peripheral vision so you’re making the most out of every minute you spend on a book or any material.
The idea behind this is to activate your peripheral vision so you can subconsciously take in information, making you a more efficient reader.
Week 3: Jim kwik’s tricks for advance comprehension & focus
The quest culminates with week three, where Jim shares personal tools and techniques to further improve your reading speed.
In the final week, he talks about topics like how to skim better, how to take brain “breaks” for optimal development, and how to learn skills five times faster using the techniques you learned throughout the Super Reading course.
Is the super reading quest worth it?
As I mentioned, I absolutely loved his other quest, Superbrain (also on Mindvalley) and my admiration for Jim Kwik as a mentor and professional definitely added to my enjoyment of the Super Reading quest.
I started the program reading 338 WPM. That’s definitely not bad, but that’s not quite impressive either.
I diligently followed the program and worked on the workbook outside “class hours”. I’m happy to say that my reading speed is now around 950 to 1,100.
I’m putting a range here because it obviously varies for different texts.
For “easier” stuff, I can read up to a thousand words per minute.
But for more technical books, 900 to 950 is my usual going rate.
That’s a significant improvement from my starting 338 WPM!
As fun as it is to measure your result in numbers, it’s even more surreal to feel your results.
Some of the reviews talk about the sensation of looking at a page and instantly absorbing it.
That sounds like a complete exaggeration but that’s honestly how it feels like.
Of course, you’re still reading through the page but you’re doing it at a higher level that it feels like you’re just looking.
One of the most significant contributions of the Super Reading quest to me personally is how more receptive I am of information.
Before this quest, I’d feel fatigued and overloaded with something as small as notifications on a screen.
After the Super Reading quest, it feels like my brain is hungry for stimulation.
I’m not just mindlessly looking through news articles or scrolling through Reddit; I’m actually digesting this information and adding it to my brain bank.
Is the Super Reading quest worth it?
It definitely is. In a relatively short amount of time, you get clear results and big improvements to your quality of learning.
The only caveat is that you actually have to engage in the activities that’s part of the program.
If you’re looking for an easy way to boost your reading ability, then Super Reading is definitely not the quest for you.
But if you’re ready to commit to a process to scale your learning ability, Super Reading will become one of the best investments you’ve ever made.
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