Reading has its limitations. For one,when reading, it’s very difficult to do anything else. I generally read lying on my back with one leg up on a door jam and the other through the door, which gives my hamstrings a good stretch. Other than stretching, I have found no other co-processable activities.
Another limitation is the amount of mental work that reading requires. There’s translating those symbols on a page into sounds then translating those sounds into meanings, then meanings into concepts and only then, thinking about the concepts.
Mind Readers Dictionary: The Podfast : Play in Popup
Mind Readers Dictionary : Play in Popup
Television, movies and radio are easier. At least you avoid having to translate symbols into sounds. But then, so much of what is worth knowing resides in the written word.
I’ve recently found a very workable alternative to reading. I have built a vast and growing library of books and college lectures in audio format saved as MP3 files. I batch-convert the files to higher speed, conditioning the sound with equalization and compression for maximum comprehension. I’ve trained myself to listen at up to 230% speed—a half hour’s reading in about 10 minutes. The audible word per minute count surpasses my reading words per minute and I think my comprehension is better than with reading because I can think instead of wasting mental energy translating written symbols into sound. I set the pace so that the material captures my attention without overwhelming it. I can slow down for complex passages and speed up for simple ones.
With books on mp3 files, it’s easy to do other things while listening. I exercise for an hour a day on a recumbent bike, I clean house, run errands, fix things. I even pay bills. All the while I fly through reading I would otherwise miss.
I’ve worked through a lot of the technical challenges and would be happy to share with anyone who would like to try it. Just contact me at the address below. I’ve long dreamt of a way to learn faster and this is it.