The PhotoReading Whole Mind System

(home study course & book)

by Paul Scheele

 

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Page Two: Learning The System First

Photoreading isn’t so much a technique as it is a process—a system of important steps that take you through preparation, multiple pass readings, and various activation protocol. And as fascinating as the photoreading step of the process may seem, the real power of this course is the system itself. And here is where, in my opinion, Paul makes his biggest contribution into the field of reading – yet it is often the most overlooked.

All reading experiences – even the simple ones like reading your latest copy of MacAddict on the toilet – will be greatly enhanced by taking a moment to prepare. Paul adequately stresses this point early and often.

There are three parts to preparing to read. The first is knowing your outcome for the material you are about to read. The second is getting into a better “reading state”. And the third is previewing the material.

You simply cannot overstate the need for knowing your outcome in advance. This applies not only for reading, but almost anything else you do in life. It may take only three seconds, but stopping to ask yourself what is your outcome will do more for your reading (or take more away from your reading if you don’t do it) than anything else, period.

And the second part, state management, is almost as important. Paul demonstrates this in a few ways. In the course, Paul uses short articles to contrast normal fast reading to a different way of “relaxed” reading. And while he makes a valid point with the exercises, I do have two minor problems with his treatment of states.

First, I’ve never been a big fan of Paul’s vocal delivery. Now, I realize that everyone has different tastes and preferences so I will fall short of saying that there’s anything wrong with his delivery. However, my experience has been that after a few minutes, I often find myself being led into more of a “sleepy” state than the ideal “relaxed, alert” state. But again, this was my own experience.

Second, I think Paul over-generalizes other speed reading programs when he claims that speed reading causes you to feel rushed. It isn’t the actual process of speed reading that makes it feel rushed, it is only how people apply the speed reading process. Not having been to a “typical” speed reading seminar, I don’t know which ones focus on managing states while reading versus just teaching the process itself. But I sincerely doubt that state management hasn’t wiggled its way into more than a few speed reading course over the years.

In fact, if you follow the speed reading protocols but simply apply a better “state management” methodology such as the one taught in the photoreading course, then you’d be better at speed reading as well. And if you watch really skilled speed readers, you’ll notice they don’t seem to me to have the “rushed” states of mind Paul speaks of.

So while Paul is incorporating state management into his photoreading system – which is good - he alludes that that all other speed reading is rushed – which is probably a bit misleading. Nevertheless, the fact that Paul makes state management an integral part of the photoreading process is a huge plus.

Next, you are taken through the previewing step, which is optional for some types of reading. There’s not much to say about it except that it is well covered in the course.

And finally, after skipping the photoreading step for now, your tour of the system ends with the activation stage. Here, he ventures into Super Reading and Dipping, and then at least mentions the final, often superfluous step, rapid reading.

In all, this system so far WITHOUT the photoreading step is an effective reading system in and of itself. I’ll come back to this comment in the next section.

 

Next - Page Three: Off To The Races

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