I evaluate a lot of personal development courses, and to be honest most aren’t very helpful — that’s why I rarely recommend anything on this site other than books. However, PhotoReading gets my strong personal recommendation because it’s had such a positive impact on me. Tripling your reading speed for life is a pretty major benefit, wouldn’t you say?
Learning to PhotoRead
I went through the PhotoReading system this summer. As soon as the package arrived, I was immediately impressed: a full color binder, 8 CDs, a bonus Paraliminal CD, a bonus “Activator” CD, a work book, 2 additional books (which you’ll PhotoRead in the course), a pocket dictionary (you’ll PhotoRead that too), and 3 DVDs. If the content was half as good as the packaging, I knew I’d be in for a treat.
It took me about a week to go through the program, investing about 60-90 minutes per day. The sessions are interactive and guide you through the other materials as part of your training, so there’s a structured progression through the system.
The recording quality is top notch, and Paul Scheele’s voice is easy to understand and reasonably paced. I know this is important to non-native English speakers.
This is a dive-in-and-do-it program, so you won’t have to wade through lots of dull build-up and theory. At the end of the first session you get the opportunity to jump right in and experience PhotoReading. I liked that because it gave me an immediate understanding of the new skill set I’d be building throughout the rest of the course.
I must say that the content was even better than the professional packaging. Paul Scheele is an expert on accelerated learning, so this program incorporates many techniques to help you learn the material quickly and accurately. This program engages your eyes, ears, and hands through visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements.
I should warn you in advance that this isn’t a passive program you can listen to while driving. You can get through part of the first session that way, but the rest of the program is highly interactive. It has to be that way, since the goal of this program is to teach you skills, not rah-rah motivation.
I’ve gone through some interactive learning courses where the exercises seemed uninspired and tedious. PhotoReading’s exercises are quick (often a couple minutes or less), meaningful, and educational. In many cases you’ll keep the session playing as you do the exercises in real time.
From a book a week to a book an hour
As many of you know, I’ve been reading a book a week for more than a decade. After learning PhotoReading, I can tell you without exaggeration that I can now read 5-6 books in the same amount of time — and with better comprehension too.
As you can probably imagine, learning to PhotoRead has been a huge milestone on my lifetime path of personal growth. For the past 12 months, my reading queue has grown faster than I could keep up with it. Authors and publishers send me new personal development books every month, and when my queue passed 30 books, it meant a waiting list of more than 6 months. But now for the first time in a year, I’m actually getting ahead, and the queue is finally shrinking. I’m also picking up a lot of great new ideas from those books.
Yesterday Erin and I had an appointment where I knew there’d be some waiting time. I grabbed a new 280-page business book from my queue before we left, and I finished the book in about an hour while waiting. What about comprehension? I felt I understood the material better than if I’d spread the reading over the course of a week. When you read a book in one sitting, you notice deeper themes you’d otherwise miss, such as the interconnectedness between chapter 12 and chapter 2. It’s been said that the faster you read a book, the more you retain. I’ve seen evidence that this is true.
Ironically, now that I can read a book so quickly, I’m actually devoting less time to reading. I’ve fallen into a pattern of reading 2-3 books a week, but in about half the time it used to take me to read one book. I’m devoting the extra time savings to finally planning some trips. Last month Erin and I had a glorious time in Sedona, and this week I’m planning a family trip to Utah.
I’ve only been using PhotoReading for about a month now, and every week I keep discovering new ways to apply it. It’s been opening up some wonderful possibilities for me.
Great for students
PhotoReading is an outstanding skill to learn while you’re a student. I can’t find the exact URL, but while researching this system, I stumbled across a web site that tested PhotoReading with students, and it reported that students who used PhotoReading saw their grades improve.
After learning PhotoReading I realized I unconsciously used some of its techniques when I was in college, even though I wasn’t using them in a systematized matter. I suspect that contributed to my being a fast learner, since PhotoReading is essentially an accelerated learning system.
Finally read those books you’ve been procrastinating on
My favorite benefit of PhotoReading is that it allows me to get through those tediously boring books on my shelf — books that contain knowledge I really want to learn but which put me to sleep after a few minutes. Most of them are written by doctors, lawyers, and accountants. 🙂
I remember it took me weeks to plod through a book on the pros and cons of various business structures (corporations, LLCs, etc). The information was important to me, but the book was incredibly dull — and as you might guess, written by a lawyer. I would often read it before bed, and it kept putting me to sleep. I eventually got through the book and was glad to be done with it, but if I’d known PhotoReading, I could have gone through the whole book in about 60 minutes, and I likely would have enjoyed reading it.
What makes reading boring is that your mind gets distracted because it’s not fully engaged. If you read at a typical adult rate of 250-300 words per minute, your mind will wander because you’re nowhere near your natural thinking rate. The faster pace of PhotoReading keeps your mind fully engaged, so you can easily summon the motivation to plow through dull material. You’re more stimulated and alert while reading, even with material that would otherwise bore you to tears.
Major discount for StevePavlina.com readers
Since I gained so much from the PhotoReading system, recommending it to you was a no-brainer. I was itching to blog about PhotoReading last month, but I’ve gone a step further on your behalf. The company behind the PhotoReading system is Learning Strategies Corporation, an established leader in accelerated learning. Learning Strategies has been in business since 1981. After many phone conversations, they agreed to a special arrangement whereby StevePavlina.com visitors can get the PhotoReading system at a deep discount off the normal price. Plus the PhotoReading system comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which you can extend to 6 months upon request.
For all the juicy details, visit the PhotoReading page.
I should mention that the PhotoReading system includes free phone coaching and support. I never took advantage of it myself because I found everything in the program perfectly straightforward. But I was genuinely impressed that Learning Strategies includes this.
Incidentally, I learned that PhotoReading is also recommended by Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Harvey Mackay, and Ken Blanchard, so apparently I’m not alone in my enthusiasm for it.
Since learning is such a pleasure for me, I’m glad to have accelerated the pace at which I can soak up new ideas. I hope you benefit from this program as much as I have.