Being an avid reader, I often find I don’t have quite as much time as I’d like (yes, I realize that this topic comes up a lot, but it’s something I’m constantly thinking about). Over my years I’ve come up with some tricks to make things easier on myself. Not all of these are geared towards completely understanding and reflecting upon the text, but many of them will help you through that one honors book or medical article that you are having so much trouble reading.
Some of these are internet connected, and some of them you have to do for yourself, but all of them are useful for the busy reader (especially if you are a student trying to read THIS MANY books in a given time period).
Spreeder.com is an online speed reading application that’s been around for a good long while. Basically, you copy and paste whatever you want to read into the text box, set your word speed (wpm), and hit play. Then you struggle to keep up with the flashing words for a few seconds, and then you get used to it. Then you are done with whatever you have to read. Marvelous.
Spokentext.com is a great site that transfers your website, pdf, txt, doc, email, or copy/paste text into a sound recording, which you can then download to iTunes. (And, if you’re me, upload to your Amazon Cloud Drive, where you can listen to it on your Kindle). Plus, you can pick all kinds of amusing accents. Mine is British! It makes everything that I listen to sound more awesome. Also, you can get your documents translated into vocal French and Spanish (not sure how amazing they are at translating, though, I haven’t checked the other languages out much).
Project Gutenberg is an online compendium of public domain books, meaning that the author has been dead for over fifty years, and therefore holds no copyrights. So free books! Quite amazing, thought they’re not the most modern things (obviously).
Most of you have probably heard about this one as well, but it’s worth mentioning. The ability to gut a book is one not to be discounted. I’m not saying you should do it all the time, but sometimes there are those books you want to know about but can’t struggle through the verbose writing style. This would be the way to fix that.
I could go on forever, but I think that this might be enough for now. Maybe this will become a thing? Sounds fun! (For me, at least.)
Off to study (can’t you tell?),