Bill Cosby: How to Read Faster

“The problem is there’s too much to read these days, and too little time to read every word of it.” – Bill Cosby, “How to Read Faster”

Fun fact, Bill Cosby wrote an article about speed reading techniques in the 1980s: “How to Read Faster”. I remember seeing him on episodes of Sesame Street and other PBS specials, but never put it together that he is an advocate for education, especially reading. His recommendations for faster and more effective reading are as follows,

1. Preview – for long and complex material, one should preview to become more familiar with the content of the work in order to focus actual reading on what is most important.

2. Skim – for materials that are short and simple (magazines, newspaper articles, etc.), to get a general idea what it is about. If particularly interested in something, go back and read it in-depth.

3. Clustering – for all reading materials, use clustering (also called word chunking) to help increase reading speed and comprehension. Clustering is a technique that involves looking at series of words when reading, instead of reading every single word by itself. Doing so increases reading speed without sacrificing comprehension.



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