Speed Reading with Recall and Comprehension: A Crash Course

Speed Readingfast-car-flames

People read faster  and understand more while reading print materials,  because it’s not as distracting.  But if you are tied to a screen, then use Accelareader.com free app.

Move your finger along the page faster than your read- maybe 30%  faster, and try to keep up.  Or,  customize the settings on your Accelareader app to be about 30% faster than you read.  Read in chunks, not individual words, skip the “stop words” that don’t really add (like a  or the).  You can time yourself first to figure out how many words you read in a minute to figure our what  30% faster means.

When you have a little time to practice, read things at your normal speed, then go over it again twice as fast.  Force yourself to get into the habit of reading faster by practicing reading faster, and faster.

Set deadlines.  Track the time it takes to read a page, and tell yourself the next one will beat that time.

Get out of that bad habit of saying the words as you read them.  You think faster than you speak, so speaking slows you down.

Comprehension and Recall  memory

Comprehension and Recall are somewhat tied together.  Recall depends on repetition.  When you take these steps to comprehend, you are also repeating the information.

  1. Get an idea of what you’re reading before you read it by skipping through it. Read the introduction and the conclusion, the titles and headings, and if there are no subheadings, read the first sentence of each paragraph.  Don’t worry about comprehension yet.
  2. Then read it, to maintain the speed, speed up in the middle of an essay, and in the middle of paragraphs.
  3. After each paragraph, start asking yourself, “What did I take from that?” At first, actually take notes.  As you improve, take mental notes.  From there, change that from after every paragraph to after every page you read.
  4. Try to tell someone else what you read, in your own words.
  5. Other techniques for memorizing are visualization, and exaggeration. If you can visualize an exaggerated version of what you read, you’re more likely to remember it.

Go to our homepage, northcastlelibrary.org, under Educational Resources, and click on Lynda.com for details on speed reading, and more specific advice such as:  How to read a book in a day, tips for reading newspaper articles. Magazines, textbooks, and tablets, and more details on what’s written here.



Scary Stories to Watch in the Dark!

Did you have a look at our list of scary stories to read? Here they are again, just in time for Halloween!


Of course, we’ve got  great books in the library. We’ve got some great movies, too! Here are some classic chillers to watch on Halloween weekend.


  • frankenstein  Yes, it’s the classic Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff!  A quick question for you: what’s the name of the character Karloff plays?

a. Frankenstein, of course!

b. Igor.

c. Frankenstein’s monster; he doesn’t have a name.

d. Something else.

You can take the movie home to double-check your answer! Continue reading “Scary Stories to Watch in the Dark!”

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Book Review

.Major Pettigrew, a kind and proper Englishman, lives in a small, country village. He frequents a shop, similar to a general store, in town that is run by a Pakistani Woman and her family.

The Major’s brother passes away. Their relationship was laced with veiled competitiveness, and rather prickly. This event is the catalyst, along with a curious inheritance, that changes his current life in ways he never expected, including the people around him.

Readers will enjoy the superb writing, and the surprises Major Pettigrew encounters as he wrestles with, and makes a go of many challenges.

So, what the heck is NaNoWriMo, anyway?

Next month is National Novel Writing Month. That’s right-many thousands of people all over the world will be striving to write a novel-length manuscript in just one month. If you’re one of them, we’re here to help!

Did you know your friendly neighborhood library is now a place for writers to meet up and work on their novels? It’s true! We’re now an official location for nanowrimo

And our creative writing club, Just Write, will be meeting twice in November. We’ll be supporting all you aspiring novelists out there with an hour an a half of writing time as part of a welcoming, encouraging group. Our first meeting is on Monday, November 14 at 6:30 p.m.

We’ve got online resources to help you work at home, too! Continue reading “So, what the heck is NaNoWriMo, anyway?”

How to Listen and Take Notes

study-skillsMy method of paying attention in the past has been to take notes on anything being said.  I’d have pages of notes, but often I couldn’t make sense of them, or I wouldn’t be able to tell what was important.  And, finally, I wouldn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with the notes.

Lynda.com to the rescue!  Read on to learn what I learned after sharpening my study skills at Lynda.com.

Continue reading “How to Listen and Take Notes”

Indie Author Day!

This coming Saturday, we’ll be celebrating authors of all ages and at all stages of the writing journey, and that includes your friendly neighborhood librarian.

I’ll be leading a creative writing craft at 11:00, and we also have coffee with authors Jacob M. Appel and Cheryl D. Clay at noon, a Powerpoint presentation at 1:00, and a nationwide webinar about indie publishing and the Self-E program at 2:00. If any of you are planning to participate in nanowrimo, this is a great way to start! If you’ve got any questions. please feel free to call me at the library.

Mary J