Photoreading… What is it? In a nutshell, it’s a method to allow a person to absorb huge amounts of information at speeds that defy common thinking. Documented speeds of over  690,000 word per minute have been recorded (mentioned on page 14 of the Photoreading book).

Before you begin questioning how this rate of reading speed is even possible, you have to understand that it’s not reading in the traditional sense. The whole premise of Photoreading is that your brain can take a mental “photo” of the page that your subconscious mind can process without conscious control.

The best way to understand it is to picture if you will, a picture in a newspaper. If you just glance at the phone, you can take in the entire picture at one time and you can understand what’s in the photo. You don’t have to process all the little dots, one right after the other, from top-to-bottom, left-to-right, to understand the photo.

Using the same process, this program (there is a home study course that goes into much greater detail than the book) describes how to make use of your preconscious processor, a part of your mind that takes in and processes visual information before your conscious mind has a chance to analyze the visual data.

The program itself is fairly easy and straight forward. The steps are:

  1. Prepare –  get all your materials together
  2. Preview – get a feel for what you’re getting ready to Photoread, and also to make a determination on whether what you’re getting ready to read even makes sense to read
  3. Photoread – the real heart of the program and the most difficult part to have faith in
  4. Postview – To take a quick glance back through the book to pick out words that you feel are important and to come up with questions to ask of the material to help you do what’s called activating the material
  5. Activate – where you start pulling the information you Photoread out of the murky depths of your unconscious mind to be available to your conscious mind. This is the magical step of Photoreading. It’s also one of the hardest steps for me to practice.

The hardest part of this learning program is actually having faith that you’re actually doing something worthwhile. When you finish the Photoreading step, you’re going to feel like you just wasted your time since you can’t consciously remember anything of what you just “read”. The more you focus on the “I didn’t get anything out of the reading” mentality, the harder it is to actually allow your subconscious mind to make the information available to your conscious mind.

One of the cool things that can happen once you start consistently practicing Photoreading is what’s called ‘spontaneous activation’. What this entails is Photoreading something, letting it incubate (it’s usually recommended to let the info incubate overnight to allow your subconscious mind time to process the info), and some circumstance pulls the information to conscious awareness and makes it available to you.

In getting prepped for this month’s use and review, I started doing the Photoreading process again and really playing with the training. This playing with the material is highly recommended in the program. With that being said, I decided to use it to help work on my writing projects.

I decided, just because I had just gotten it in the mail and I thought it’d be ironic, that my first book to Photoread would be a book on speedreading that’s based off the Evelyn Wood speedreading program. The second book was a thesaurus, and a few other books on how to write advertising copy.

I did some activation on the speedreading book, but nothing on the thesaurus or other books. Or at least nothing that was as structured as a formal activation. I kinda free-formed it based off the fact that the information I Photoread would be activated by my writing directly.

What I’ve found so far since I never really took it too seriously in the past is that when I really try it and play with how I expect the results to manifest, amazing things begin to take place.

Without conscious effort, my vocabulary expanded greatly within days of just the one Photoreading pass on the thesaurus. Granted, it could be wishful thinking that’s causing the effect. All I know is that either directly or indirectly, I started finding it much easier to find the right word in speaking and writing, enough so that I felt surprised a couple of times with the words that came out my mouth while talking.

Same thing with my reading speed. Even though the program states that you should be able to use it to read anything, I find there are plenty of times where it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to use the program to absorb information. Part of the reason is the prep to start reading. You have to relax and get yourself to Alpha state before you start the reading process. In people who practice it, it only takes about 10-20 seconds. So it’s not really that big of a deal.

Where it does become a deal is when you don’t have the time to actually prep for reading like that. My personal example is when I’m at work in a call center, I sometimes get a few seconds between calls, maybe as much as a minute or two. If I tried to get into the ideal mindset to do the reading, I’d never be able to do any reading at work. That’s why I Photoread a book on speedreading.

I realized that in those short slots of time, if I could accelerate my normal reading process, I could actually get some reading benefit out of those little snippets of time. Since I Photoread that book, my speedreading speed has picked up significantly.  I know I’m probably reading somewhere in the 2,000-3,000 range again, a speed that I haven’t been doing for years. In fact, the last time I was able to reach those speeds was when I practiced the Evelyn Wood program for several weeks.

Photoreading the book on speedreading got me back up to those speeds within days without much real effort. I just started blowing through my reading at a pace that I haven’t been able to do for quite a while. The first week after Photoreading the speedreading book, I proceeded to read something like 5-6 books that week. Each book was around 100-150 pages on my Kindle, at work, with just those short snippets of time to use. I just wonder how much I could have read if I had focused on reading that speed at home.

I have a heavy workload coming up next week, so I don’t know how many times I’m going to get to practice the program, but I do know now that it does have an impact on my ability to absorb information. What I hope to do tomorrow is come up with a list of several books that I plan to Photoread this week.

I would like to plan on writing a short report on what I got from the books on that list to show what can be accomplished with this program. I plan to time each step of the process, just so a record of how much time I actually invested into each book. It might give an indication of how fast I’m actually cutting through the material. Guess we’ll see.