I bought the PhotoReading course (Deluxe Version) on the merit of Steve's recommendation and although I've only just started the second CD, I have certainly been impressed with the quality of the product so far.
I found the dictionary excerise on the first CD quite tough. I didn't really get any breath-taking results from that - but then I'm not suprised or discouraged with this having only just started on the program. Paul Scheele (the author/narator) explains that he is trying to give you an early taste of the PhotoReading experience but preps you not to be put off if it doesn't work first time (as with learning anything new!)
Just wondering whether anyone else is trying this course? Experiences?
Glad you brought this up. I was thinking of making the purchase later on but would like to hear more reviews before I do so. Maybe when the forum flood-gates open this Friday, there will be more people who can comment on their experiences of this product.
I'am going through it as well lately. I don't do the exersises this time, though. I want to listen it through and try to figure the key skill. I've known the man, who spontaneously stumbled upon photoreading, when doing speed-reading course. It gives me hope, that photoreading can be learned even faster then as in Paul Sheele's method. If I fail, I can always go through the course "properly"
Probably a dumb question... but what is PhotoReading? Can someone link me somewhere? Pretty please?? :D
Re: What is PhotoReading?
Steve gives glowing recommendations of photoreading in his blog and website. It is basically a program that teaches you the skills to read a book (or anything) very quickly. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I gather it teaches a different set of skills to speed reading, encouraging you to soak up the contents of the book without necessarily reading every word.
I brought the deluxe version myself. It is currently sitting next to my "Do It Now" book I haven't read yet.
From Shannan :cool:
Then - http://www.photoreading.com/
In essence photoreading is the reading technique, that relies on your subconscious mind. Using this method, you enter a certain state of mind, look at the pages of the book, then do some excersises so that the information becomes accessible to you conscious mind. The result of all this is that you percieve the information at a very high speed, while your retention levels remain as high as with normal reading. How high is high speed? I've personally tested the guy who had effective reading speed (adjusted for retention errors) of 30000 (yes, thirty thousands) wpm. This is way beyond the results that can be achieved with usual speed-reading techniques.
After going through the PhotoReading Deluxe Course during the summer, I wrote a page about it here:
There were a couple blog posts on it as well:
I thought the course was excellent, and I got positive results with it as I mentioned in the links above, so I made arrangements with Learning Strategies to offer a 59% discount to StevePavlina.com visitors in exchange for promoting PhotoReading across the site.
So far I've been told that hundreds of people bought PhotoReading via the StevePavlina.com discount, so there should be plenty of people here who can share their results.
The system comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, which can be extended to 6 months upon request, so that made it easy for me to recommend. My results have been great, but it does take time to go through the CDs and DVDs, so you really get out of it what you put into it.
I've been evaluating a number of other products as well, and if I find others that are really good, I'll try to make a similar discount arrangement. Because of the size of this audience, I have a good shot at negotiating group discounts for high-quality personal development products. I'm extremely picky about what I'll recommend though, so I generally reject more than 90% of the products I evaluate.
Thanks so much everyone! I am definitely going to check this out. I really don't like reading that much (I have bad eyes and broken glasses so I either get a headache or fall asleep) but I know I am missing out on so much not reading books. I did manage to make it through Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a few months ago and I thought the book was hilarious but I hated the reading part. This sounds like something I could benefit from!
I've never heard of PhotoReading but as I read so much I'm keen to find out more. I have never done a speed reading course but have managed to learn how to 'scan read' at a fairly good speed. However it only really works for subject matter that I am already familiar with - I guess that knowing the context helps to speed the processing of information.
The only problem I have with speed reading is with it's effectiveness in altering our tacit knowledge. It's one thing to read a book quickly - quite another to apply the newly aquired knowledge effectively.
Has anyone tried mind mapping a book that they have speed read or photo read? Would be good to know that the reading is fruitful otherwise it's another case of quantity over quality!
From what I've seen, I'm extremely skeptical about the whole PhotoReading process. I should mention I have not bought the course and have only seen the book. I would, however, love to have my opinion changed. If it were real, which it seems too good to be I admit, it would be worth far more than its cost to any serious reader. I have many more books than time to read them; I'm sure that is true with many of you as well. So, if you really believe in this method, please explain it to me! Do you really get results or is it a watered down version of normal reading with a bunch of "new age" stuff thrown in?
The PhotoReading book is included with the self-study course along with a couple other books. IMO it would be really hard to learn PhotoReading from just the book. It contains much of the info from the self-study course, but there's something about going through the process with the audio CDs I found much more helpful. I think the reason is that PhotoReading is an applied skill, not merely an idea you need to absorb.
The book gets mixed reviews on Amazon, and I think that's with good reason. Probably the best analogy I can offer is that learning PhotoReading from the book would be like trying to learn martial arts from a book. You will gain some understanding of the skill, but it's unlikely you'll pick up the skill itself. It's not quite as extreme as with the physical skills of martial arts, but it's close.
I've never been to one of the live PhotoReading seminars, but I imagine that's probably the best way to learn it. The DVDs have recordings of the live seminars, and they contain lots of additional tips beyond the book.
Personally I'm not a big fan of the way Learning Strategies chooses to market the PhotoReading system. I think the way they promote the benefits is too new agey and over the top. That type of marketing is common with personal development products though, so I'm used to looking past it.
The basic PhotoReading process involves a series of passes where you aim to get the material into your subconscious mind and then consciously activate the material. Perhaps the most important thing I learned is that it's critical to have a clear purpose for everything you read. When you read without purpose, your subconscious mind has no clear guidance on what material to assimilate and make available consciously vs. what to disregard. But when you read with a clear purpose, your subconscious will act like a homing system, processing the material below the level of conscious awareness and bringing to your attention the exact material you need to be aware of consciously.
Initially this feels like a freakishly strange way to read. It takes a while to get comfortable with the idea that your goal is to extract information that satisfies your purpose, not to read every word. As I mentioned previously, I wouldn't use PhotoReading if my goal was to enjoy a fiction book. But it's a great tool for extracting non-fiction information. The real heart of the system is conditioning your subconscious mind to make you consciously aware of the information and ideas that satisfy your purpose.
In a way PhotoReading fits nicely with the whole intention-manifestation model. You're basically saying to the universe, here are my questions, and if the answers are to be found in this book, bring them into my conscious awareness.
Without a clear purpose for reading, PhotoReading is unlikely to work well.
Think of PhotoReading like a search engine. If you type in nothing, you get no results. But if you're clear about what you want, the search results appear. If you're fuzzy about what you want, you get fuzzy results. So the more you know why you want to read a book, the better PhotoReading works.
I have completed the Photoreading course with the CDs and exercises. I got some useful ideas which is great because I was studying for a tough licensing exam. But I am still skeptical that the process actually works. However I am very motivated to keep trying with it for the next month at least. The power that I immediatly got from the CDs was how helpful it is to simply look at material again and again and not stress about totally understanding the material in one go.
My suspicion is that if you use photoreading for a fluffy book you will be surprised how much you got simply because you _already knew the material_. So I am going to try photoreading some simple books on material that I am curious about, but I am not already familiar with. Like culture in Venezuela. Or a biography of the Beatles or something.
I also purchased the Deluxe PhotoReading course recently. I wouldn't normally buy such an expensive course, particularly from abroad, but I was encouraged by Steve Pavlina's articles on PhotoReading, the hefty discount and the six month returns policy. The package arrived after 16 days of a possible 2-6 week international delivery window, which was a good start.
So far, I've tried the dictionary test on CD1 (where you do a basic PhotoRead in a dictionary for a couple of minutes and then pick a word that comes to mind and picture where on the page the word was) and was pleasantly encouraged by the results - 2 of 5 words were pretty much spot on and a further 2 words were close. I found the page turning a little awkward, but I guess that'll come with practice. I'm looking forward to trying this again, but the dictionary supplied is pretty basic (it has pictures in it!), so I think I'll use a larger British English dictionary - can't be learning US spelling now, can I?:)
I've also worked through CD2, but I was not in the right environment (background noise, visual distractions, tired), which seems to be so important to getting PhotoReading right. I'll give this CD another go when I've got the house to myself.
Whilst, I've not worked far into the course, I'm impressed with the overall professional nature of it. Paul Scheele talks the listener through the course at an easy, timely pace and makes it feel quite personal. Minor gripe: The constant reference to turning the tape over or pausing the tape, perhaps a little editing to bring the course into the CD era wouldn't go amiss.
6 month extention
I live in Japan, and cannot fill out online forms with my address, so i have things that i order online sent to my parents house in the states, and they send it to me. Unfortunately, they have an obscure address, so the package hasnt even arrived at their house yet. Its already been at least a week since i ordered it, and dont honestly expect to see it for at least another week. Because of this i would like to extend the 30 day money back guarantee, but i dont know how. Can someone please tell me how to extend?
I purchased just the book at a cheap bookstore, just to try it out, see if it really is that good.
So I've read the book in all the ways it advises, and photoread about 6 books and some printed documents.
Unfortunatly, I can't say I've noticed much of it yet. Maybe I'm just too eager to learn it so it blocks the information coming to my consious mind, or maybe I wasn't relaxed enough to start with.
Anyway, when I can afford it I'll probably order the whole package bacause I do believe it will work, eventually.. :)
I think to extend the guarantee you just call or email them at email@example.com and request it.
Ive purchased the 'classic' photoreading course and im currently waiting for the product to arrive. Ordered it a few weeks ago now, it may take another couple of weeks still. (Im in Oz :))
I was very skeptical after hearing about Steve's experiences with Photoreading, but I watched both of their marketing videos, read reviews of the book on Amazon and I'm interested enough to try it out. Plus, my Amazon affiliate earnings finally broke $100 (it only took a few years) so I'll be using that money to buy the classic version. I'm excited to see how it works and would love to hear about other people's experiences with it.
I also completed the photoreading course. I must say wow! The course actually works. I can feel my mind expand and absorb the information after reading and using the activating methods they teach within the course. I have actually used this method for my various reading material. Great Product.
I just emailed Orders@learningstrategies.com and told them why I needed an extention and I got an email back in less than a day saying what my new Satisfaction Guarantee Extension was--very nice.
One thing that impressed me about Learning Strategies is that they're really on the ball when it comes to customer service.
For example, I was told that if their ordering lines ring three times before one of their reps picks up, then every phone in the building rings, and even their executives will answer the phone and field a customer call.
Secondly, I was told they ship products the very same day they're ordered if at all possible. They package orders up to the last minute and then mail them out.
I have a bunch of other Learning Strategies products from them I've been reviewing. I've listened to nearly all their Paraliminals CDs over the past three months, and I really like them. I'm working on arranging a StevePavlina.com discount for those too. They seem amenable to it, so if all goes well, we should have something together by the end of the month.
I think it's just great that you negotiated such a great discount with them to offer it here.
I'm somewhat familiar with the company as I used to live in Minnesota and had a client who was involved with them....I agree they are top notch.
I definitely plan to order it soon....when I have a little more time...LOL
The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything?
The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything... 42
I've known about PR (The PhotoReading Whole Mind System) for a few years. I bought the book in 2001. I think I had very unrealistic expectations about it (a big part of that was their marketing I think) so I never stuck with it. They claimed that "you actually 'mentally photograph' the page at 25,000 words a minute." I seriously thought one would be able to flip through pages and have full conscious recall at 25,000 WPM. This is not so with Photoreading. Needless to say, I was very disappointed.
I'd already been thinking about getting back into it for a while when I saw Steve's recommendation (and discount, thanks!) so I went ahead and purchased the deluxe course (arguably way overpriced at $500, but much better with discount). Hrm...intention manifestation? :)
I've gone through all eight CDs and have used the techniques on a few books. Personally, I haven't had a major life altering experience, nor have I discovered anything magical about the process. I think a person could get really hyped up by their marketing and be severely disappointed like I was. Perhaps this is why their book receives such binary reviews - people seem to either love it or hate it. They find it useful for them or they think it's a scam, perhaps because they are marketed into having very unrealistic expectations.
I think one could learn all they need out of the book. These techniques are really not all that complex. I did receive value from the course but I didn't learn much more than what I had learned in the book five years ago. What clicked for me was the realization that I would have feelings of confusion and frustration in learning this material and applying it but that was OK. I realized that was normal and that I just needed to stick with it. Again, I think I had unrealistic expectations which I've finally let go. The section in the book on the stages of learning is what really made this whole thing click for me (pages 124 - 125). I don't know why, but after I understood this it all made sense.
I think most people would agree that "read" means "to examine and grasp the meaning of (written or printed characters, words, or sentences)." I think that's the definition that most people would use. In the PR system, one certainly does not "read" at 25,000 WPM (using the above definition). I think this is rather shameful marketing slant used to make the product sound far more magical and appealing than it really is (isn't that the purpose of marketing?).
In reality, The Photoreading Whole Mind System is simply a set of skills that are meant to help improve efficiency in absorbing new ideas that are contained in written materials. You learn to absorb exactly what you need in far less time than you would with cover to cover reading. Learning and applying these skills are not easy though! At least they weren't for me.
Overall I think Learning Strategies' products are outstanding. It's just a shame how snakey their marketing appears. I get more junk from them than from anywhere else. But I figure their marketing tactics must really work for them or else they wouldn't use them.
Chiming in with my experience. I bought the deluxe course on Steve's recommendation. It was kind of a leap of faith thing.
I'm in the middle of CD6. For now I can't say anything amazing has happened but there are probably a few things I'm not doing quite right yet. For example I'm a bit too focused on the page turning process (which they should really cover in more depth - turning pages consistently every two seconds isn't that easy) while photoreading.
However, the non-controversial parts (ie. direct eye to mind link) - such as the multiple viewings and the idea of going in with a purpose, do make a lot a sense for some type of reading.
I'll update on my progress.
I bought the deluxe package about ten or twelve days ago, so it should be showing up soon. I must admit, I bought it solely on Steve's recommendation and didn't even check out the site - so I had no idea about the new agey presentation (although in my case it probably wouldn't have hurt :) )! I've got so much reading to get through, stuff I want to read, and if it will help out even a little, it will be worth the money.
I bought the photoreading course, and I expect to receive it in 2 days. However, after making the purchase, I began to realise that the course may not apply to many of the books on my reading list.
For example, would I be able to photoread programming books? Or how about books in Arabic, which I can read, but don't recognise the words as well as I can recognise English words.
The 6 month trial period is definitely helpful, and if I can't get the results I expect, I can also use their coaching program to see where I'm going wrong.
Also, Steve, what's your opinion of the Memory Optimizer Deluxe program? And will it be on your discounted products list? :D
I finished the regular photoreading course - the audio books, about a week back. I can't say the results were dramatic, but at the same time they weren't disappointing either.
I believe Paul Scheele contradicts himself when he says this is not a skill to be practiced - and practice could be counter-productive. I think it is something you DO need to practice and get better with, over time. Towards the end he actually does say - if you've not photoread 10 books yet, then take up books that are 200 pages or less, non fiction and easy to grasp to provide easy victories. The logic would imply that your photoreading skills improve after the 10 books.
Anyways I was too eager to try it on my study material (I'm appearing for certain IT networking exams) and the results I received were quite different.
For instance, I do not feel a information overload coming from my sub coincious mind. But I do feel that I'm able to activate an entire 400 page technical book in an hour as opposed to half a day. However my comprehension level may be about 70-80%, and that is not enough for an exam.
My position on photoreading for now is this: it is a great methodology.
Paul Scheele has refined a very crude method of inputting information into a systematic step-based technique that demands concentration and produces results. For that alone, it is worth it. I am going to wait and see whether the neural nets in my head get used to passing information from the subconcious mind to the concious mind in a more apparent way.
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