In order to learn from a book, it is best to read through that book more than once. This is where speed reading will help tremendously. When first starting to read a book, look at the cover. Read what it says on the back of the book. Open up the book and read through the initial pages, then look through the table of contents. Flip through the pages, look at some pictures. Prepare the mind for what you are about to embark on. On your first reading, you can speed read, and don't worry about understanding or remembering everything. It is like when you build a house. At first you lay the foundation with the cement, but you don't expect to sleep there the first night.
On your second reading, have a notebook and pen or pencil to take notes. You may even want to highlight or underline if that is possible. You may not want to read as fast as the first time, and of course you want to stop and take notes. Don't be too concerned with remembering everything right away. Through the power of spaced repetition, you will be able to remember and retain more each time you read through the book or your study notes. Reading a chapter two or three times in a row is a great way to remember much of what is being read. The more you read or hear something, the better chance you have of remembering it. Have you ever seen someone who looks familiar? You may have seen him once before. You may have seen him at the mall, or maybe even on television. This may be the second or third time you are seeing him. If you should see him again, he will definitely be familiar.
It is the same thing with reading. On the second reading, many things will look familiar, and you will remember some things. When you write your notes, it will strengthen the memory even more. Even if you never looked at your notes, just by writing it down on paper, it will make an impression in your mind and will help to remember it. By reviewing your notes between readings, you are strengthening the recollection. By your third reading, you will have a much better understanding of the material than the first time. The more you read and review, the stronger the memory becomes.
Many people wait until the last minute to read and study the night before a test. This is a tough way to learn. Each day, put a certain time aside for your study time. Thirty to forty-five minutes is usually a good time to focus and learn until you may want to take a break. Remember, they don't build a house in a day, and you don't become a great sports champion in a day.
Each time that you read or speed read, when you focus, study, and learn, you are developing your skills, as a reader and a speed reader. You are also helping to build a strong memory, as well as learning about the subject you are reading about. Use the power of spaced repetition to learn much more than you ever thought possible.