“Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book.“–Dwight D. Eisenhower
What do Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Jimmy Carter have in common aside from having served as President of the Unites States? Take the quiz below.
- They were all Republicans.
- They were all Democrats.
- They are all on Mount Rushmore.
- They were all speed-readers.
The answer is 4. All of these Presidents were speed readers. Rumor has it that George Washington and Abe Lincoln were also speed-readers–but we really don’t know. The Roosevelts were self-taught; whereas, Kennedy and Carter took speed reading classes. Jimmy Carter participated in speed reading classes at the White House with his wife Rosalynn and daughter Amy and read two books a week even with his busy schedule. Kennedy took speed reading classes with his brother Bobby. Both presidents then brought in speed reading instruction for their staff so that they would be productive readers as well. JFK could read 2,500 wpm, in part because he was able to read large groups of words at a glance, and regularly read 6 newspapers front to back at breakfast.
The Roosevelts both taught themselves to speed read. FDR began his speed-reading training by reading two or three words at a time, building to reading two or three lines at a glance, and eventually working up to absorbing entire paragraphs. Sometimes he would glance at a page, then turn the page and consider what the writer was saying. Teddy read a book before breakfast every day when he was President and sometimes read as many as three books a day. His comprehension and recall were fantastic: He could remember all the important points and even quote from the books he read.
There is a bumper sticker that says Readers Are Leaders. In the case of these particular presidents, we could say Speed Readers Lead. I hope our future leaders treasure reading as well as I hope you do. I have met many highly successful people who have told me that they had taken a speed reading course along the way, and we have taught many rising leaders. I taught a high school sophomore last weekend who doesn’t aspire to the presidency, but he has definite leadership goals and this was a step in meeting them. After taking our course you will have the tools and confidence to reach your career and education goals. Become a speed-reader: You’ll be in great company!