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Press Media

  Jul 29 2003 12:02:13:590PM

SA mom a speed queen

A Midrand woman has become the world's fastest speed reader by reading 150 000 words per minute.

Johannesburg - A Midrand woman has become the world's fastest speed reader by reading 150 000 words per minute at a speed reading course.

Louise Howell, 42, a mother of twins and member of IT giant CS Holdings marketing team, earlier read a 30 000 word book about Albert Einstein in 12s. Following that, she wrote a comprehension test and scored 95%.

Elmarie Bekker of the Speed Reading International / Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics Institute* (in South Africa) says Howell's achievement is remarkable. Speed reading centres worldwide consider it the fastest ever.

Bekker says the record is not just about the speed with which something is read, but the comprehension as well. The book used for the test is not available in the trade.

Howell is not one to brag about the record. "If you now ask me to do it, I won't be able to!" She normally tries to read about 20 000 words per minute.

She says she followed the (SuperReading) course because she started studying for a degree in marketing communication and didn't have enough time to keep up.

"I couldn't believe the limit you could push your brain. At one stage during the course I thought I just couldn't carry on. It's as if you have to cross a barrier. Your eyes have to get used to it."

Howell says everyone will benefit and is prompting her twin matric daughters to follow the course.

"It doesn't matter what you do. If you improve your reading speed, you will save time."

She acknowledges that her reading speed prior to the course was average and said her instructor, Clinton Abbott, had a lot to do with her success.

News24 2003. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Note : The SuperReading course was developed by Dr Bruce W Stewart of Speed Reading International. Other courses developed by Dr Stewart include ExecuRead for Managers, ExecuRead for Students, ExecuRead HomeStudy and EduRead for Teenagers.

* The Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics Institute in South Africa is not affiliated to any other organization of the same name in other parts of the world.