When I was in 8th class we had both English and Hindi subject. So student will usually talk in hindi in school. I wanted to learn proper English there were good facility in school books/library. But Language require practise conversation. So I 8th class vacation was determined. I had my own plan.
There was one good source Newspaper and it was cost effective. Every morning I started reading newspaper first with dictionary. Then I thought since news item are event which i can get prior information by news channel and i can predict meaning of word without hampering my reading speed.
Newspaper had almost 7 sections : First page, Nation,International, politics, Editorial,Business, sports. Each had around 9 Articles. In total around 70 articles.
On Sunday and Saturday Extra editions stretched it to 100+ articles.
plus there were around: 50 advertisement + 150 small advertisements.
I used to read newspaper End to End. Every small sentence every small advertisement.
First day when I started in year May 1994. it took me one full day to Read 100 articles.
Many of which I would not understand due to my limited knowledge upto class 8th So I would search in dictionary, internet was not there at those times.
So it was hard for me to decipher encoded knowledge in Business pages but i will complement this with Doordarshan TV news to relate what is happening?
So First day whole read Every article , every advertisement, every small adv etc took 1 day. Second day 12 hours, over 1 week i was down to around 5-6 hours.
Second week: Still it used to take me 4-5 hours. Now I hit next barrier
How to increase Speed? I started searching for books to improve reading speed in Second hand Book market. Got few books which were sold to vendors in rates of Kilogram of weight as rubbish.
In School we had Nancy Drew and Hardy boys adventure in Library. I would take them everytime for extra reading.
After lot of effort eye-span techniques, vertical read, guided reading by pencil myself etc speed increased to around only 3-4 hrs read. I deliberately avoided skimming,
My Average speed got into 200-250 WPM.
The News Knowledge to relate
But on newspaper it was fast as i could relate what happened yesterday and what was in news today?
Also Who was advertisement agency for the advertisement and what people are doing by small print advertisement in newspaper.
2 years readings after 10th class my father got transferred to new city which was my home town but I was coming there after 10 yrs. I would relate less to people in class as all of them have grown together with childhood class 1 to 10. But I tried to maintain balance.
Yet I would speak less to people and concentrate more time on reading. Many times as i think about what’s happening it would consume my brain more than what rubbish people talk to each other in school time pass. But this was not scenario before
Now When elders talk I could easily figure out who is building castle in Air? Only sometimes I tell them although may be taken offensive by them.
Over period I extended my readings to new Areas. There was new Kabadi/scrap market near to city Hospital in My home town Where Kilogram books will come.
Business of Kilogram Books:
The Scarp trade in town was really big with lot of money involved in it. Many govt department send the vehicles to scrap after long use. Scrap dealers would buy nything an take up parts from cars, jeep, trucks, defence vehicles etc..Most of Scrap dealers were Richest in town.But there were variations. Most scrap dealers were muslims. And Every time I would go there book was easily available. The Business for them was very profitable for other scarps like tin/iron etc.
But No one interested in Books. So Books came weighting in Kilogram weight taken from Rich and sold in market. initially I would stand there asking there were less people coming So we get good bargain. initially scrap dealers will not sell books as they consider waste of time considering profits in other business. So Every time I had to convince them sitting in their store to let me look at labels of book because they were not arranged for selling.
There was 2 person of my age working for their parental store Everytime I talk to them they are convinced something is there in books.
Actually my home town being cold/mountainous tourist place was resting place to top bureaucrats, industrialist, tourist etc.. So good quality books used to come in there Which were not even available in Eastern Economic Editions EEE or in Books store.
So my thinking was validated every time i visited those store. Infact over period of time many people took books from me which I brought dead cheap. As those books were not published for third world countries in EEE so this was good source.
Now Every time I will go to these traders also suggest them how to arrange books and convince them there is good money so they had motivation to bring more. From small 1 shop selling in 3 years i found 15 shops came in selling “The Kilogram Books”.
And EveryTime Kilogram traders lift price even I would be in loss but I used to feel satisfied that something good is happening it WIN-WIN deal.