The Manual: A Guide to the Ultimate Study Method (Concentration, Super Memory, Speed Reading, Note-Taking, USM, & Rapid Mental Arithmetic), Second Edition , by Rod Bremer, is a wonderful companion for those who are serious about enhancing their learning skills.
The Manual is a guide to enhanced concentration, super memory, speed reading, optimal note-taking, rapid mental arithmetic, and the ultimate study method. The techniques presented are the culmination of decades of practical experience combined with the latest scientific research and time-tested practices.
Bremer’s book is for those who are serious about learning. If you’re the type who likes to pick up a book, dabble for a bit hoping to absorb a useful nugget or two and then set it aside, this is not the book for you. However, if you really want to improve your concentration and memory, in addition to mastering the other sections, this book outlines programs that are easy to follow. Yet Bremer isn’t shy to admit that in order to succeed, one needs to dedicate time each and every day and to carefully follow the programs he’s crafted. And he cautions not to stop if you hit a hurdle. Keep plugging along and he advises to wait ninety days before taking stock of what you’ve mastered.
Unlike other books of this type, the author does not promise super abilities, such as reading a book in a matter of minutes. It does claim “the exposition in this manual provides the reader with the techniques that work, and the training schedule that needs to be undertaken in order to see measurable progress.”
However, the reader doesn’t need to be committed to all the programs outlined in The Manual. If the reader isn’t interested in speed reading, there’s absolutely no reason to master that program. It’s up to the reader to select that areas that he or she wants to improve and then commit wholeheartedly to Bremer’s program to see progress. The author promises that no extra reading is required for succeeding, but he has provided a list of books and journal articles in the back for reference.
Part one starts with concentration, which is key to mastering the programs in The Manual:
Concentration is the cornerstone of intellectual existence. Without it, no thinking can take place; and, without thinking, there can be no learning.
This really makes you stop and wonder. With technology, gaming, social media, and all the other types of distractions in the twenty-first century, how many of us are actually learning? That thought is daunting. And it highlights why books like The Manual are important.
With guides like this, it’s essential for the author not to stray too far into technical jargon. Readers of these types of books are more than likely dedicated to self-improvement, so in a book like this it’s nice to have an author who has the ability to connect with the reader. Bremer does that. At one point he encourages the reader to improve their imagination by watching cartoons. At other times he provides interesting facts, such as Anne Jones holds the world’s record for reading 4,200 words per minute. It’s these tidbits that reminds the reader that a real person has crafted the programs.
If you want to improve your concentration and study methods, Bremer’s well-researched programs are more than worth the time.