Speed reader Henry a real page-turner

FOR most people, ploughing through a 300-page novel would take days or even weeks – but for Henry Hopkins it took barely an hour.In fact, Mr Hopkins' reading technique is homed to such perfection that he can digest 1,200 words a minute, and what's more he is able to retain all the information he absorbs.

FOR most people, ploughing through a 300-page novel would take days or even weeks – but for Henry Hopkins it took barely an hour.

In fact, Mr Hopkins' reading technique is homed to such perfection that he can digest 1,200 words a minute, and what's more he is able to retain all the information he absorbs.

The remarkable skills of Mr Hopkins, 27, of Bury St Edmunds, were on show at this month's Speed Reading World Championships, in Manchester. As part of the Mind Sports Olympiad, Mr Hopkins took on competitors from all corners of the globe to scoop a bronze medal, officially making him the world's third fastest reader.

And a delighted Mr Hopkins now wants to use his amazing abilities to help others.


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He has joined forces with eight times world memory champion Dominic O'Brien to form the Peak Performance Training company based in Cambridge. The company has developed technology to teach people how to use their brain to maximum potential, be that for reading, to improve their memory, or even to play better golf.

The pair have already been employed to help six world champions – including golf legend Nick Faldo and Olympic clay pigeon shooting gold medal winner Richard Faulds – to focus their brains to achieve maximum performance.

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The company now wants to use their techniques to help those less fortunate, particularly those suffering with dyslexia and attention difficulties. It will soon set up workshops to help such people in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Cambridge and Norwich.

Mr Hopkins said: "When I was at school I was frustrated because I didn't have the techniques to learn or retain memory. I have now learned techniques to train the brain like a muscle and make it stonger. Using these techniques allows people to relax, focus and to meet their full potential.

"Our technology can make a big difference in the quality of life for those students who are frustrated academically because of dyslexia or attention disorders. With a series of sessions over a one-month period, efficient learning can now become a real possibility."

On a more personal note, Mr Hopkins' performance in the championships is an achievement he is proud of. Previously he was ranked ninth in the world of speed reading.

During the event competitors were given two hours to read an unpublished novel and then asked to sit a one-hour exam answering questions on the text.

The novel was 300 pages long with nearly 110,000 words, Mr Hopkins completed the book in one hour and 20 minutes, recording a speed of 1,200 words a minute.

"I am pleased with my performance and hope to improve even more next year. Most people typically read at about 250wpm, with a little training and understanding of the correct reading techniques, it is possible for them to dramatically increase their speed."

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