It's an entertaining read.
> Professors assign more than you can possibly read in any normal fashion.
I took a chembio and CS bachelors degree at an expensive private institution and a software development masters at a large public institution and read all assigned reading quite easily. Actually, I'd usually read all the textbooks before the semester even started.
That said, I do find his speed reading methods useful. I'd usually speed read the book a couple times first before reading entirely through, and speed read the relevant chapter before any exam. If you only read the reading material once through, you are doing something wrong, since that isn't the way to memorize it.
> any normal fashion
>Actually, I'd usually read all the textbooks before the semester even started.
Check your logic
> I'd usually speed read
2. Main Idea
7. Intent of Author
If the book is making an argument with a lot of discrete points and interconnections. Why isn't it a diagram or some kind of interactive hyperlinking thing? Why don't the individual points at least have a box around them so you can separate them visually from the other stuff without having to actually read it all?
Arts text books and essays just don't make sense to me. I can understand text format if it gives the reader motivation to understand that a soul-less diagram might not, but it sounds like most of this writing doesn't do that either. So I guess my question is, is this information really too complex to structure in an obvious way, or are the authors too lazy to design such a structure, or is it simply an ingrained culture that nobody can break free of?
Consider that a command-line interface is an extremely inconvenient way for most people to use a computer but perfectly natural for others.
A post on "How to Read in College" targeted at college age students who (paraphrased) "can't possibly read everything assigned to them" goes over...3000 words without even an overview?
He then adds nonsense disclaimers, buried at the end. This post is hopeless.
his disclaimers are hot garbage though. "NONE of this advice applies ... if you’re otherwise operating in a discipline where close reading is centrally important to the way the discipline thinks" and goes on to say "my advice is most useful in ... literary or cultural criticism" - derrida would like to have a word with you about how you think literary criticism doesn't involve close reading
disclaimer: i skimmed the article
If the student tries to read everything carefully at a leisurely pace, that’s going to take 25+ hours a week of just reading.
History students can’t afford the time to read everything line by line. They need to learn to skim, track the structure of the argument, figure out which bits are fluff and skip over those, and then focus down on the tricky sections.
It’s not that close reading isn’t also important in those fields (it absolutely is!), but not everything can be read closely.
To the grandparent poster: 3000 words is peanuts compared to the kind of reading loads this professor is talking about.
At least the '1000 page rule' seemed to be the expectation if you were, like me, a humanities student at a private university in the US or UK in the days of yore.
With that, the author spends 2800 words to offer guidance on topics among which <when to look up words in the dictionary> (really! that's a section in his post!) and then tops it off with two awful disclaimers that his advice to skim critically gets trumped if 1. you're taking a class requiring full apprehension and/or 2. your prof. has exacting standards.
I don't think a Swarthmore-caliber™ student needs a reminder on any of the above, let alone to hear this mess in 3000+ words. It's as simple as prioritizing your time across grades, interests, learning, etc. Priorities differ and depending on your goals, you can be expected to read/study/analyze 25+ hours a week for any given subject -- not just the "non-social sciences."
On the other hand, since you seem not to have previously learned the lessons this post is trying to teach, spending 15 minutes thinking about the argument and then applying what you learn whenever you need to skim in the future could save you many thousands of hours. Perhaps you should be writing to the author to thank him!
What you appear to have done is: spend 10 minutes reading the article, then 5 minutes complaining about how it is unreasonable to expect anybody to read 3,000 words. 15 minutes in total. (All times are estimates.)
Perhaps a better course of action would be: spend 10 minutes reading the article, and then wonder perhaps how you could put its advice into practise. 15 minutes in total.
Suppose you take its advice to heart and immediately end up being able to do what I did and read articles such as this one in 2 minutes. Your total time investment for reading n articles (excluding this one) will then be 15+2n. Maybe it takes longer to get the hang of, and it works out as 15+5n?
But suppose you continue as you are - time investment for the same will be more like 15+10n. A steeper graph. (And actually, more like 20+10n, because those 5 minutes you spent complaining are now spent.)
I think this is the guy's point.
(How do I spend the time I save? Why, by writing comments such as this, of course.)
That said, I would like to address your claim of a 2min. read-through:
"but I used my stopwatch and it took me pretty much exactly 2
minutes to read. I studied subjects at school that required a lot
of reading, and so I probably got the practice from that. (Of course,
not all texts are suitable for reading this way.)"
Speedreading is snakeoil. 
Once you've got through 3,000 words in 2 minutes, you might not recall all of it, but you'll at least be able to tell whether it's worth going back for a closer look, or just making a mental note, or forgetting the entire experience.
This isn't a useful technique for everything. But when/if you have a huge pile of big, thick books to get through, all printed in small type with thin margins - probably the sort of thing the author here is thinking of - your options are a bit limited.
Yeah, but no intelligent person would like to have a word with Derrida...
That's significant, let alone the fact you're taking a chance ROI-wise by reading a random blog. Furthermore, asking "Can you?" is different than "Should you?" I'm hitting on the latter.
edit: TL's the youtube ad guy who claims he can teach you how to read ANY book in 10min.
It has also spawned plenty of parodies :)
The first rule, in some ways the only rule, is skim, skim, skim.
Nonsense, try to do that in a mathematical text and you understand literally nothing anymore. This might work for lightweight texts, not densely written heavily mathematical and algorithmic texts. Maybe that works if you're studying something like literature and don't need to understand complex things afterwards.
EDIT: He's a professor of history. I am not surprised.
EDIT2: brudgers is right, the professor wrote like 2000 words later that none of his advice applies to the situation I mentioned. I think he should have clarified that in the beginning instead of the end of the post. Introducing a rule as universal and introducing exceptions much later is not a good practice.