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How Does Reading Genius Compare with Photoreading?

by Ed Strachar copyright © 2008, all rights reserved

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While PhotoReading© and Reading Genius© share some similar aspects of accelerated reading, The styles and approach are quite different.

The Common Themes PhotoReading© and Reading Genius© share include:

  • The use of Mindmapping.
  • Getting into an “ideal state” before reading
  • The use of specialized music that enhances performance.
  • The belief that it most definitely is possible to read faster
  • than ever thought possible; 25000 words per minute and beyond.

The Major Differences are:

  • Recall methods
  • Explanation and Understanding of how the mind/body works
  • Comprehension
  • Speed Training
  • Teaching Style
  • Effectiveness
  • Higher Principles and teachings

The Commonalities:

Even in the commonalities, the styles are completely different and teaching methods unique as described below.


In Reading Genius©, we use fast paced and intense music to mind map at high speeds. Why? Because the brain only works fast.. it cannot work slow! Your brain functions on electrochemical impulses that are near instantaneous.. just like an electric circuit. If you do it slowly, you will find that you will forget a lot as you are trying to write down and remember! That’s because your short term memory is only about 15-30 seconds worth of information, a far shorter time span than people realize. After that you start forgetting as its being “dumped” into your long term memory”.

Thus in order to enhance your recall , you will find that mindmapping fast will help you recall much more. It can be quite thrilling and fun if you do it right.

Now of course there are some inhibitions and perhaps even a mental block or two that needs to be overcome in order to do this well. Ed Strachar is an expert at breaking through these barriers that can hamper even the best of us. He teaches using a variety of methods including mental training, visualization, humor, neuro-linguistic programming, affirmations and more of whatever tools he sees that can help people.

Typical mind mapping training is slow, using pictures and illustrations. This also can work …and it certainly looks nice but almost always the quantity and quality of recall will suffer.

Reading Genius© creator, Ed Strachar advise students who want illustrative and color mind maps to it first quickly to music ( we even give you a CD of Custom Composed Musical Pieces to train with) and then again at their own pace making it colorful and illustrative.

Specialized Music:

Research has show that the right music can greatly facilitate learning as well as making it more enjoyable. Through trial and error, Ed Strachar has tested numerous types of music to see which music tracks are most effective for a variety of exercises. In conjunction with composers, he has created custom music and licensed some from World Class musicians to create a truly classic collection of intrumental pieces of varying tempos and harmonies to fit the exercises they were intended for.

The music is not obligatory or required though 99%+ prefer learning with music.

The Ideal State:

In Getting into an Ideal Learning State as PhotoReading© calls it or a “Genius” state as Reading Genius© describes it , may sound like, to the casual observer, simple branding differences of the same thing. It is not.

Ed Strachar has trained Olympic and professional athletes, studied chess with the grandmasters in Russia where he once lived;, developed and wrote about the 6th sense and “hands-on-healing” while in Asia where he spent several years studying.

He is a master at understanding the fundamentals of mind and body and applying them. You will not find anyone better at this than he.

With that knowledge, he can show you how to get totally focused in on one thing which in this case of reading is a book. When he trains basketball players, he shows them how to get totally focused in on the basket, For tennis players, it’s the ball. For salespeople, it’s the customer and so on.

Teaching people to get in a highly focused yet relaxed and very enjoyable state to perform and learn in. That is why he has had so much success in a variety of fields. The commonality is this genius state.

Many people know these elements to some extent and Paul Sheele of PhotoReading© is no exception and so there is merit to their course.

We are certain you won’t find anyone better than Ed Strachar at teaching this “genius” state. The result is a feeling of certainty and focus that most people never experience. At the highest levels , he calls it the “genius zone”. This is a deeper and more intense state than PhotoReading‘s ideal state.

No other program including PhotoReading© teaches this in quite the same way. The level of success a student has is directly dependent on how well/deep they go into this state. Ed Strachar has used this method with Olympic swimmers, professional hockey players, IBM Executives and anyone else who desires to improve their performance.

Recall Methods:

Both PhotoReading© and Reading Genius© emphasize techniques to recall large volumes of information as if you are going to read faster you are also going to have to recall better. Much better..

The techniques differ greatly. PhotoReadingฎ teaches activating the information and has an extensive process of how to do so. There is some overlap and some different terminology for similar concept as memory and recall techniques are well known and have been used for centuries.

Ed’s method uses well composed music, active dream states, mindmapping in conjunction with the imaging and curiosity states to recall vividly. This works incredibly well when applied. It has been demonstrated with learning disabled, young children and people into their eighties as its simply an amplification and emphasis on natural states of learning and behavior. Thus its easy but still has to be learned and mastered as does anything else.

The PhotoReading© method of recall is different as it require rereading at slow speeds, actively digging into your “subconscious” or what they call “activating” which is difficult for many people and requires extensive work/practice.

Though we are subjective. The only real judge as to which one you like better is to try both and decide.

The Major Differences:

While Reading:

PhotoReading© teaches you to blur your eyes when you read. Reading Geniusฎ teaches you to keep a clear yet broad focus. A major distinction.

Both methods teach you to focus from a focal point behind your head. Both teach you to widen your vision. Reading Geniusฎ teaches you to consciously understand what you read at high speeds, PhotoReading© teaches a more unconscious absorption process that then is followed up by what is essentially speedreading and memory techniques to recall what was read unconsciously.

Typical PhotoReading© jargon goes like this:

“when you photoread you are not using your conscious mind you are using the other than conscious mind, the preconscious processor”

At Reading Genius© we believe it never needs to get this technical or involved. You don’t need to know everything about biochemistry to enjoy the taste of an apple. And while you may have an interest in how the mind works, we teach you through direct methods of focus, dynamic exercises, both reading and physical, to music and a whole host of other methods that keep it simple and enjoyable. Much less technical and yet more effective for most people.

It was Albert Einstein who said

“ If you cannot explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

With Reading Genius© it never needs to get so complicated. Instead you learn to concentrate all your focus on the book and nothing else. Realize that the biggest problem people have when the read is that they are thinking of 5-10 other things while they are reading. It is not because they are not using their “preconscious processor” correctly !?

If the mind is not focused, absorbed and curious, it wanders! You end up thinking about social life, things to do, fantasies etc.. So if you learned to take all that mental energy and harness it, the result would be an intense focus.. and then you would read much better, comprehend and recall better as well. Much better.

Think about that.

It is really that simple. Of course you still need to do it and its easier said than done...but with the exercises you do in Reading Genius© it comes more natural than you would expect. Literally Ed has taught this to blind people with only slight adaptations for Braille text and using their forearm instead of fingers!


PhotoReading© teaches a traditional preview and postview method very similar to what is in many speedreading and academic courses It makes extensive use of “trigger” words to recall. Previewing and postviewing are standard concepts. How they are done makes all the difference.

Reading Genius© teaches you to get fully absorbed amplifying your natural states of curiosity and imagination. The simple premise being that when you are intensely curious you learn fast. Just like a child. Then the elements you recall will come naturally, just like after watching a great movie.. you naturally can recall it because you were so absorbed and your imagination and curiousity were totally involved in the movie. If you are bored/uninterested, you will not comprehend well..regardless of what technique you use.

We all have imaginations and we can be curious. You need not learn anything new! Just learn to amplify those states! That’s what you learn with the Reading Genius© course.

You don’t need to learn a special technique, just learn to get fully engrossed into what you are doing. When it happens naturally, it happens easily!


Reading Genius© employs high speed drills designed to be conducted in a genius state. This is an exercise that is done before you read the book with the effect of turning on your brain power, previewing the material, and building your focus. While reading, your vision naturally expands and you learn to read across and down the page while maintaining the genius state. You may even evolve to reading sections of the page at a glance. Some achieve this and more. Much more. It’s a matter of degree.

PhotoReading© has you turn the pages at a high speed rhythmical pace of about 1 page per second, what they claim is 25, 000 words/min with your vision slightly blurred – meaning everything is fuzzy.

PhotoReading© s’statement

“ At a rate of about one page a second, we can PhotoRead a whole book in a few minutes. This is not traditional reading. After PhotoReading, we may have little if any of the material in conscious awareness, which means we may consciously know nothing.”

This is a major difference and reason why Reading Genius© simply works better. A clear focus is always superior to a blurred one unless you dreaming! In reading blurry vision simply does not work as well – period! Saying you read fast yet consciously knowing nothing is like saying you have a lot of money, you just don’t know where it is!

Yes PhotoReading© then has follow-up with steps to “extract” from your subconscious what you read with blurry eyes..

But it simply doesn’t need to be so complicated. We are not saying the PhotoReading© process is a bad one. We are stating that quite emphatically that Reading Genius© is superior. Far superior.

The goals are similar, though with Reading Genius© , we believe we have a superior process due to the natural ease of what we teach as really you are learning how your mind, and body work and using it accordingly…without invoking methods that require a lot of instruction or learned technique. This is a fundamental advantage of Reading Geniusฎ over PhotoReading©

Other Applications of Reading Genius© :

People learn to get in the genius state and develop a high degree of confidence and certainty . Other effects are more peace, and harmony which almost always means being more relaxed and focused at the same time. Its applicable to anything you do in life. Thus we believe the principles of Reading Genius© are more universally applied to all aspects of life than PhotoReadingฎ which is less adaptable to other disciplines though still somewhat extendable as is all learning.

In learning any new method there are bound to be additional benefits...

Higher Principles and teachings:

Higher principles are adopted. Principles such as using the breath to control the mind so that a person can focus clearly. If the mind is thinking to other things and not focused, it won’t read well. Judgment can also get in the way. If someone is peaceful within, they will read better. One is most peaceful when they have love. This principle applies to all…and is universal..

One of Ed’s mentors, Mr. Alexander Everett taught Ed a fundamental paradigm shift on the principle of genius .The genius lies within a person and real education is to get the things out of the way that block a person from realizing his true gifts and abilities.

Understand and awaken to that and you realize that Reading Genius© can help you in many other ways besides reading !

Where PhotoReading excels:

As a large organization with many staff members and a worldwide network of franchises, trainers and teachers, PhotoReading© is more apt to be available locally and provide many resources that Reading Genius© simply doesn’t do.

Ed teaches Reading Genius© in one day, and for kids ..just a few hours. He has demonstrated this on 4 continents in charity and demonstration events. A few people in every class exceed the world record for speed and comprehend quite well as evidenced by them explaining the book to the class.

Most Reading Genius© students find it easier to follow and thus need less support. Support is still available through email and the website.

Reading Genius© was developed from the Heart!
What Ed knows as an inventor, is that when something is developed from a person’s heart and soul and has endured the trials of mastery and learned the key underlying principles, a certainty and brilliance is developed that cannot be copied or duplicated by others. Thus Ed doesn’t develop hundreds of “certified trainers” as does PhotoReading© . The obvious tradeoffs of quality vs. accessibility exist for live seminars yet the Reading Genius© homestudy course is available for everyone.

When in Seminar Format, Reading Genius© is taught in one day and PhotoReadingฎ needs 4 days! A tribute to both the simpler approach of Reading Geniusฎ and PhotoReadingฎ use of trainers who may not be as sharp as the creator. Many graduates of Reading Genius© have surpassed the world record. Kids only need a few hours typically to learn this. Its not hard, its natural.

Ed Strachar’s background:

Ed Strachar was formerly a scientist first, having invented a Silicon Chip used in Aerospace for the US and NATO arsenals. Upon visiting and then living in Russia and seeing a different perspective on things, he decided to focus his intense mental capacity on things more purposeful for mankind: the frontiers of human potential and the answer to the question: what are we capable of? And how can the average person experience this tremendous human potential. As well, learning to balance the mind and the heart.

He believes in precision, simplicity and fundamental scientific principles first and seeks a deeper understanding of things and insists that they have pragmatic and useful application. He also cares intensely for people’s well being.

In Summary:

It is important to know that while Learning Strategies Inc. is a Medium size company with many employees, certified teachers, trainers, managers and so on, Ed Strachar is more of a purist. He doesn’t train hundreds of teachers or spend all his time doing commercial marketing of his products. He prefers not to spend his time managing a company but instead focuses his energy seeking higher wisdom from all corners of the globe and then pragmatically applies it to different walks of life.

Within the realm of reading, many of his students have exceeded the world record, he has been invited to teach at, The US Air Force Academy, The US Naval Post Graduate School, many Fortune 100 Corporations and across the globe. No one else can make this claim.

As you will also see, Ed has many other titles including Into The Genius Zone©, The Performer’s Edgeฎ, Magical Concentration, Reading Geniusฎ for Kids, and of course Reading Geniusฎ which has sold over 100,000 copies and continues to be a preeminent product.

In Comparison with PhotoReading© , Reading Genius© is simpler yet teaches at a higher level and is much more natural and dynamic.

While PhotoReading© is a credible program with its own merits Reading Genius©, we believe is a better, more thorough, higher quality program with better value and results. Of course this is subjective. The only one who can truly make that decision as to which you will be better served with is you. Try both – each has credible money back guarantees and each will teach you different ways and thus leave you with the ability to create the method that best suits you. No one program can satisfy everyone.

If you would like to see the photoreading site, you can click here or any of the links below. You can visit the Reading Genius Library to see if any other information on this site can aid you.

What Ever You Do, Enjoy !

How did Ed Strachar develop Reading Genius©?

PhotoReading© is a trademark of Learning Strategies Inc.

PhotoReading© Links

Learning Strategies
Leaning Strategies (Seminar)
Read Fast
Altered States
How people use PhotoReading
Reading: Steps of PhotoReading at 25,000 words a minute

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