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More "normal" dictation material this month, continuing on with the piece started last month.
Shorthand Instructor, Pitman’s Shorthand, Isaac Pitman, 1905, p. 259-263
How and When to Read (continued)
Be not particular as to hours or the time of day and you will soon find that all hours are good for the muse. Have a purpose and adhere to it with good humored pertinacity. Be independent of the advice and opinions of others; the world of books, like the world of nature, was made for you; possess it in your own way. If you find no good in ancient history or in metaphysics, let them alone and read books of art or poetry or biography or voyages and travels. The wide domain of knowledge and the world of books are so related that all roads cross and converge like the paths that carry us over the surface of the globe on which we live.
Many a reader has learned more of past times from good biographies than from any formal history and it is a fact that many owe to the plays of Shakespeare and the novels of Walter Scott nearly all the knowledge they possess of the history of England and Scotland. Most writers envelop the thought or the fact in so much verbiage, complicate it with so many episodes, beat it out thin by so much iteration and reiteration, that the student must learn the art of skipping in self-defense. To one in zealous pursuit of knowledge, to read most books through is paying them too extravagant a compliment. He has to read between the lines, as it were, to note down a fact here or a thought there or an illustration elsewhere, and leaves alone all that contributes nothing to his special purpose. As the quick, practiced eye glances over the visible signs of thought, page after page is rapidly absorbed and a book which would occupy an ordinary reader many days in reading is mastered in a few hours. The habit of reading I have outlined and which may be called the intuitive method or, if you prefer it, the shorthand method, will more than double the working power of the reader. It is not difficult to practice, especially to a busy man, who does with all his might what he has got to do, but it should be learned early in life, when the faculties are fresh, the mind full of zeal of knowledge and the mental habits are ductile, not fixed. . . .
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Instructions for Self-Dictation Practice:
Copy and paste the above article into a word-processing document, using double or triple spacing and 12- or 14-pitch type.
As always, be sure to check your shorthand dictionary for correct outlines before "drilling"!
Note that the material was counted and recorded for dictation at 100; all other speeds were copied from the 100 take and electronically adjusted and may therefore sound unusual.
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