Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Now Fast Can You Read This?

Ok, I admit it.
I am not the faster reader in the world. Not that I was ever really aware of it, until I started blogging and realized that getting through my TBR pile was becoming an issue.
But there are people out there that have ideas about how you can read faster, including this guy in the video. I warn you that the video is preceded with a very short Pampers commercial. But the baby is very cute....

More DIY videos at 5min.com

It was not until recently that I realized that vocalization was an issue..or that I appear to do it. But I do, and no doubt it slows me down.

But here is the real question. Is it better to read faster? Yes, in that I would be able to read more books, but beyond that is there a plus to these sort of techniques? And on the negative side, do you loose something if you read this way? As some in the people in the comments say, does it take some of the joy out of reading? To quote the comment of someone named Wetzel, "The rhythm of the language is a large part of the aesthetic quality of good writing, for great literature especially."
I am not sure about this whole thing really and would love to hear your input on the question, especially if you are a very fast reader. Most especially if you have every taken a speed reading course.
Forgive me, but it may take me awhile to read your comments...lol

one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four...

edited to add.. I was curious just how fast I can read, so I searched out a couple of on-line tests. Here are a couple of links if you want to check them out too. How Many Words Per Minute, Speed Reading Test
(thanks to Boing Boing for the link)


  1. Great question! I always thought I was quite a quick reader until I met my husband, then I discovered he reads about 3x faster than me. I'd love to know if you can read quickly and still take everything in, or whether you just get a feel for what's going on.

  2. interesting . . . I'll have to think about it. I know I read faster than one word at a time, but I don't think I read 500 to 1000 words per minute. I'll probably try the counting thing and see what happens :)

  3. I can read quickly, to be sure, but retention is far better if I slow down. In college I would spend days reading a chapter that, had it been a novel, would have taken hours.

    Faster-- not always better! Also, I find that if I read too quickly I might miss some of an authors more clever devices- syntax tricks or good puns - because I"m too eager to get on to the next plot point.

  4. yes, I too am afraid that if I read faster, too fast, my understanding and enjoyment would decrease. Then really, what would be the point?

  5. I can read very quickly and I understand what I'm reading easily while I'm going, but I forget books very quickly. Hence my books reviews! I'm forgetful in most aspects of my life, though, so I'm not sure if it's connected.

    I experimented with the 1234 thing and I had no trouble at all reading, so I guess I don't do the vocalization as it is.

  6. I know he says enjoyment will increase but the whole thing makes it seem like work to me. I know I don't read as quickly as some people but I'm content. I think I'll skip the speed reading. What's the rush?

  7. I can't do the 1234 thing...well, I can do it but not read at the same time...lol

    becca...I lean toward that feeling too...what is the rush?

    except the fact that there are all those good books out there, remaining unread.

  8. I read fast, even your test says so. I always have and probably always will. I don't vocalize, or change voices in my head when characters change. I recently listened to an audiobook of a book my an author who has written many books I have read. Her writing style is breezy and easy to read; I make it through a 400 page paperback in less than five hours. Listening to it, I could tell that the writing style is pretty much like most of her books, but I got a whole different experience of the book listening to it being read by someone who changed her voice slightly with the different characters than what I would get going through it like I normally do.

  9. funny...personally, I can't really get into audio books...maybe it drowns out the voices in my head...

  10. Interesting question. I can speed read but I tend to slow down a bit for complex books so that I don't loose track. There are a lot of books out there that I don't want to miss out on. Everyone aught to go at there own comfortable pace.


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