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Old 09-13-2016, 08:19 AM   #1
CatherineStewart
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Have you ever considered learning to speed read?

I know most of us have a list/collection of books longer than we could ever manage to read. Sometimes I wish I could read faster so I could read more of them!

I read at a slightly "above average" speed. Nothing spectacular. And I only get a chance to read about 10 hours a week. So I've considered possibly teaching myself to speed read.

Have you done it? Are you a speed reader? Do you get the same enjoyment out of it that you do when you just read at a leisurely pace?
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:40 AM   #2
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I used to read about 35 hours a week, but these days, since I decided to refrain from taking part in the Goodreads annual challenge, I've been re reading lots of favorites.

I still read 20 hours a week. Ever since having my Kobo Glo, I've believed to have had the advantage of increasing my speed due to an astute choice of font. The fonts available in the Kobo e-readers gave me the edge to increase my speed. Nothing to write home, but still a noticeable increase.

Most of the books that I choose are not ambiguous in their language. I tried to up the ante with history books, and books about WW2, but I couldn't assimilate the myriad names, and events and places. I just couldn't do it without it becoming a chore. The next genre that I found a bit difficult is the Fantasy genre.

Whenever I read faster than usual, it's with my preferred genre, the cozy mystery. I lose fewer details than usual, and the info in those type of books sometimes are repeated throughout the books. All things considered, I don't consider myself a speedy reader. But There are a couple of 1000 paged books that I read in mere days, time allotted notwithstanding.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:09 AM   #3
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I'm happy with my reading pace and have no desire to try to make it go faster. I feel so much pressure to do so much in a short time in so many areas of my life, that I am happy to have one area where there is no time pressure.

However, I do read multiple books at a time, and some of those books are ones that I want to take my time in and only read when I know I can take that time. Others are shorter, with simpler plots and threads, and I can read those when I only have a few minutes here and there, without losing track of what I'm reading.

I also listen to audio books, which I think is the single slowest way to read a book, but it forces me to take in every word (something I don't always do on my own) and I like that pace too.

In other words, I don't feel trapped by my reading speed because when I feel bogged down by something long and thoughtful, I switch to something short and fluffy to take a break. If I went any faster, I think I'd forget what I read!
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:09 AM   #4
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I was taught speed reading back in the early 70s, and I use it at times but most of the time I still read the way I was taught in elementary school one word at a time. My main use of speed reading is to scan over the pages to see if there is anything important in really need to read.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:17 AM   #5
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I took a class once. It was interesting, but I don't think it was a truly useful technique, particularly for fiction/pleasure reading.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luffy View Post
I used to read about 35 hours a week, but these days, since I decided to refrain from taking part in the Goodreads annual challenge, I've been re reading lots of favorites.

I still read 20 hours a week. Ever since having my Kobo Glo, I've believed to have had the advantage of increasing my speed due to an astute choice of font. The fonts available in the Kobo e-readers gave me the edge to increase my speed. Nothing to write home, but still a noticeable increase.

Most of the books that I choose are not ambiguous in their language. I tried to up the ante with history books, and books about WW2, but I couldn't assimilate the myriad names, and events and places. I just couldn't do it without it becoming a chore. The next genre that I found a bit difficult is the Fantasy genre.

Whenever I read faster than usual, it's with my preferred genre, the cozy mystery. I lose fewer details than usual, and the info in those type of books sometimes are repeated throughout the books. All things considered, I don't consider myself a speedy reader. But There are a couple of 1000 paged books that I read in mere days, time allotted notwithstanding.
Wow, ok I never considered font, or genre as a help or hindrance in speed reading. But it makes total sense. That definitely gives me something to think about. And you're right, now that I think about it, some heavier books (historical fiction for example) I do tend to have to read slower to absorb it all. Huh...
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:21 AM   #7
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I use Spreed on Chrome when I want to get through an academic article or some other short piece quickly. According to a quick internet test, I read about 450 wpm. Spreed can be set at 400 wpm and up, and i usually leave it set at 400. The main difference being, when the words are flashing at me via Spreed, I cannot focus on anything else, lest I miss something.

I don't know that I'd love it for fiction, but for limited purposes, I don't mind hitting the gas pedal now and then.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I took a class once. It was interesting, but I don't think it was a truly useful technique, particularly for fiction/pleasure reading.
Good to know and I'm inclined to agree. It's interesting reading everyones thoughts. I didn't know you could actually switch your brain back and forth to speed read or read slower. I thought once you could speed read it was like a hard habit to break. So that's interesting too.
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:34 AM   #9
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I'm not a speed reader, but I can rush through a book of 300-400 pages or so in a few hours, if I really need to. I don't enjoy reading fiction this way. Mostly I read for pleasure, so I take things as slowly as I want. I have a TBR list far longer than I could read in my remaining lifetime, but what's the point of reading for pleasure if you don't enjoy the process?
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:39 AM   #10
CatherineStewart
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... but what's the point of reading for pleasure if you don't enjoy the process?
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:48 AM   #11
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For me,
How fast I read depends on the book. I can read a Janet Evanovich in about 3 hours. J D Robb and most other mysteries are the same way. Other books take way longer. "The Stranger Beside Me" is taking about 3 times as long per chapter.
Atlas Shrugged is one chapter every few months.
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:48 AM   #12
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I'm not interested in speed reading, but I like to speed listen. I love the various audiobook apps that let you bump up the speed of the narration without going all chipmunky. I'm less likely to use it while listening to fiction, which is as much performance as it is a book delivery system, but it's a godsend for non-fiction, especially when the length surpasses twenty hours. A speed of 1.25X or more is an appreciable savings in absolute time required to hear a book and also helps me maintain my interest in something that can take on the aspect of a marathon.
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:59 AM   #13
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Good to know and I'm inclined to agree. It's interesting reading everyones thoughts. I didn't know you could actually switch your brain back and forth to speed read or read slower. I thought once you could speed read it was like a hard habit to break. So that's interesting too.
No, speedreading is a specific technique for extracting the pertinent facts from a passage of text and "blanking out" the extraneous stuff. Very useful for people like lawyers who need to quickly read a huge quantity of written material. Completely useless for reading fiction for leisure.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:02 AM   #14
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:09 AM   #15
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Good to know and I'm inclined to agree. It's interesting reading everyones thoughts. I didn't know you could actually switch your brain back and forth to speed read or read slower. I thought once you could speed read it was like a hard habit to break. So that's interesting too.
And I find the fact that some people read at a sufficiently reliable pace as to be able to use autoscroll to be peculiar. I'm always speeding through less interesting bits and slowing down to take in 'important' bits of the books I read.

And then there's scanning which involves taking in just enough of the meaning to be able to slow when I come across a bit I want to actually read and remember.
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