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Old 08-07-2010, 02:58 AM   #1
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How quickly do you read?

I was in a discussion on this subject on another forum I attend. There are people over there who read 2-3 books a week (as I'm sure there are here, to be sure). I, on the other hand, go through maybe 2-3 a month, reading between 1-2 hrs a night, most nights (I'd say at least five nights a week)

Rather than time myself reading the page of a book, then doing all the math, I googled around and found a quick little test online. I am in no way endorsing the product or promoting the software they're trying to sell, I just wanted to see how fast other people around here read.

http://www.readingsoft.com/

I got 265wpm @ 64% comprehension, which, I suppose, puts me solidly in the "average" category.

As a corollary, do you subvocalize when reading? By that I mean, do you "hear" the words in your head as you read? I've tried various methods but have never been able to wean myself off it. Finally I decided I don't really *want* to get over it, as I feel it helps me appreciate the richness of the written word. Maybe I'm just deluding myself so I don't feel bad for being a slow reader. It's funny, 6 years of university, a Bachelor's and a master's degree---heck, I've been a bookworm since I was around 5 years old, I really thought I'd read faster than that.

Anyway, take the test, and post the scores, if you feel like it.

*edit*>...since I'm weird like this, is the grammar in the thread title correct? Should I have used "quickly," or "fast"? Fast sounds right when I say it, but then at the last moment I changed my mind. Then, looking back at it, it looks wrong, and I'm leaning back toward "fast"

Last edited by matt314159; 08-07-2010 at 03:04 AM.
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt314159 View Post
I was in a discussion on this subject on another forum I attend. There are people over there who read 2-3 books a week (as I'm sure there are here, to be sure). I, on the other hand, go through maybe 2-3 a month, reading between 1-2 hrs a night, most nights (I'd say at least five nights a week)

Rather than time myself reading the page of a book, then doing all the math, I googled around and found a quick little test online. I am in no way endorsing the product or promoting the software they're trying to sell, I just wanted to see how fast other people around here read.

http://www.readingsoft.com/

I got 265wpm @ 64% comprehension, which, I suppose, puts me solidly in the "average" category.

As a corollary, do you subvocalize when reading? By that I mean, do you "hear" the words in your head as you read? I've tried various methods but have never been able to wean myself off it. Finally I decided I don't really *want* to get over it, as I feel it helps me appreciate the richness of the written word. Maybe I'm just deluding myself so I don't feel bad for being a slow reader. It's funny, 6 years of university, a Bachelor's and a master's degree---heck, I've been a bookworm since I was around 5 years old, I really thought I'd read faster than that.

Anyway, take the test, and post the scores, if you feel like it.

*edit*>...since I'm weird like this, is the grammar in the thread title correct? Should I have used "quickly," or "fast"? Fast sounds right when I say it, but then at the last moment I changed my mind. Then, looking back at it, it looks wrong, and I'm leaning back toward "fast"
350wpm, 91% comprehension. I usually score a little higher (400-450wpm), but it's early!

You might be interested in this recent thread
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:36 AM   #3
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oh good grief, some people here really average a book a day? I probably read 30 in a year. And nice test results!
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:29 AM   #4
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I'm not going to bother with the test since the results would probably be skewed. When I normally read, unless the book is a real cliff hanger, I get distracted easily and/or my mind wanders (I have ADD) so I may read fairly quickly in spurts but lose ground between those spurts while my mind checks out for a bit. My best time and setting for reading is before I go to sleep got the night. I have a book on a 32" TV screen located where I can comfortably see it from my bed (with the pillow folded to prop up my head and shoulders) and the room lights turned off so I'm not as likely to be distracted. My mind will still wander a bit but not as bad when there are distractions to trigger a mental side trip. Playing quiet music while reading in bed also helps to avoid distractions.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:46 AM   #5
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421 wpm, 55% comprehension. I would seriously contest whether the term "comprehension" is really apt in this scenario. While I can comprehend 100% of what was written in the sample text, half of it apparently was not worth remembering.

I think the numbers are kind of meaningless though, as I (and i'm sure most other readers) read different texts at different speeds and levels of comprehension depending on the cadence and style of the author. And surely everyone has read novels in which the author began to indulge him or herself and thus sped up or slowed down their reading speed accordingly.
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:01 AM   #6
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very true, I just thought it was a little fun thing to talk about. As a rule, I'm pretty slow all around, because i take time to try to pull in relevant details...however, apparently I don't do a very good job of it, judging from my "comprehension" score. Though, maybe a better term for that would be 'retention.' I, too, "comprehend" (understand) what I'm reading, but, like you, didn't retain it very long

I've searched around and come to the conclusion that "fast" would have been just fine in an adverbial usage in the thread title. In fact, i think it sounds better. I don't know why I got hung up on that, really.

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Old 08-07-2010, 06:11 AM   #7
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I read as quickly, or as slowly, as I need to in order to enjoy what I am reading. I have never considered it a contest.
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:21 AM   #8
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I had 375wpm and 82% comprehension. I was also watching (and paying attention) to a DVD of the first season of True Blood at the same time. And I had very little interest in the topic about which I read. I didn't retain very much of it as a result.

I am one who can read a book every day or two, depending on how much time I have (full time job, 3 kids in various activities, too much time on the internet.... all those things really cut down on my reading time!). I go through books like water sometimes...and then sometisem I take a break for a while and do logic puzzles or number puzzles instead
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:42 AM   #9
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It depends on how much I'm drawn into the book. Some books I can read in a day or two. Others I read in a week. It also depends on how busy I am and what other things I want to do I.e watch TV, surf the net etc. But if I am really enjoying a book a tend to read in longer stretches and finish it quicker. Another factor is how quickly I read my previous book. If I read the last one quickly, I'm more likely to go slower on the next one. Last month I read 8 books, the month before I read 3 books. So far I've read 2 books this month. I'm very variable. But I don't like speed reading because I like to think about and reflect on what I'm reading, whilst I'm reading. I often re-read paragraphs if I think I haven't fully digested it.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:12 AM   #10
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I took a test in high school to get into a program and learned I was a speed reader. Shrug. I figure if you're reading well enough to enjoy it, you're good.

Fast or quickly woulda been fine in your subject header. Both are adverbs.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:41 AM   #11
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371, 64%. And that was paying attention to what I thought were the important points in the paragraph, so apparently I'm not a very good judge of what's important!

I too read a book every day or two when I'm in "reading mode." I go through spells, though, where I'm in "knitting mode," or "surf the internet mode," and then I might only read for a few minutes each day.

I live in hope that "cleaning mode" might kick in one day, but it hasn't happened yet.
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:52 AM   #12
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Arrrgh, a test! No, no tests for me, thank you.

I'd have to say, though, that (admittedly without taking The Test) as a reader I'm a little more like a ruminant. I read very quickly and only partially digest what I read, then re-digest the remainder later.
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:39 PM   #13
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Interesting thread.

I took the test and got 419 wpm and 82% comprehension.

I find that I read different types of things at different speeds. I skimmed the material in the test. If I'm reading for enjoyment, I slow down and savor the words and the author's style.

I'm glad you asked about subvocalizing, because I have always "heard" the words in my mind as I read. It's good to know that someone else does that!
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:05 PM   #14
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462/89% Not bad, as I detest reading on screen. Normally, when I read a book, I do it with a pointer (pencil). Not this time. In my eReader, no use to do it because the screen is small enough. All my life, I was fast reader.


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Interesting thread.
I'm glad you asked about subvocalizing, because I have always "heard" the words in my mind as I read.
Avoid this and you'll speed a lot your reading. Look at Buzan's book "Speed Reading Book" to learn the technique.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:13 PM   #15
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Avoid this and you'll speed a lot your reading. Look at Buzan's book "Speed Reading Book" to learn the technique.
Or not. See

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subvocalization

which for example says:
Quote:
There is no evidence that normal non-observable subvocalizing will negatively affect any reading process [1] At the more powerful rates (memorizing, learning, and reading for comprehension), subvocalizing is very detectable by the reader. At the less powerful, faster rates of reading, (skimming, and scanning) subvocalization is less detectable. For competent readers, subvocalizing to some extent even at scanning rates is normal.
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