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Old 06-26-2010, 01:19 PM   #1
BenLee
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Still Possible to Speed Read with eBook Readers?

After reading through the recent thread here, I was wondering if anyone knows how to "speed read" and have been able to do it using an eReader device.

I'm not the fastest reader after all these years, but there are people who can tear through books in MINUTES like Howard Berg. But the catch is they have to flip through pages like a madman. With the relatively slow responsiveness of the e-ink, I'm not sure this is still possible.

Maybe with the iPad? Plus they can still do the traditional flipping of the page motion in that case too.

Last edited by BenLee; 06-26-2010 at 01:20 PM. Reason: added something
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:47 PM   #2
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I just can't believe they're getting much out of a book, speed reading. Maybe so, but it seems to be that good writing has a rhythm and cadence that you're not getting with speed reading. Like chugging a good wine or digitally speeding up a piece of music.

But, not being a speed reader, I wouldn't know what it's like.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenLee View Post
I'm not the fastest reader after all these years, but there are people who can tear through books in MINUTES like Howard Berg. But the catch is they have to flip through pages like a madman. With the relatively slow responsiveness of the e-ink, I'm not sure this is still possible.
How fast do you need? Modern eInk devices with the latest screen controllers can page turn at 3-4 pages a second.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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I learned speed reading in high school, which definitely helped in college. For more casual reading I still probably read quite a bit faster than average. And, one of biggest issues with e- ink was the refresh flash, not the page turn speed. I don't have that issue with LCD displays- hence my preferences
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:57 PM   #5
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I learned speed reading in high school, which definitely helped in college. For more casual reading I still probably read quite a bit faster than average. And, one of biggest issues with e- ink was the refresh flash, not the page turn speed. I don't have that issue with LCD displays- hence my preferences
Many devices allow you to turn off the "flash", at the expense of a gradual deterioration of the image as a result.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:58 PM   #6
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I hit the page-change button long enough before coming to the end of the page for it to flip at the right moment. I agree that the black flash is a nuisance; I look forward to their getting rid of that.
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:07 PM   #7
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I find that for more normal speed reading techniques that the smaller screen of my iPod Touch is better for speed reading. If you take the crazy-fast people out of the equation, the thing that tends to slow down your average slow reader is that your eyes don't "scan" well, you more easily lose your place on the page as you move back and forth.

A smaller screen, and shorter line length, keeps my eyes on track better.

Camille
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:09 PM   #8
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Years back I took the Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Course. Speed reading involve quite a bit of scanning which I find is easier on an ebook reader because the column of text is narrow. The scanning is to prevent mental verbalization of individual words and to image word groups.

Hence, speed reading is best when searching for information, however speed reading is not recommended when looking at the fine points language in prose or poetry.
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
How fast do you need? Modern eInk devices with the latest screen controllers can page turn at 3-4 pages a second.
Ok, 4 sounds a little high. I would say 2 is about right and 3 if you really push it. I've not played with any e-Ink device that does 4 solid in one second.

The other problem may be, and kjk please correct me if I'm wrong, that speed reading is based on the premise that even though we consciously can only pay attention to a narrow range of a few words at a time, our brain is still taking in the entire page while we are reading and by expanding how we take in the page, we can absorb more of the information at once. This requires that the eyes take in the page for a certain amount of time. Maybe 1 second solid per page. With the slow "building" of each page on e-ink, we may not be exposed to the entire page for the same amount of time compared to turning a page which is near instantaneous.

In the end, its probably not dramatically slower. I would imagine someone adept at speed reading would get used to the slight difference.

Edit: I may be confusing speed reading with photoreading, which is slightly different

Last edited by BenLee; 06-26-2010 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:16 PM   #10
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Many devices allow you to turn off the "flash", at the expense of a gradual deterioration of the image as a result.
Interesting! I don't know if my Sony 505 had that feature. I guess that is how those eink animation demos work too?
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:28 PM   #11
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Interesting! I don't know if my Sony 505 had that feature. I guess that is how those eink animation demos work too?
The PRS-505 does not have this feature.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:15 PM   #12
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The other problem may be, and kjk please correct me if I'm wrong, that speed reading is based on the premise that even though we consciously can only pay attention to a narrow range of a few words at a time, our brain is still taking in the entire page while we are reading and by expanding how we take in the page, we can absorb more of the information at once.
We can foveate about 1/3rd of a page under optimal conditions. The fovea is pretty small (1% of the retina).

I'm highly suspicious of claims to speed-read at over a page per second - that's based on a premise that a lot of the text can be disregarded and filled-in through contextual analysis. This is a process that will inevitably lead to errors, particularly when semantically important words appear at the end of a line.

Ultra-fast speed-reading is little more than a carnival stunt. Slower, more measured speed-reading is a useful skill, but e-Ink displays can easily keep up with its pace.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:01 PM   #13
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You certainly can't "speed read" on a Kobo; the page turns are glacial. This doesn't impede "real" reading.

Since I've owned my Kindle 2, there have been two batches of firmware upgrades, each shortening the page turn. It's reasonably "instant" with 2.5.3 so, yes, you could "speed read" with a Kindle 2.

My understanding is no other mainstream device -- any of the Sony, Aztak and other e-reader players -- deliver "fast" page turns ... but fast enough for "real" reading, however.
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:07 AM   #14
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The fastest Auto Turn setting is "5 seconds", on the Ectaco Jetbook Lite, but you can
press the next page buttons faster than that and the pages seem to turn as fast as
you can press.

Luck;
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:52 AM   #15
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Ok, 4 sounds a little high. I would say 2 is about right and 3 if you really push it. I've not played with any e-Ink device that does 4 solid in one second.
The fastest that I have personally is the Sony PRS-600. If you hold down the page turn buttons on that, it will flip through pages at maximum speed without the inter-page refresh. I reckon that's doing 3-4 pages a second.
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