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View Poll Results: What is your 'normal', 'comfortable', reading speed for novels?
201 - 300 wpm (8th grade level) 8 36.36%
301 - 350 wpm (avg adults) 0 0%
351 - 400 wpm (11th grade students) 1 4.55%
401 - 450 wpm (avg college students) 3 13.64%
451 - 500 wpm 3 13.64%
501 - 550 wpm 1 4.55%
551 - 600 wpm (high level executives) 0 0%
601 - 650 wpm 1 4.55%
651 - 700 wpm (college professors) 0 0%
701 - 750 wpm 2 9.09%
751 - 800 wpm (high scoring college students) 1 4.55%
801 - 900 wpm 0 0%
901 - 1000 wpm 1 4.55%
1000 - 1100 wpm 1 4.55%
1101 - 1200 wpm 0 0%
1201 - 1300 wpm 0 0%
1301 - 1400 wpm 0 0%
1401 - 1500 wpm (speed readers) 0 0%
1501 - 1600 wpm 0 0%
1601 wpm + 0 0%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-19-2018, 09:11 PM   #1
Derf
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Your Reading Speed

I just took an online reading speed test, and I'm a little dismayed.

I read it at my 'normal' reading speed, where I read most of my books that I am reading for enjoyment, and my speed was actually pretty low. It clocked in at 354 wpm. I did answer all of the questions correctly.

I then retook the test (something about Alice and Wonderland) and pushed myself to read as fast as I thought I was capably absorbing the material, and I reached 524 wpm with 100% accuracy on the questions. This was better, but I'm surprised that 'executives' and 'college professors' who are trying to absorb lots of material quickly read at close to 700 wpm, and feel like I'm still reading fairly slowly in comparison.

I took the test a third time (something about The Wizard of Oz), this time doing what I call 'skimming' or 'speed reading', and attained 958 wpm, still with 100% absorption, but felt like it was "work" to force myself to read that fast, and probably would not read like that for 300-400 pages of a novel. It didn't feel enjoyable, sort of like wolfing down food instead of enjoying the flavor and textures.

I found another test and tested myself there too, reading at about my 'normal' speed resulted in 434 wpm and 91% (10 out of 11 questions) comprehension. I couldn't re-take the test accurately, because the passage is the same every time and the questions don't change.

This was all prompted by coming across this random book blog, where this girl Jessica reviews multiple books per day, on consecutive days, for almost 6 months. And I wondered 'how in the world does she read so fast, or have enough time to constantly be reading, to crank through 500-800 pages per day?' It made me guess that she is just a rapid reader, and I was curious what my reading speed was...

Anyway, I set up a poll, and I'm curious to hear what your 'normal' reading speed is for novels. I'm not interested in your fastest possible speed, or what you read scientific papers or journal articles at. I'm curious about what speed you read when you enjoy the content and immerse yourself in the story for more than a quick 10-minute session.
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Old 08-19-2018, 09:27 PM   #2
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My reading speed for novels is very slow, unless they're boring enough that I start to skim. While I can read a book a day if I really push it, I see no reason to rush when reading for pleasure. Why should I?

I didn't take the test, because I absolutely hate those kinds of things. Life is not about competition, at least it has never been for me. I want to enjoy my life, not compare it to others'.
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Old 08-19-2018, 09:37 PM   #3
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My reading speed for novels is very slow, unless they're boring enough that I start to skim. While I can read a book a day if I really push it, I see no reason to rush when reading for pleasure. Why should I?

I didn't take the test, because I absolutely hate those kinds of things. Life is not about competition, at least it has never been for me. I want to enjoy my life, not compare it to others'.
Thanks for the input, and that's fine. I assume that most people read slower when they enjoy what they are consuming, just like we eat slower when we're enjoying a meal, and we walk slower when we're enjoying the view.

I'm not trying to compare myself to someone who can devour a dozen hot dogs in 2 minutes, or someone that walks a city block in 30 seconds. A college professor cranking through reading essays is not the same as someone relaxing with a historical fiction, or caught up in a 2am page-turner murder mystery. I know we read slower when its for leisure, I was just interested in how others read their books.

Maybe I'll start another poll about how many books you read a month/year.
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Old 08-19-2018, 09:37 PM   #4
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I have never cared about my reading speed. I read for enjoyment. As long as I am enjoying the book I do not care how long it takes me to read a book. I am not in a competition to be the first one done.
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Old 08-19-2018, 09:38 PM   #5
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Maybe I'll start another poll about how many books you read a month/year.
It has been done many times before.
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Old 08-19-2018, 09:54 PM   #6
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Hmmm... I clicked on my reading speed in the poll and appear to be the only person who answered.

As for my opinion on reading speed and those who seem to worry about it, to misquote Abraham Lincoln: Fast enough to reach the end of book.
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:04 PM   #7
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The poll is missing a "don't know and don't care" option
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:14 PM   #8
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The poll is missing a "don't know and don't care" option
This.
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:34 PM   #9
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I clocked in at a whopping 228 words per minute!

Well ... (ahem!), I tried the next page in the test and got up to 236 words per minute!

Taking the second test my speed dropped to 193 ... but I did have 100% comprehension.

Last edited by rcentros; 08-20-2018 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:56 PM   #10
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I don't think the reading speed test is very useful as a measure of how fast I actually read novels. It is like using my record time in a turnip-eating contest as a measure of how fast I eat dinner.

A better measure would be to time how long it takes to read a novel, and then divide the number of words in that novel by the time. By that method I think my reading speed for novels is usually under 200 words per minute.

Last edited by GeoffR; 08-20-2018 at 12:40 AM. Reason: ... divide the number of words in that novel by the time ...
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:37 AM   #11
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476, 517 and 534 on the Staples test. But it didn't feel at all accurate to how I'd read a novel. The selection was too short and I couldn't clear the thoughts that I was reading for speed, but should slow down to better remember. It would take at least a full chapter I think to get something somewhat representative to real world reading.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:56 AM   #12
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My reading speed is good enough for me to finish books. It also depends on the books I read. Some books I read fast, some books only progress slowly. But always it's just right.

In short, I've no idea what it would be if I took one of those tests (wouldn't be representative for me anyway, not being a native English speaker).
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:21 AM   #13
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My reading speed varies, dependent on the type of book. Easy reads I can breeze through, a 220 book can be read in 2-3 hours or so.

But a book like Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice is going to slow my reading speed down a good deal.

Fast or slow makes no difference for me. I read until I stop.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4691mls View Post
The poll is missing a "don't know and don't care" option
Quote:
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This.
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That's the box I'm checking, too.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:27 AM   #15
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I don't believe the labels next to the various reading speeds.

It's also not a very consistent test. I did it twice, and got 300wpm and then 600wpm.
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