Bookish News


How fast can you read a book?

Mar 18, 2014

       I came across this article in the Huffington Post, today. Funny how I missed it, being the avid Huffington Post stalker that I am, but miss it I did. Anyway, it talks about reading faster and how there is now a new app for that. The article allows you to determine how fast you currently read by supplying readers with three different reading speedometers. Do you read at 250 wpm, 350 wpm, or at 500 wpm? After testing myself, I read somewhere between 250 and 350 wpm. Ha, who knew!

I thought to myself, WOW! I could actually read more articles and books in a day if I
 used this app. Oh, I'll supply the link in a second.  Then it dawned on me, hmm.....

For reading articles or studying this will be fab, but what happens when I read a good novel? Will the connection to the literature be the same? Will reading faster change my relationship with the characters? Does the time we spend with a novel alter how it resonates with readers?

When I love a book, I devour it! Yes, you know one of those all day binges that all you do is sofa surf, eat only when necessary, and decide early on that you may just have to call in sick because you are about to pull an all nighter. Yep, we've all been there. It's either the new edition to a beloved series or a "new to you" find that you just can't believe you've been lucky enough to grab. Books that leave you raw, breathless and starving for more when you realize,to your horror, that you've reached the end of the book. I don't set out to read it in a day, but that's what happens when you have connections to great books. You know you will be taken some where magical, some place other, so you allow yourself that time.  Yet, never have I said,"Yes, I'm going to read this book in 90 minutes because I have another one waiting."   It's about the story not the time.  We know it's going to take a day, more or less, based on previous experiences with the author or book length. Book lovers hardly, if ever, define a book by how long it will take them to read it. All we have running through our heads is, "must read, must read" and at times, "my, Precious".  If anything we stress about how quickly we will be done and how yearning for the next book will more than likely drive us mad. Does speed reading diminish that euphoric feeling, that rush after reading? Do I need to read Harry Potter in 90 minutes?

If you are an avid reader, that reads for pleasure, I'm thinking, apps of this nature may put a damper on your experience. Different software developers are looking into adapting these kind of extra settings into our e-readers as well. Need to read a book in half an hour?  Well, now you can.   I can see how it can be of value for students, educators, etc as a way to adsorb more information in a shorter amount of time, but for lovers of the written word, that dine on stories as part of a well balanced life, not so much.

Now, to be fair, I have not used the app. Who knows it may be just mind blowing! Yea, but the more I think on it, the more I find it doubtful.  I for one, like to go back and reread, making sure I captured what the author wanted to portray, reliving that moment in the book when your toes curl.  You catch my drift. I can see all the potential it may have outside of the reading for pleasure realm, but aside from that, I'm not feeling it. Great books are like fine wine, you savor each mouthful, you never rush the experience.  That's why those stories stay with us, we savored them.  

There have been other programs on the market for just this purpose but they have never aligned the words like the new Spritz app does. Read the article and you'll have a better understanding. Oh, here it is. ARTICLE HERE  Don't forget to take your speed reading test!  The Spritz app can currently be found on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Gear 2 watch.  I'd love to test it out, by the way, just saying. I'm currently playing with other gadgets, but a girl can never have too many toys. You can bet more companies are already jumping on this gravy train and will have similar apps made available to a wide variety of computers, tablets, and phones.  Oh yes, and smart watches. Productivity needs have never been higher.  There is an app for iPhone titled Flash Reader, but it is limited to certain formats. That and the fact that anything you can read has to be opened with FR may be a deal breaker. Plus there have been some less than favorable reviews of this app.  Many stating that it has no support or is an incomplete app. I'm sure there must be more apps out there that I've never heard of, too.   Integrated apps in reading devices will be the only way many readers will be willing to use it.  Everyone will want a "Speed Reading" button, next to "Settings" if speed reading becomes a must have for them.

This application would work beautifully for me when gathering information.  Being an information curator, I can double the amount of articles I read in a day.  Yet, I doubt I will ever use it read books of the "guilty pleasure" variety. Those shall be savored to the last word.

Has anyone used a similar app?  If so, which ones?  For what purpose? Has it changed how you view the book as a whole? What about the Samsung Gear 2 watch, do you own one?

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