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kidcharlemagne
10-16-2009, 12:19 AM
How is this possible? A book a day!?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/nyregion/12towns.html?_r=3&em

YAwriter72
10-16-2009, 12:21 AM
I can read a normal sized novel in about 5 hours. I don't speed read.

BenPanced
10-16-2009, 12:24 AM
Yeah, I've been able to read a book in 5 to 6 hours, too.

Jamesaritchie
10-16-2009, 12:29 AM
A book per day is far from speed reading. Two hundred words per minute is at the bottom of the average scale, and that's a 100,000 word novel every 8.3 hours. It's been my experience that most who read frequently can half this time without trouble, and that isn't speed reading, either.

Cranky
10-16-2009, 12:31 AM
I don't think it's speed reading, really. I just finished The Pillars of the Earth in a day, and it's nearly a thousand pages long. If it was speed-reading, I think I would have been done much more quickly.

aadams73
10-16-2009, 12:31 AM
By necessity she mostly sticks to books 250 to 300 pages or fewer


I can do that in half a day--easy. And used to.

StoryG27
10-16-2009, 12:35 AM
I wouldn't call it speed reading, but being able to take a big chunk of your day every day to read a book might be more like a marathon, a fun one that doesn't make you sweaty. I'm sure some days it's just a couple of hours, other days are probably hitting the 6 to 7 hour mark, just depending on the book. Neat goal though, IMO. And it says her kids are book addicts too, so yea to her for raising another generation of avid readers!

K_Woods
10-16-2009, 12:36 AM
The article also says most of the books she picked are between 250 and 300 pages. Assuming 60 pages an hour -- which would fit the 'fast but not speed-reading' description in the article, that's four to five hours. I find that plausible (and the article makes it sound like she has an environment where she can manage four to five hours of her own time a day, too).

timewaster
10-16-2009, 12:48 AM
How is this possible? A book a day!?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/nyregion/12towns.html?_r=3&em

I wouldn't have thought so. I can read a normal sized novel in an evening fairly comfortably and don't speed read.

benbradley
10-16-2009, 01:06 AM
Wasn't there an Amazon reviewer who wrote something like two or three reviews a day, and apparently (from what people who knew the books said about her reviews) actually READ all the books she reviewed?

tjwriter
10-16-2009, 01:14 AM
250-300 pages isn't really much for me. I can knock it out in no time and I don't think I speed read. Though my dad has commented that my mom is amazed at the speed at which I read, which I found odd.

Can you speed read by accident?

Shadow_Ferret
10-16-2009, 01:21 AM
I can read a normal sized novel in about 5 hours. I don't speed read.

That's speed reading to me. Undisturbed, it takes me several days to read a book.

scarletpeaches
10-16-2009, 01:24 AM
Wasn't there an Amazon reviewer who wrote something like two or three reviews a day, and apparently (from what people who knew the books said about her reviews) actually READ all the books she reviewed?If it's the reviewer I'm thinking of, they're not reviews - they're blurbs or brief plot reviews.

And it amazes me that she manages to review said books before they're even published...

I don't believe for one moment she has ARCs. I say she rips 'upcoming books' news off writers' websites.

K_Woods
10-16-2009, 01:38 AM
Is this (i.e. Amazon reviewer, not the original topic) the same one who gives 95% of everything she reads five stars, and the rest four? Oh, wait, there was that one exception. I read a three star review once, years and years ago. It was the lowest rating I've seen from her, and the only one I've seen that low.

Alan Yee
10-16-2009, 01:41 AM
Undisturbed, it takes me several days to read a book.

Me, too. Maybe I'm just a very slow reader?

KTC
10-16-2009, 01:41 AM
I can read a normal sized novel in about 5 hours. I don't speed read.

What!!!! I read about 10 pages in half an hour. If I'm lucky. Damn. I hate you!

scarletpeaches
10-16-2009, 01:42 AM
What!!!! I read about 10 pages in half an hour. If I'm lucky. Damn. I hate you!Hate me too, Canuck. I can get an 800-page book out of the library, read it overnight and return it the next day - and have done.

KTC
10-16-2009, 01:44 AM
Hate me too, Canuck. I can get an 800-page book out of the library, read it overnight and return it the next day - and have done.

This makes me want to CRY. Although...this week I thought I was doing excellent. I started on Saturday with WHAT HAPPENED LATER by RAY ROBERTSON (F*cking awesome book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) And I only have about 60 pages left. It has about 320 pages. I've been reading all through the week...hours!

scarletpeaches
10-16-2009, 01:46 AM
Maybe you should start off with a James Patterson book?

*ducks and runs*

Jcomp
10-16-2009, 01:47 AM
I don't know if I'd even want to read fiction that fast. I have wanted to be able to speed read for educational purposes, but I like to take my time with a novel.

motormind
10-16-2009, 02:01 AM
I can do it with ebooks on my Android phone, but not with paper ones. Strange.

Ugawa
10-16-2009, 02:09 AM
Well, when I read fanfictions, I can read a 60,000 odd word one in about 5-7 hours. So it's not impossible.

I read The Hunger Games in 12 hours, and that included taking bathroom breaks, having my tea, and doing bits of homework.

timewaster
10-16-2009, 02:23 AM
It depends how much time you have - I read 5 novels one day the other week. All but one were YA and around the 250 page mark. I imagine editors, professional reviewers etc must read like that fairly regularly. It was a bit of a treat for me.

Shadow_Ferret
10-16-2009, 02:26 AM
The other day I read a short story in an evening and was pretty proud of myself.

Now I'm full of self-loathing again.

Thanks, Scarlet. :(

scarletpeaches
10-16-2009, 02:27 AM
Cheer up, Fuzzface.

*scratches Ferret under the chin*

Mara
10-16-2009, 02:40 AM
In grad school, I found a reasonable estimation of my speed was about a page per minute. Except when I did that old "woops!" trick where I "accidentally" flipped ahead a hundred pages when I got bored.

MMcDonald64
10-16-2009, 02:47 AM
I can read a normal sized novel in about 5 hours. I don't speed read.

I read two of Jack Campbell's sci-fi books in one day. They aren't that long, but not super short either. It was a rainy Saturday. The next day, I went out and bought the last book in the series and read that in two days. Could have read it in one, but was trying to make it last. ;)

kidcharlemagne
10-16-2009, 03:44 AM
Mmmh...guess I'm a slow reader but I've never really timed myself because like most people I grab chunks here and there. Mostly at bed time. I have finished novels over a weekend but in 5 hours!! No way.

Sevilla
10-16-2009, 05:45 AM
Not speed reading at all. 250-300 page book in a day? Easy, even if I'm working 8 hours. I read Twilight in a day, and that's over 700 pages, I think. Read the whole 4-book series in 5 days. (okay, no stoning me for reading Twilight, please!)

ORION
10-16-2009, 05:46 AM
easy peasy I could do TWO.

Liosse de Velishaf
10-16-2009, 05:53 AM
I once read Lackey's "Gryphon" trilogy in a day.

I think I average about 40 seconds a page (without dialogue) for my normal speed. That comes out to 500 pages in a little over five and half hours. With a lot of dialogue, it's less.

I can read faster if I focus, and slower if it's really dense.

Used to drive some of my high school friends nuts. There was one who would randomly time me by page flips. He was not big on reading for enjoyment, and a teacher assgnng such and such number of chapters to be read by next class period was his worst nightmare.

Also, my mother once declared she would never buy me books ever again--even for birthdays. Felt it wasn't worth the money if I read them all within two days of going to the bookstore.

MsGneiss
10-16-2009, 05:53 AM
I am not impressed. I can read most 400 page novels in about 5 hours, especially if I am not interrupted. I read about 100 pages during a 1 hour commute if I have a seat, and I never speed read fiction.

Liosse de Velishaf
10-16-2009, 05:57 AM
I am not impressed. I can read most 400 page novels in about 5 hours, especially if I am not interrupted. I read about 100 pages during a 1 hour commute if I have a seat, and I never speed read fiction.


Why would anyone speedread fiction? Savour your books, dammit!

kct webber
10-16-2009, 06:43 AM
I'm basically with the Peaches here. I can read an 800 page book in a day. A 'normal' sized novel takes me maybe 6 hours, if I'm not interrupted. For example, I picked up 'Odd Thomas' after dinner and finished before time for bed. I don't consider myself to be speed-reading.

kct webber
10-16-2009, 06:46 AM
Why would anyone speedread fiction? Savour your books, dammit!

I hate it sometimes, cuz books don't last. But I'm just reading at a comfortable speed. *shrugs*

benbradley
10-16-2009, 07:08 AM
I rarely read a book in a day as I usually limit myself to an hour or two of book reading a day, but I manage to go through and enjoy a reasonable amount of reading material.

Liosse de Velishaf
10-16-2009, 09:11 AM
I hate it sometimes, cuz books don't last. But I'm just reading at a comfortable speed. *shrugs*


I don't classify speed-reading as "comfortable", so no issue there. :) I read fast, too, and it makes me sad when it's all over. :cry:

cptwentworth
10-16-2009, 09:33 AM
Some people seem to read word by word, and enjoy reading, but it takes a bit longer, like my sister does. It can take her a week to read a standard 400-page book. Others can read, and comprehend perfectly fine, but they "see" the book unfolding. It's like watching pictures in your mind. I do this. I don't see each word individually, but whole sentences and paragraphs at a time. I can get through the same book as my sister in less than a day. We both enjoy the book, just differently.

fringle
10-16-2009, 09:36 AM
Some people have lots of time to read. Before I had kids, I read an average of 400-500 pages a day. Now, not so much.

Scribhneoir
10-16-2009, 09:55 AM
It takes me about 5-6 hours to read an average length novel, maybe 8-10 hours for a really long one. I never considered that particularly speedy, especially since that time is often spread over a couple of days. If I had that much free reading time every day, it wouldn't be hard to read a book a day.

chocowrites
10-16-2009, 09:57 AM
I can read a 300 page book in 2-3 hours. And I don't even think I read that fast, or speed-read.

I guess I do speed-read? But I just read at a normal pace. I don't skim or anything, I read every word.

Huh.

Saves me a lot of money because I just go to the bookstore once a week and read 3 books in one afternoon instead of buying them all.

I guess I have different standards since my sister can read books under an hour...so I'm slow compared to her, she always tells me I am.

Cliff Face
10-16-2009, 10:24 AM
My reading speed varies on where my head is at. Usually, reading through something for the first time, I'm about a book a day (if I like what I'm reading, otherwise it's the same speed but spread over about a week or so because I just wind up doing something else).

But then I read something a second or third time, and I take longer. Like, a day and a half. But that's full days, which I don't always have time for. My sister reads faster than me, but when I like a book I read about as fast as she does.

I've tried speed reading and my eyes go blurry and I get a headache. Like, I can't focus on the page, so it's "3 sentences in a second" followed by "blurry, blurry, where am I, what did I just read?" and then repeat. Not fun. It's probably my eyes' fault... they're not the best.

And then some books I can barely read a chapter per half hour...

Izz
10-16-2009, 10:56 AM
I used to be able to read a book in a day. Sometimes more than one.

Can't anymore, for some reason. Must've busted that part of my brain.

Oh, and i find it extremely hard to finish books now. Most of the time i get 50 pages in and start hating them.

StoryG27
10-16-2009, 02:44 PM
I actually read more novels, two to five a week, when I was in college. I think I just needed that escape, needed my eyes and mind to be devouring pages of something entertaining, something I didn't have to memorize. I don't know how I did it, considering my kids were very young, I did excellent in school, my hubby was gone for most of it, and I also managed to write quite a bit. Now that I'm not nearly as busy, I don't read as much. Go figure. I'm doing great to finish one novel a week lately.

When I was young, I thought I hated reading because my big brother did and I wanted to be just like him. Then one day, for no particular reason other than Lisa Simpson mentioning the book during The Simpsons, I rented To Kill A Mocking Bird from the library, read it in a day (yeah, it is fairly short). I thought, 'Oh crap. I like reading.' From then on, I was hooked on books.

I think what impressed me most about this lady, is the love of reading she has seemed to pass on to her children. It is so important, IMO, for kids to see their parents reading, to see how much they love it. My 10 yr old son, who struggles in reading and language arts, actually has just picked up the love of reading, and I'd like to think my example has a little something to do with it. He is so active, so into sports, into anything with an engine, and of course video games, so lately to see him with his nose stuck in a book is a welcome sight. I actually have to pry him away from books to get him to get things done now. Never thought I'd see the day. And he just read a novel (about 200 pgs) over a weekend, this from the kid who complained about having to read 15 minutes every night. It makes my heart swell, and I love being able to share a passion for the written word with at least one of my kids. I think even my daughter is starting to come around.

kidcharlemagne
10-16-2009, 02:47 PM
I can read a 300 page book in 2-3 hours. And I don't even think I read that fast, or speed-read.

Okay, it's official. I feel inadequate retarded.

KTC
10-16-2009, 02:51 PM
Okay. Seriously. This thread just depresses me.

Do any speed readers have any tips to help us mouth breathers read faster? This has been a lifetime upset for me. My favourite passtime and I do it at a snail's pace because I cannot figure out how to do it quicker. Should I just give up and live with the fact that I'll die having not read about 70% of the books on my reading list? Are there tips to reading faster? (without skipping any of the words)

Katrina S. Forest
10-16-2009, 03:34 PM
I usually spend about 2-3 hours reading at a time - I can't remember ever reading for 8 hours straight. I'm sure I probably could finish a book in a day, but it would need to be something that can hold my interest in for the whole day. If I feel like the story is dragging, my reading speed slows too, because I'll start checking to see how many pages before the book is over, or at least the chapter.

Even with audiobooks, which I can listen to on long commutes and with the light off as I'm going to sleep, I think the fastest I've finished a book was in 3 days.

YAwriter72
10-16-2009, 04:40 PM
What!!!! I read about 10 pages in half an hour. If I'm lucky. Damn. I hate you!


Honestly, it sucks sometimes! I buy new books and have this pile to be read, then in a weekend they are all read and I have nothing to read *sob*

I don't read fast on purpose either! And it takes my husband days to read a book, he reads really slowly. I've been reading novels all my life, and its just habit I guess. I read all of Cassie Clares books in a weekend. (They are 500+ pages each) I cook, fix snacks and clean while reading too. LOL

And speed reading technically is reading down the middle of each page, my cousin reads like that. I read the entire page, every page. And someone said they "watch" the story unfold not so much read it. That is it EXACTLY for me. It plays out in my head like a movie and the words sort of form the pictures.

OddButInteresting
10-16-2009, 04:40 PM
That's speed reading to me. Undisturbed, it takes me several days to read a book.

Same here! I have a very short attention span and...


It depends how much time you have...


Some people have lots of time to read. Before I had kids, I read an average of 400-500 pages a day. Now, not so much.

... there aren't enough hours in the day for me to commit exclusively to reading a book.


Is this (i.e. Amazon reviewer, not the original topic) the same one who gives 95% of everything she reads five stars, and the rest four? Oh, wait, there was that one exception. I read a three star review once, years and years ago. It was the lowest rating I've seen from her, and the only one I've seen that low.

Maybe she's just very grateful for the scraps that she's fed? It's nice to see someone who truly savours a meal rather than swallows it in one then complains that they couldn't taste it.


(okay, no stoning me for reading Twilight, please!)

The classics are overrated, anyway. Read whatever the hell you want! What happened to pulp fiction, eh?


Also, my mother once declared she would never buy me books ever again--even for birthdays. Felt it wasn't worth the money if I read them all within two days of going to the bookstore.


I can read a 300 page book in 2-3 hours.
Saves me a lot of money because I just go to the bookstore once a week and read 3 books in one afternoon instead of buying them all.

Y'know, I've always wondered what the point of buying books is if you can just borrow them from the local library for free. That said, there is a great deal more range in a highstreet bookstore, and the stock is constantly rotated.


And then some books I can barely read a chapter per half hour...

If a book gets me thinking then I find myself in the exact same situation: I'm so enraptured by my thoughts that I can't concentrate on the text.


Oh, and i find it extremely hard to finish books now. Most of the time i get 50 pages in and start hating them.

Likewise, especially since there are more videogames and DVDs in the house than there are books on my shelf. If I read a book I'm reading it for the added depth that a film cannot provide. That is unless it's non-fiction or documentary fiction, then I can't stop.

Bufty
10-16-2009, 04:46 PM
I can read fast when I want to. I can also - like most people -skim if looking for a particular phrase or sentence or paragraph.

But I do not get any pleasure from deliberately setting out to speed through a novel -I find that exhausting and unsustainable.

When reading a novel I prefer to let the writing dictate the pace at which I read and I find that allows me to savour some bits, concentrate on some, linger in certain spots and maybe skip along a tad in others - all presumably as intended by the writer. A novel may take one day or three days - depends on many factors including time available.

The only exception is when I find it boring - then the skimming starts and that usually ends in a flurried flick of the remaining pages before tossing the book aside.

K_Woods
10-16-2009, 04:50 PM
Maybe she's just very grateful for the scraps that she's fed? It's nice to see someone who truly savours a meal rather than swallows it in one then complains that they couldn't taste it.

Someone who puts out more than one review a day and has written thousands is not getting scraps.

OddButInteresting
10-16-2009, 05:03 PM
Someone who puts out more than one review a day and has written thousands is not getting scraps.

You appeared to be making the suggestion that her reviews came across as a little too praising, considering the volume of books that she consumes. Surely they can't all be worth four or five stars, right?

I was merely saying that she probably just enjoys reading, without a care for the little details that seem to get the knickers of a lot of reader-writers in a twist.

For example, adverbs don't bother me at all, but they seem to be regarded as an almost complete no-no around here. I recently read a couple of J.G. Ballard's opening paragraphs (it was on a broadsheet's blog) and they were chocka full of adverbs. And this is a writer that many consider to be a master of prose.

scarletpeaches
10-16-2009, 05:07 PM
This thread seems like it's veering dangerously close to one of those "If you write as fast as that you must write crap," discussions again.

Just because someone reads fast does not mean they are not savouring what they read. Some people just read fast with a high rate of comprehension.

In my case - lately I haven't been reading that often, but when I do, I read fast. If I tried to slow down to someone else's speed it would be unnatural to me.

So many people wonder what's the point of speeding through a novel. I wonder what's the point in deliberately delaying the pleasure just because other people read slower than me.

Who the hell cares? I read at my default speed, which is fast. Deal with it.

Now. Onto KTC's post:
Okay. Seriously. This thread just depresses me.

Do any speed readers have any tips to help us mouth breathers read faster? This has been a lifetime upset for me. My favourite passtime and I do it at a snail's pace because I cannot figure out how to do it quicker. Should I just give up and live with the fact that I'll die having not read about 70% of the books on my reading list? Are there tips to reading faster? (without skipping any of the words)I don't think there are any tips. It's just a matter of finding your default setting. Do you enjoy what you read? Great.

But if you want to read faster, get through more books in a week, for a few paragraphs try reading groups of words rather than individual ones.

It's really hard for me to describe how I read. It's not speed-reading at all. I remember the story. I have a high rate of comprehension. My eyes just look over the words, I recognise them, I move on. I see no reason to dwell on them in case someone else accuses me of 'not savouring'. I don't give a damn how other people think of my reading habits.

Really, if you're happy with the speed you read at, great. It's hard for you to imagine someone reading as fast as me and it's hard for me to imagine someone reading as slowly as you - and I think that shows we've both found our default setting.

The Lonely One
10-16-2009, 05:18 PM
I may have you all beat.

It often takes me about a month or so to read a 200-300 page book. (A chapter or so a day, sometimes as little as a few pages to a line break or a new paragraph at the top of a page.)

I may be the sloth among us.

john barnes on toast
10-16-2009, 05:27 PM
This thread seems like it's veering dangerously close to one of those "If you write as fast as that you must write crap," discussions again.



or one of those I read/write this fast - aren't I fucking clever?

either way it's bollocks.

scarletpeaches
10-16-2009, 05:32 PM
or one of those I read/write this fast - aren't I fucking clever?

either way it's bollocks.There's nothing wrong with people discussing how they write or read. But when the sly digs come into it, suggesting one is better than the other - from either side - that's when I have a problem.

I'm not saying I'm better than anyone else for reading fast and I sure hope no one thinks they enjoy books more because they read at a different speed.

"Bollocks" works both ways.

KTC
10-16-2009, 05:35 PM
Thanks, Peachy. I think you're right. I think I'm on my default. I've been reading at the same pace for forever.

scarletpeaches
10-16-2009, 05:36 PM
So long as you enjoy what you read, then great. (And it hasn't done your writing any harm). ;)

john barnes on toast
10-16-2009, 05:39 PM
"Bollocks" works both ways.

as I said.

K_Woods
10-16-2009, 05:42 PM
You appeared to be making the suggestion that her reviews came across as a little too praising, considering the volume of books that she consumes. Surely they can't all be worth four or five stars, right?

I was merely saying that she probably just enjoys reading, without a care for the little details that seem to get the knickers of a lot of reader-writers in a twist.

For example, adverbs don't bother me at all, but they seem to be regarded as an almost complete no-no around here. I recently read a couple of J.G. Ballard's opening paragraphs (it was on a broadsheet's blog) and they were chocka full of adverbs. And this is a writer that many consider to be a master of prose.

Okay, I misunderstood your earlier post. I wasn't sure what you meant by 'scraps' and jumped to the wrong conclusion.

I envy - a little bit - the people who can read anything purely for pleasure; it's the enjoyment I envy. But at the same time, I'm glad I can look at books critically, dissasemble them, and poke at the gears that make prose tick (or not). It's helpful for learning to write, yeah, but it's also just plain interesting.

Back to the original topic...I wonder if book reading speed might be partly tied to how often you read. I read faster when I was in high school, but I read more then, too. Now I have distractions I didn't have then, so I don't have as much time for reading (and who knows, if my son was 13 instead of 3, maybe I'd have more time again -- I definitely think that's a factor for the woman in the article).

scarletpeaches
10-16-2009, 05:46 PM
Probably something in that. For the past year my reading mojo's shrunk. I'm lucky if I finish a book a fortnight and it used to be a book every couple of days. I write more these days, but...I always say writing's like a muscle; why not reading too?

It's probably the case that the more often you read, the faster you read. I'm trying to get back into it, 'cause it feels like the past year isn't really 'me' when it comes to reading. I feel like I should be doing more of it because the other years of my life have been wall-to-wall bookwormery (that's a real word).

Well, whatever the cause, 2010 will be different. I miss reading as much as I used to.

Phaeal
10-16-2009, 05:52 PM
I read while walking and chewing gum, so there.

scarletpeaches
10-16-2009, 05:53 PM
*bows in amazement*

KTC
10-16-2009, 05:53 PM
oddly enough, i can write WAY faster than i can read.

KTC
10-16-2009, 05:54 PM
I read while walking and chewing gum, so there.

the only thing i can do while reading is make supper. only because i have always done that...carried the book around the kitchen with me while cooking. anything else...i just can't seem to do it. poor concentration. i can't read a word if the TV is on. or if people are talking...argh...i keep rereading the same sentence.

Billycourty
10-16-2009, 06:31 PM
Both my sisters can knit and read.

I can't but luckily i can read and write!

Jay

Dermit
10-16-2009, 06:56 PM
Well, if we go by pages, I've probably read around 5,000 this week (standard paperback, let's say) and honestly that's just an average week. I read fast, but nothing special as far as I know...but a novel a day is the norm here. I bring two paperbacks with me when I leave for work in the morning because I'm bond to finish the first. Nothing to it, really...just a boring job and an idle mind.

Taking the time to review those books - now, that is a different story entirely and something I am simply not able to do. I tried to set up a blog based around that idea and failed miserably, so bravo if this reader can manage it :)

RJK
10-16-2009, 07:13 PM
Kid and KTC I'm glad you admitted you're among the slow readers. I thought I was alone. I tested myself and read less than 200 words a minute. It takes me up to two weeks to read a novel, depending on how much time I can dedicate to it.

tjwriter
10-16-2009, 07:13 PM
I read while walking and chewing gum, so there.

This is going to sound super dweeby, but I used to walk around the playground during recess at elementary school reading whatever book I had at the time. I also read in the cafeteria during lunch.

The other kids talked about me.

I'm reading Holly Lisle's Hawkspar right now. It's hardback 480 pages. I've been working on it for the past two days and I'll finish it today. I can't read as much with kids, job, etc.

I read Order of the Phoenix twice and the ending chapters a third time in the first 72 hours I had it, in addition to working and sleeping.

And I'll agree that I take in scenes more than individual words. I also tend to re-read books to take in the picture again.

And I'll agree with scarletpeaches that whatever makes you happy works.

Jamesaritchie
10-16-2009, 10:50 PM
Okay. Seriously. This thread just depresses me.

Do any speed readers have any tips to help us mouth breathers read faster? This has been a lifetime upset for me. My favourite passtime and I do it at a snail's pace because I cannot figure out how to do it quicker. Should I just give up and live with the fact that I'll die having not read about 70% of the books on my reading list? Are there tips to reading faster? (without skipping any of the words)

It's funny, but I do my best to read at the same speed people speak. I like to savor a good novel in "real" time. To put it another way, I try to read silently at the same rate as reading aloud, at the same rate a good storyteller would tell me the story. For me, this means slowing down my reading, not speeding it up. But even at real time reading, a novel seldom lasts more than a few hours, so I'm not sure what advice to give.

kidcharlemagne
10-16-2009, 11:00 PM
oddly enough, i can write WAY faster than i can read.

Yes, odd, people remark that I am as a fast writer. Plays, screenplays that is (I haven't written that much prose, yet).

Glad I'm not the only slow reader in town!

KTC
10-16-2009, 11:03 PM
Yes, odd, people remark that I am as a fast writer. Plays, screenplays that is (I haven't written that much prose, yet).

Glad I'm not the only slow reader in town!

Yeah...in March I wrote a play in about 2 hours. And it was staged about 8 hours later---after the full day of rehearsals, of course. (-; They got the bloody thing word for word! I couldn't even remember it myself, and I wrote it!

Adam
10-16-2009, 11:07 PM
Eep!

I've read a book (average length) in 8 hours or so before now, but it's rare.

To do it daily would royally screw my eyes. :eek:

AnonymousWriter
10-16-2009, 11:08 PM
I'm a pretty slow reader. Takes me about a week to read a 400-page book. And that's reading it often during the week.

I wish I could read a little faster actually, 'cos I've got a shelf full of books I'm dying to read.

Tara Stone
10-16-2009, 11:34 PM
I can read about 100 pages of fiction in an hour, so that's about four hours for a 400-page book. Not speed reading, just my natural pace.

LuckyH
10-17-2009, 12:54 AM
Iím in the eight hours per book school too, but it depends on the book.

I remember starting on a Jilly Cooper book while staying in a caravan on a nudist beach in St Tropez, late at night.

I couldnít put it down and spent the entire night reading it. It was the one where the leading lady was dyslexic. I finished it at six in the morning and cried my eyes out.

MaryMumsy
10-17-2009, 03:06 AM
250-300 pages isn't really much for me. I can knock it out in no time and I don't think I speed read. Though my dad has commented that my mom is amazed at the speed at which I read, which I found odd.

Can you speed read by accident?

I don't know that I would call it by accident, but yes. I began reading quickly when I was quite young. I was always in a hurry to find out what happened next. I do it now with most anything. When I was in third grade my Dad called me on it. I was reading a textbook (probably history) and turning the pages quicker than he thought appropriate. I had him turn to a part of the book I hadn't gotten to yet, read the two facing pages, handed it to him, and proceeded to correctly answer his questions. He never bothered me about how quickly read after that.

I can do a 250-300 page novel in about 3 hours.

MM

scarletpeaches
10-17-2009, 03:20 AM
The same thing happened to me!

My mother and (step)dad were amazed at the speed with which my bookmark moved down the pages one time I was lying on the floor reading a book.

My mother said, "You can't possibly be reading that fast!" so I handed her the book and told her to test me on it.

She never did again.

Lady Cat
10-17-2009, 07:45 PM
I once read five Barbara Cartlands in half a day. But I was much younger then. :D

While I could read a book or two in a day, I prefer not to - it gets pretty expensive trying to keep up. I do find that when the writing is going well I tend not to read as much and I shy away from reading books that are in the same category as whatever I'm writing.

Wilbur
11-23-2009, 08:44 AM
A good approach to learning how to speed read is by actually using your computer and computer speed reading programs. These programs have many built in animation processes and other devices to keep the program fast paced and more interesting for the readers. Most of the programs will also break down the process into smaller lessons, which makes it simpler for the readers to learn.

IceCreamEmpress
11-23-2009, 10:26 PM
I read more than a book a day--I do other reviews in addition to my Twitter book-a-day, and also read for pleasure.

I don't "speed-read" but I do read really quickly. I also remember more than everyone I know who reads slowly or at an average pace.

But I taught myself to read, which I think is part of why I can read quickly. My strong belief is that teaching reading through phonics makes it hard for those who learned it that way to read really quickly.

Sophia
11-23-2009, 10:41 PM
It's funny, but I do my best to read at the same speed people speak. I like to savor a good novel in "real" time. To put it another way, I try to read silently at the same rate as reading aloud, at the same rate a good storyteller would tell me the story. For me, this means slowing down my reading, not speeding it up.


Yes, this is what I was going to say, except for me it's not a deliberate choice. I've always heard the words 'spoken aloud' in my head as I read, but have found over the past couple of years that the narrator speaks more slowly than they/I used to, to the extent that it's now at a relaxed, storyteller-by-the-fireside pace. If I want to read faster, I have to consciously try to make the narrator speed up, or try to not hear that voice.

ishtar'sgate
11-23-2009, 10:49 PM
When I was younger and didn't have the responsibilities and time constraints I have now, I could read 4 books a day. I devoured books but don't consider that speed reading.

eyeblink
11-24-2009, 01:50 AM
I worked out that my top reading speed is around 20,000 words an hour. This isn't fast by any means - people I know who speed-read go at (I estimate) up to 35,000 per hour and maybe even more than that.

So, an average-length novel would take me five hours solid. If I had five hours in a day available to read - most of my reading is done in work lunchbreaks and I have to reckon on getting through 10,000 words a day. (Since I review books now and again, I have to schedule them or I risk overloading myself and not getting through them.)

Holidays are different, since I'm not sitting in front of a PC all day at work and my eyes don't get tired. My holiday read was George RR Martin's A Storm of Swords (425,000 words) which I read in nine days - admittedly two 10/11-hour flights helped. I finished just after I arrived back at Heathrow Airport, waiting for a train home, and I reckoned I must have got through about 160,000 words on that last day.

Justin91
11-24-2009, 08:39 PM
What!!!! I read about 10 pages in half an hour. If I'm lucky. Damn. I hate you!

This is me...I read way too slow...but I like to take my time and digest what I am reading as well:)

Rhoda Nightingale
11-24-2009, 08:54 PM
My mind is a bit boggled at the sheer number of you guys who consider this normal, and who read that fast or faster. Good lord. I did a movie marathon last month for Halloween, and it was hard just trying to find the time to sit down and watch a movie every day. Trying to read an entire BOOK every day is right out.

Sevvy
11-24-2009, 09:10 PM
I remember when I had the time and lifestyle to allow me to read a book a day (sometimes more). I'd pick out a ten book series and make that my reading for the week. I could still read a book a day, I just don't have a day to do it in.

I think that some people just read faster than others, nothing wrong with that.

MaryMumsy
11-24-2009, 09:29 PM
But I taught myself to read, which I think is part of why I can read quickly. My strong belief is that teaching reading through phonics makes it hard for those who learned it that way to read really quickly.

Not me. Taught with phonics. In a month I could read the newspaper to you. Didn't know what all the words meant, but I could read them to you. After that month I changed schools. They were doing 'see spot run'. I thought they were stupid because they couldn't read. And I've never looked back. But as I said before, I was always in a hurry to see what happened next.

MM

Xelebes
11-25-2009, 03:00 AM
I used to read the Goosebumps series a book a day in elementary school. Of course, that was only 100-150 pages a book but still.

kuwisdelu
11-25-2009, 03:08 AM
Okay. Seriously. This thread just depresses me.

Do any speed readers have any tips to help us mouth breathers read faster? This has been a lifetime upset for me. My favourite passtime and I do it at a snail's pace because I cannot figure out how to do it quicker. Should I just give up and live with the fact that I'll die having not read about 70% of the books on my reading list? Are there tips to reading faster? (without skipping any of the words)

Don't worry, I'm with you.

There are some longer books I've been avoiding that I'd love to read, just because I know it will take me so long, while I could be reading multiple shorter works. It's just depressing.

It's also part of why I really don't read anything purely for entertainment. I don't read fluff, because I don't have the time for it. Not to say faster readers necessarily read fluff, but if I could read the pace some others around here can (I'm eyeing you, SP), I could probably enjoy some books that right now I really see no reason to bother with.

mscelina
11-25-2009, 03:12 AM
When I take an afternoon off from writing, I usually read a book. Yes, the whole book--unless it's ungodly long like ...Andthe Ladies of the Club--1300 pp. But a 500 or 700 page book? About five hours. I got both of the last Harry Potter books at midnight and had them both done before the sun came up. *shrug* But reading has always come easily to me. I taught myself to read before I was two and used to entertain my parents' guests by looking up and reading the blurbs from TV Guide out loud. I think there's a parallel (at least for me) in how quickly I deal with words in general though. I read quickly; I write an average of 1800-2200 words per hour; and I have an high percentage retention rate off the first read, which helped to make me one of the most popular stand-in-at-the-last-moment actors on the regional/summer stock theater circuit.

But math? Well, that's a whole other story. That's why I have a husband.

emilycross
11-25-2009, 03:16 AM
I don't think its speed reading, left alone i can read a 500 page book in a day (and maybe into the night) - but its finding the time which is the problem.

Personally i wouldn't like to read a book a day anyway, i like to read a book and digest it for a few days and if i really liked it reread it at a slower pace (cause i now know whats going to happen lol).

Wilbur
12-30-2009, 03:31 PM
I can read fast. Speed reading programs can improve both a person's reading speed and their comprehension. The problems which occurs to me while reading fast is understanding. I think it can be improved by speed reading programs.

Improve reading (http://www.speedreadingtrainer.net)

Albannach
12-30-2009, 05:49 PM
How is this possible? A book a day!?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/nyregion/12towns.html?_r=3&em
What's unusual about that? I have read a couple of full length books in a day at times if I didn't have to do anything else. I think feeling like I HAD to do it would take some of the enjoyment out of it though.

I read Storm of Swords in two days.

Edit: It's not "speed reading". That's just normal speed for some of us and it is very difficult and not enjoyable force myself to read slower.

Libbie
12-30-2009, 09:55 PM
Sounds totally possible to me. My husband speed-reads. At first I thought he was just skimming, but when I quizzed him on obscure story bits he could rattle them all off without missing a beat.

Some people are just possessed of the dark art, I suppose.

Richard White
12-30-2009, 10:35 PM
A lot depends on the book.

Lord of the Rings? Read the trilogy in 18 hours (straight). Why? I had to know what happened next.

I tend to devour fiction (or put it aside and never finish it). The term "page-turner" is highly appropriate here. Given time, I can read a novel a day, but usually it takes two or three because between family, work and writing, reading time is scarce.

I tend to be the same way with some of my non-fiction, esp. histories/biographies. However, while my reading speed is about the same, I usually read a few chapters at a time so I don't get bogged down.

Some of my non-fiction research books? Heck, there are a few I haven't finished yet and I've had them for years. But, I'll read and re-read the heck out of particular sections to be sure I understand the finer points they're trying to make.

Grrarrgh
12-30-2009, 10:59 PM
I can usually do about 100 pages an hour or so, depending on the font size, etc. I always have.

I remember once, in 4th grade, our teacher had us do an activity where we had to count the number of books we read in 1 week and for each one we got something to hang up next to our names or something like that. I turned in 12 book titles and got detention for lying. My dad had called the teacher, but he called him a liar, too. Once it got to the principal, the teacher took the detention back, but I have never forgotten him. And he disliked me until I left his class.

AlishaS
12-30-2009, 11:19 PM
I don't speed read and have been known to finish a novel cover to cover in a few hours but that is full concentration and no breaks. If the book is great and I have the ability to just sit and read, I do it.

Kardien Lupus
07-28-2011, 05:10 PM
I read 250 pages per hour when I was child. But English isnít my first language. I read English book one year three months but still my reading speed isnít fast. I now read book 40-50page per hour speed. I want to regain my glory again. Iím trying to reach 100 pages per hour. I didnít miss anything in old time. I understood feeling and story perfectly.

My plan this. I searched AW forum to know average speed. I found this thread. I will try to these.
1.Donít miss story.
2.Understand characters.
3.Donít miss words.
I think it will hard to me but I want enjoy book fast. Slow speed makes my feeling slow also. I want speed to know what will happen next.

Sheryl Nantus
07-28-2011, 06:07 PM
I took a speed-reading course when I was in Grade 9 - when they last clocked me I could read 1000 words a minute.

Now, I don't do that all the time - if it's nonfiction I tend to slow down to make sure I get all the details. But it's annoying to get into a good book to finish it a few hours later.

My husband laughs a lot. Which is why I buy ebooks.

Less books banging off his head.

;)

Tasmin21
07-28-2011, 06:08 PM
Uninterrupted (does that happen anymore?), I can read an average 300-page book in about 3 hours. I don't feel like I speed read, that's just how I read.

Bufty
07-28-2011, 06:12 PM
That's 15 seconds per page, Lupus - 400 page novel in one hour forty minutes.

I think it depends greatly upon what one is reading.

How fast I read is of no importance to me whatsoever - unless I only have ten minutes to find the code to deactivate the bomb in my sewn-on trousers.

JayMan
07-28-2011, 07:16 PM
I thought I was a fast reader.

Then I read this thread.

AlishaS
07-28-2011, 10:15 PM
I can average a book a day, that is if I don't have much going on and I'm really into it. I find the book I just can't put down I can burn through in a few hours.
The books I'm not so into? They take days, if not weeks.
So, no I don't think it's speed reading at all. I think it's totally doable.

Melville
07-29-2011, 04:28 AM
This is an interesting thread... I absolutely do not speed read when I read for pleasure in that I read every single word, never skip or skim and remember what I've read. I read a book a day, usually six days a week, and sometimes more depending on if I'm stuck at the airport or in flight. I average 150 words per hour so a 300 page book is an easy read without getting up from the recliner or out of the bathtub, though I'm generally an "at bedtime" reader -- I use fiction to clear my brain and quiet my own noisy fictional characters. Reading is my reward for writing all day but I do find time for everything else -- hikes, chores, movies, socializing, playing with the dogs, romping with nature, etc. Books for me are for devouring, for binging guilt-free, for relaxing.

And when I finish a book each night, it's only then that I note the title and read the book flaps. (I purchase/or take out of the library based on author most of the time.) And because my Swedish grandmother instilled an Old World idea in me -- that you can't die while in the middle of a book -- I start the new one as soon as I set down the finished book. I generally read the first 20-25 pages and then all the next day I look forward to the book, like a new friend, waiting for me.

(Of course, I know the odds are that I WILL die in the middle of a book... and I'll end up as a ghost at the library trying to see how the story ends:))

That being said, I read non-fiction slowly, particularly books that I'm using for studying, especially because I usually have a highlighter or post-it notes in my hand. I tend to read two or so nonfiction books per week... and slowly, as if there was going to be a test at the end.

But I absolutely am not a speed reader and I don't think I read particularly fast, not compared to true speed readers who seem to turn the pages faster than I could if I WASN'T reading a single word.

The speed you read, in my opinion, doesn't seem to matter as long as you enjoy it. There are sprinters and there are marathon runners... both kinds of devoted runners cross the finish line with a trimphant look on their faces.

icerose
07-29-2011, 05:26 AM
I read rather fast myself. My husband often asks me if I'm actually seeing the words on the page. The answer, of course, is yes. I am reading it for pleasure after all. If my kids were much older and I had a better selection of books I could do it. I don't know if I'd want to given that I have so many other interests that I want to do as well.

Victoria
07-29-2011, 10:22 AM
If I have uninterrupted read time, 300-400 pagers usually take me five or six hours. It would take me longer, but I'm a skimmer. I hop over lumbering chunks of description and bulky ponderances to get back into the meat. I'm a voracious carnivore, and I like it rare.