1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

What is your reading speed?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Manfred Belheim, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    8,048
    I've often suspected I read quite slowly as it often seems to take me longer than other people to read books or articles, or at least it seems that way to me. I've just taken a couple of online tests and got 209 wpm in the first and 223 wpm in the second. Apparently the average reading speed is about 200 wpm so it seems I'm not particularly slow, but not particularly exceptional either. So I thought I'd ask the literate bunch and CFC to do the same and see what you get.

    Obviously I should probably link to an online test here, but the first I did was pretty much an advert for speed reading software so I probably shouldn't link to that, and the second had an annoying tendency to splice some words together rather likethis, making the text a bit harder to read. However, they're easy to find and if someone finds a particularly nice one then please post the link and I can try that one too.
     
  2. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,704
    Location:
    Sweden / France
    I read slower and slower. Mostly it has to do with retention. Speed is pretty useless if you don't retain what you've read. And I often need, professionally, to remember (and with a fair bit of precision) what I've read and where I've read it. So I take my time, since it's stuff I also need to think about, not just recall. Otherwise it will just be bloody annoying, and I have to go back and re-read stuff, which takes even longer (and is boring).
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  3. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,704
    Location:
    Sweden / France
    Dp drat...
     
  4. dusters

    dusters Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,213
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Latvia, EU
    100 pages per hour avg for fiction. You can do the math with words. One converter says it's around 420 words in one page. Or 700 wpm I guess. But that is in Latvian. My mother tongue.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  5. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,790
    Location:
    The Twilight Zone
    I did what I figure was the same speed reading test as you did: http://www.readingsoft.com/. This is one our English professor recommended to us in class, so I reckon it is not terrible. Mind you I am not a native speaker and English is not my first language. I got 414 on the first try, which is really surprising to me, seeing as how I consider myself a slow reader. I read the text like I would read an article or a scientific paper. Sadly I picked up the habit of subvocalization, which slows me down a whole lot. A novel I read at a little slower pace. However a philosophical work or a very dense novel I always read extremely slow. With poetry I have the habit of re-reading passages once, twice, even thrice, just because subvocalizing some passages is so gorgeous. This measurement of words per minute does not help me much, since I cannot really translate it. Recently I made a habit of stopping the time and writing down the number of pages I can do in 30 Minutes or 1 Hour sessions. Unsurprisingly I performed best while reading for 30 minutes, taking a very short break and then reading again, compared to just reading for a full hour. With a scientific text I can do up to 40 pages an hour, which still seems incredibly slow to me, with novels more like 30. That still means that for a light book of about 300 pages I would need ten hours, for a very dense work like Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" that'd be like 400 hours. Four hundred. Jeez. If you read an hour every day, you still need a year. I can't be the only one to think that's ridiculously long? Anyway, after finishing up Pessoa I will re-read some Kafka shorts because I can actually do one or two of them a day, even when doing very slow and attentive reading.. After that I'll tackle Pynchon's "V", which, according to my calculations, will take me approx a month to finish. I can see why a lot of people don't read.. If I didn't enjoy prose or plot as much as I do, I too would see it as futile :D:lol:
     
  6. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Messages:
    23,103
    Location:
    Montana
    259 WPM @ 91% retention.
     
  7. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    16,391
    Location:
    Canada
    Very fast. I try to minimize retention, most written stuff isn't very important.
     
  8. GoodEnoughForMe

    GoodEnoughForMe n.m.s.s.

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    5,405
    Location:
    new alhambra
    I got 874 wpm on the one linked by young.carl.jung with 10/11 questions correct. When I was younger I read novels as long as the later Harry Potter novels in one day. Sometimes I challenge myself to have a week or two where I read one book a day. I know I read Frankenstein in one morning recently. Some other shorter novels too. In high school, people in English class would sort of joke about my speed by implying I finished the assignment in class by just looking at the book.
     
  9. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    46,007
    Location:
    Shadowy Fringe of the Candy Industry
    354 @ 91% but I think the test is lame. They wrote that block of text to make it unreadable. My response, because it was a challenge, was to force myself; but under normal circumstances that wordy nonsense would have been a slow slog if I made it through at all.
     
  10. Chukchi Husky

    Chukchi Husky Lone Wolf

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Messages:
    7,474
    Location:
    Carmarthenshire, Wales
    I took the test and got a reading speed of 206 words per minute and a reading comprehension of 100%. I'm nor sure how I got so high on the comprehension.
     
  11. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,790
    Location:
    The Twilight Zone
    I honestly only remembered one or two of the answers from the text, went with my common sense and ended up getting 10/11.. It's a flawed system to say the least :lol:

    How's that even possible? :crazyeye: I can't wrap my head around it.. I suppose with such a speed it's a given that you don't subvocalize. May I ask how much you read on a day-to-day basis?

    I'm actually reading Frankenstein right now and can barely get in 30 pages an hour. Your speed would be close to 100 pages an hour or something similiar, meaning like 30 seconds for a page. Really astounding.

    I do know that there are people that read as fast (and even faster) than this, but what I really ask myself is this: When you "speedread" a novel like that, don't you miss some of the more intricate parts of the prose? I'm sure it'd be easy to follow the plot, but do you pay full attention to language aswell?

    Any tips for someone who wants to improve reading speed? Did you never even start subvocalizing or did you somehow get rid of it? Thanks in advance!
     
  12. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    8,048
    I got 100% of the "comprehension" questions right (and yes that was the test where I got 209 wpm), but I'm not really sure that's a great metric as it seems more of a memory test than anything.

    I can actually read a bit faster than that, and did another test on yet another site where I read as fast as I could and still absorb it all and got something like 375 wpm, but I just really wouldn't enjoy reading a novel at that pace. I guess it could be useful to improve my reading speed for tasks where I basically just want to absorb information as efficiently as possible, with no desire to actually enjoy the experience.
     
  13. GoodEnoughForMe

    GoodEnoughForMe n.m.s.s.

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    5,405
    Location:
    new alhambra
    Honestly, I don't really know. I know I started reading from a really early age, about 18 months. My parents tell me I used to read Dr Seuss along to a VHS of the book to hear the word as I read it (I can't remember), but they were hands off regarding actual teaching and mostly just suggested I read a lot. I've never had a problem with missing info; I was reading Frankenstein for a class and ended up writing an essay about it and how it approached feminism and deployed Mother Nature as a sort of feminist ideal. As for subvocalizing, it's honestly something I can turn on or off as I want. Which I guess is weird, but I never really thought of it as such. I've never actually set out to learn to read faster or anything. All I can say is I've read thousands and thousands of books, magazines, blogs, etc., and spend much of my free time reading some sort of written word, or trying my hand at writing it.
     
  14. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald 老仁森林

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    5,903
    Location:
    The end
    did that one

    110 words per minute, so I'm the worst one

    In practice it's maybe a third of that

    got 100 % comprehension but the text was way short and I did it immidately afterwards, knowing I would do it. In practice it's probably more like 10 %

    I read way too little and I hate myself for that
     
  15. dusters

    dusters Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,213
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Latvia, EU
    Now, as a narcisstic elitist (it's sarcasm), i so much want to know what your IQ is. This sounds like some serious child prodigy stuff.
     
  16. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,687
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I usually manage 30-40 pages per hour for history or non-English texts (excluding Latin which takes far longer for me), 50-60 per hour for fiction.
     
  17. Commodore

    Commodore Deity

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Messages:
    11,705
    I think your parents are lying to you on this one, or misremembering when you actually started reading. A study was done on whether or not children can really learn to read at 18 months due to a lawsuit against a company that claimed it's product could teach 18-month-olds to read and the study found that it simply is not possible for an 18-month-old human child to be able to read.

    So at 18 months you were probably just mimicking your parents and they mistook that as you actually reading.

    Link: http://www.popsci.com/blog-network/kinderlab/no-you-can’t-teach-your-baby-read
     
  18. Spidernova

    Spidernova Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Messages:
    164
    Depends on subject matter, of course, but I average around 200-250 pages per hour.
    Been reading since the age of four, so that may have something to do with it.
     
  19. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,790
    Location:
    The Twilight Zone
    So that means 4 pages a minute, one pages in.. 15 seconds? I do roughly 400WPM and you read almost ten times as fast as I do when I read fiction, so you're at about 4000WPM?

    Just for reference, that is four times as fast as Harold Bloom and about 20 times as fast as the average human. I still give you the benefit of the doubt.. But I wonder how much of the information you retain :)
     
  20. Spidernova

    Spidernova Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Messages:
    164
    For what it's worth, which probably isn't very much, taking the first online test that popped up gave me a speed of 3850 wpm, and a comprehension rate of around 70%.
     

Share This Page