May 30 2007

Reading Faster Makes For More Free Time

There’s so much information we have to deal with nowadays. It’s hard to keep up with it all. By improving our reading skills we could save a lot of time and spend what we save on things that matter most, like family.

Spreeder can help you.

The interface is very simple as it should be because it’s only designed to accept the text you paste into its window and then shows you that text one word at at time for you to read.

Why one word at a time? The short answer is: subvocalization. It’s when we hear ourselves “speak” the words we read in our head. This results in slowing down our reading. The solution is to be able to recognize the words we read without having to say them in our head. So reading this way trains us to read faster.

When reading a book, the solution is simple: just trace your finger or the eraser-end of a pencil along the words as you read them. Make it go slightly faster than you normally read so you can make your eyes catch up a little.

When reading online try using this bookmarklet. Having this in your browser’s toolbar makes it easy for you to select text on a web page and have those words shown to you in the same fashion described above.

Inspired by zenhabits.

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2 Comments on this post

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  1. Neil said:

    That’s a neat little web application. I remember taking the mega speed reading course from the infomercials a long time ago. It was similar. You forced yourself to read at a certain speed by moving your hand down the line of text. Forced you to not stop and ponder words occasionally. I read faster, but I don’t know about the retention. Works great for novels and news, but not so good for studying.

    May 31st, 2007 at 3:12 pm
  2. Mark said:

    Hi Neil,

    Thanks for commenting and glad to know I’ve found something useful to you.

    This speedreading thing definitely takes some practice, but I can’t deny that the benefits it would bring me if I just keep to it.

    May 31st, 2007 at 8:47 pm

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