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Speed Read

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Today’s question: What do you think of speed-reading? Is it a good way to get through a lot of books, or does the speed-reader miss depth and nuance? Do you speed-read? Is some material better suited to speed-reading than others?

In ninth grade I took a study skills class in which I learned to speed read. The trick to speed read is to read the only the key words, skipping the prepositions and articles. Speed reading is good for skimming through a huge pile of books under time constraint. I speed read a few chapters of a book to get a feel for whether I should make a purchase. Otherwise I hardly speed read. In the event of a book that I don’t enjoy, I speed read to the end just to call it a day. Most the books I read cannot be rushed through or the depth and nuance would be missed. The ones I can speed read are airport novels.

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9 Responses

  1. I think I am a pretty quick reader, but there is no speed reading going on here. I don’t want to miss a thing!

  2. I’ve always read really fast–about 100 pages an hour if I sit down to really get to it–and I never feel like I miss anything. I’m not sure if that counts as speed-reading, though.

  3. I definitely speed read when I don’t like a book much. I know I did it through Julie & Julia, lol.

  4. I think I speed read mostly if I don’t like a book and just want to finish it up. In general I think it works best as a study aid for textbooks and classics. I like to savor fiction and non-fiction that I am reading for my own personal interest.

  5. For some reason I feel guilty if I try to speed read through a novel. I know how much time and care the author put into every one of those words, and I want to appreciate every single one.

  6. I completely agree with this assessment.

  7. I want speed-reading mad skills so that I can see if I’m interested or not before I buy a book!!!

  8. I’ve never known how to speed read and never really wanted to. If it works for you, though, great. I agree that it wouldn’t work for books you really wanted to appreciate on anything but a superficial level.

  9. Well, “speed read” has a fairly negative connotation by definition (for me) and it means different things for different people. Some people view reading quickly as speed-reading while I define it more as skimming, or reading so fast that half the words disappear. So it all depends on your definition…

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