[OT] Speed-reading

John Bokma john at castleamber.com
Mon Sep 20 14:31:05 CEST 2010


Steven D'Aprano <steve at REMOVE-THIS-cybersource.com.au> writes:

> spelling or grammatical errors and clumsy writing. *Especially* the 
> spelling errors, they have about the same effect on her reading speed as 
> a tree trunk lying across a Formula 1 race track.

Spelling errors are a disaster, somehow they stand out like they use
Comic Sans Bold and red ink. Most likely because they break the
pattern. I seem to find them more and more often in the books I read,
maybe because I use English (my second language) more and more.

As for speed reading, there are many levels to do this: one can call
scanning a page really fast left-right, moving as fast to the bottom as
possible speed-reading, or reading each and every sentence just as fast
as possible speed reading. The faster one goes, the more is lost.

The total # of pages in Harry Potter seems to be just over 4000 [1]. If
an afternoon is 4 hrs, this means 1000 pages an hour, or 17
pages/minute. One has to do skimming to read that fast.

With 250 words/page the reading speed would be over 4K words/minute,
which would make your wife a serious competitor for Anna Jones (4.7K
words/minute, 67% comprehension, see [2])

In my native language I read just above 1 page a minute, if the pages
are not too dense I can do sometimes 2. In English I can often get close
to 1 page a minute, except with books that are quite dense (think
fantasy). So I guess around 300-350 wpm in Dutch, 250 wpm in English
(normal pace).

[1] http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_total_number_of_pages_in_the_%27Harry_Potter%27_series
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_reading#Claims_of_speed_readers

-- 
John Bokma                                                               j3b

Blog: http://johnbokma.com/    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/j.j.j.bokma
    Freelance Perl & Python Development: http://castleamber.com/



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