June 10, 2013

How Fast Do You Read?

People have been asking me a lot again lately how I find time to read so much. Like I've mentioned before, I make reading a priority, and I have strategies for maximizing my reading time.

But I really think the key to how many books I read, is that I am a fast reader. It's kind of hard to quantify exactly how quickly I read. I took this test, which says that I read at 780 wpm, with 82% comprehension. But, that test was full of numbers, so I was purposely concentrating on those, which I'm sure slowed me down. 

This one said that I read 846 words per minute, with 100% comprehension, but there were only 3 questions. It does tell you afterword how quickly you could read some popular stuff, which is fun. (Although really, I'm skeptical that I could read Harry Potter & the Sorceror's Stone in 1 hour and 31 minutes, so the 846 wpm is undoubtedly unsustainable).

When I read fiction, I'd say I average about 2.5 pages per minute. But that totally depends on page size, font size, margins, etc. 

The other night I read Stranded all in one sitting. It was 2 hours and 25 minutes from start to finish, minus two bathroom breaks (dumb pregnancy bladder), a quick texting/FB break to sort out some plans with a friend, and an Oreo emergency (I suddenly remembered the existence of the Oreos in the pantry, and got up and got a few* and a glass of milk). So... roughly 2 hours and 10 minutes, minus the interruptions, for a 320 page book. That equates almost exactly to 2.5 pages per minute, which is what I was expecting.

When I was in high school, I used to finish my school work quickly, and then sit and read for the rest of each class. In my chemistry class there were these girls who liked to watch my eyeballs while I was reading, because they said it was cool how fast my eyes tracked back and forth. (Yes, I was kind of creeped out). 

And consistently people don't believe me that I'm really reading - and not just "skimming" (till I let 'em quiz me over what I just read, and they realized I'm telling the truth). 

All this makes me curious: those of you who read a lot, do you think it's because you're a fast reader? How fast do you think you read? Have you noticed yourself getting faster or slower as you get older?

Those of you who don't read much: do you think it's because you're a slow reader? Or do you think you're a slow reader because you don't read much?

How fast do you read?

*No, I am not going to tell you how many "a few" is!