29 July 2008
Digg has a notice of a new 'speed reading' site, spreeder.com - paste in a block of text and spreeder will present it a word at a time at a given speed. Personally, I doubt that this will work - scientific evidence on 'speed reading' apprears to be, at best, equivocal and there's a lot to suggest that we recognize blocks of text rather than individual words. Looking at other sites, I took a test and found that I was currently reading at more than 700 words a minute and I very much doubt that reading faster would do me any good at all. I recall that, years ago, a colleague of mine went on a speed reading course and, on the first test of reading speed and comprehension, was performing better than the targets for the end of the course! One of the contributors to the discussion on Digg suggests a package called EyeQ which does use blocks of text and appears to work by training the eye to take in larger blocks - after following the trial I found that text presented at 1,400 words a minute was readable - though I doubt I'd want to read at that speed normally! And I certainly don't want to pay $250.00 to learn how to do so!