Speed Readers (Old Topic)

Dear Cecil:

I just read your reply to the topic:

“Does speed reading training actually work?” circa 1992

I might add that my personal experience with speed readers has not been good. They do not comprehend what they read. They aren’t “stupid” people but they are largely and tota*lly ignorant of what they just read. They only get bits and pieces of it and assume the rest making a nightmare of the whole thing.

It is all PRIDE OF KNOWLEDGE and ARROGANCE and zero understanding.

A good example in reverse is my level of comprehension after listening to an audio sample of the worlds fastest talker. I get bits and pieces, the rest I must assume.

This is the exact same result as you get from a speed reader after they sped read something. They literally destroy the conversation, they drive you to hate thier guts because they don’t understand a thing you wrote so you must rehash the same thing ten times to get it in thier head and they do that persistently because they cannot or refuse to read normally so thier ignorance is unabateable thus wrecking thier social skills, they take the fun and joy out of conversation and are the most unattractive people to have the burden to attempt to relate to on any point that includes them reading something.

If these speed readers speed read to keep up with Japan, I say go ahead and send them to Japan to get rid of them because they are a despiseable hassle to deal with that would require competent conversation after they read something.

Speed readers are also dangerous people and could get either one of us killed. Just like a idiot NOT reading the instructions for installing a gas heater or gas water heater and testing the pipes for leaks with matches. Same mentality, different path to get there since they have the same end result, they don’t know what they are doing or what they are saying given the topic at hand.

Speed readers should all be jailed (or UPS’d to Japan) for the misery they are to society.

Speed readers always supply the same old tired defense when confronted with these things and they say, “You are just jealous because you are not smart enough speed read.” They arrogantly assume that people who cannot speed read are mentally “slow” and that is rooted not in fact but personal arrogance, of which, is thick enough to slice with a knife and feed to the dogs.

So, it really blows them off thier heels to hear these things come from one who can speed read. Personal experience is the best teacher so I know myself the unattractive results of speed reading and have chosen to be a normal person.

This should probably be moved to Pit for its diatribe, but here’s my personal experience.

Having watched a lot of subtitled anime (and having to do the daily ritual of Spam Management), I’m a pretty fast reader, mostly scanning lines (and occasionally short paragraphs) at a time. However, I don’t end up saving that much time because I usually end up having to read everything over two or three times to make sure I parsed the words correctly. This is getting very problematic because I can’t study for exams without almost having to read stuff out loud. (Thank goodness I’m not taking biology this summer! :D)

My apologies. :slight_smile: I didn’t intend to appear diatribe prone. I was just still freshly incensed at a speed reader when I wrote that. :mad:

In one short paragraph concerning a point of business, basic subtraction mind you, I had reduced $100 to $25 thus saving $75 and the speed reader turned it into a half hours nightmare by making it out to be $125. :rolleyes:

Computer monitors should have “slapper arms” as optional equipment. Just hit a button and :smack:

Though that option would be a hard sell. :stuck_out_tongue:

Personally I think that being able to identify the contents of a visual that lasts just for a flash is in the area of photographic memory, even if it is temporary, rather that a speed reading skill. The flash of text isn’t really read, the letters appear as objects and then when you examine the “picture” you then see text. :eek:


Hey, 3DG, I hope you stay. I like your style.

I wonder if there is any link to memory, comprehension, and fast reading? Reason I ask: I was taught to read at an early age (no contests as to who read right after birth or other stupidity, ok?) and early in school was targeted as a fast reader. I also had almost complete comprehension. So, they put me in a class which included teaching speed reading techniques. I hated speed reading because it didn’t fit my style of reading. Also, I like reading as recreation and speed reading was a form of work to me, killing all the joy of reading.

Now, I ask about memory because of this, if I seem to miss a point, I don’t have to reread it. I just go back in my head to find it. While still reading new stuff. It’s like holding two or more conversations at once. Everyone multitasks in some way or another, so that’s not any bragging on my part, hope it doesn’t come across as arrogant.

No, I don’t have “photographic” memory. Several tests made that clear. But, after reading something, I still see the page in my head most of the time.

As a child, I used to wonder how people could forget something they had read. As I grew up, I figured out that different people have different abilities.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’m smarter because I remember things. I have certain problem solving limitations. Especially where so called logic is concerned. And I can’t spell. But, I do have what some consider a way around odd problems. I can leap to those kind of conclusions in an instant. I did very well in higher maths. One friend says I’m either the stupidiest smart person or smartest dumb guy he’s ever seen.

I am also dyslexic.

So, after all this rambling set up the question is:

Is there any corellation among fast (not speed) reading, memory, and reading comprehension?

During my own speed reading career, I’ve found that there are techniques that one can use to significantly redue the amount of time spent reading a given piece and still maintain the same level of comprehension that they would have had had they read it at “regular speed.” Of course, the goal isn’t necessarily to understand 100% of the work (i.e. memorize it), but rather to get the main points in each paragraph and move on. As I utilize it, it really cuts out the author’s clutter and almost reduces the text to a list of bullet-points, depending their style.

That said, it doesn’t work equally well with all types of texts and my reading speed is pretty slow, so it’s not speed reading by any stretch of the imagination, but I have had some success with it and cut down my own reading times.

Ed, uh, I mean Cecil seemed to agree with you in the article: that is speed reading doesn’t work.

Stick around at SMDB, though: you will get in the groove quickly. Also, nice handle.

I have found when i am not really interested in a subject i speed read it, which means in practice that i skip most of it, but, when i am very interested in something i painstakingly read and re-read every word and paragraph. I also store these items away for future reference. I would say today that very few matters really interest me anymore. So i throw away virtually unread 99% of all written articles i come across. i hope to increase this figure.


What is speed reading, anyway? What’s the cut-off point between speed reading and just reading really fast?

We’ve had a few threads, soliciting everyone’s personal reading speed, and it appears that a lot of Dopers read quite fast. I’m one of the “slower” ones, at about 600 (or even 700 with some tests) words a minute for regular fiction, slower for more scholarly writing. My comprehension at this speed is fine.

I tried to slow down on the online reading tests I took, but it didn’t do any good. I felt strange trying to force myself to read slower. My normal, comfortable reading speed is 600-700 wpm, and there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it. And I emphasize again, I’m one of the slower ones. T

I am very appeciative of your posts here. Especially the early post condemning speed readers and how it could cause accidents. i have read this 3 times and it sums up for me the situation exactly. Moving on - its occurred to me that i also speed read a lot in conversations, i am always jumping ahead and 2nd and 3rd guessing the spoken words to come. Any advice on how to stop this. In defence of myself i am hopeless at faking real interest, a thing either interests me or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t then i switch off. Even slapping my own wrists does no good.

TRUE-BRIT, a question about how to change your behaviors (or, in Britain, behaviours) really belongs in one of the other forums. I’d suggest IMHO, you might ask for suggestions.

People who don’t listen to what others are saying will tend not to have many friends, and will be thought of as obnoxious know-it-alls. Frankly, I’ve even seen it with you on the Message Boards. You can get help with behavior change on this, and I hope you’ll pursue it.

OK, this tangent is dead. If TRUE-BRIT wants to pursue it, he’ll start a thread elsewhere. I suspect it’s a topic of interest to many here.