Y'all are a bunch of wankers!

methods to read faster.

I usually read, say 10 to 15 pages per hours. I noticed that books are getting bigger those days. Does anyone have a method to reading faster (but not skipping the essential).

Permalink vic 
August 26th, 2005
I think its OK to read slowly. You retain more.
Permalink Scott 
August 26th, 2005
If it's a technical book, on programming or something like that, you can't expect to read it fast and take it all in. To properly absorb the material you ought to stop and do the exercises at the end of each section, and then go back and refer to the book any time you have a question about something.
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 26th, 2005
I thought the print was getting bigger, as opposed to an increase in the number of words.
Permalink Joel Goodwin 
August 26th, 2005
Photoreading. I've not done it myself, but I know people who've had success with it.
Permalink bpd 
August 26th, 2005
Buy better books?
Permalink Just me (Sir to you) 
August 26th, 2005
If you're reading by listening to the words in your head, you are limited to how fast you can talk. Either make the voice in your head go faster (which is really weird, but it can happen, just don't expect to be able to talk as fast as you think after you get the hang of it), or learn how to read without hearing the words at all. You'll read crazy fast if you can do the second one. I haven't gotten that down quite, but I do the first one. I think way faster than I can talk, so I stumble over words at times, but I read about a page a minute.

My wife is basically the only person I've ever met that reads faster than I do. She's about twice as fast.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 26th, 2005
I tried about 3 years ago to train myself to read without hearing the words in my head, like Aaron describes, but finally had to resign myself to the fact that I just can't do it. It's too ingrained now.
Permalink muppet 
August 26th, 2005
>> I read about a page a minute.

Harry Potter? Immanuel Kant? Chris McI? ?off?

Most people are, what, about 200 - 250 words / minute for casual reading. Isn't a typical paperback book approaching 300 words to the page?
Permalink Mongo 
August 26th, 2005
It's weird. It generally doesn't matter what it is. I probably limit myself subconsciously and pace it that way, because few things make me deviate from that. The text has to be pretty damned convoluted for me to go slower, or disgustingly easy to go much faster.

Maybe it indicates that most things I read are about on the same level of difficulty.

Anyway, it's a long term trend, across many different things I've read. It's an average that I don't generally deviate very far from.

It's kinda like how I used to walk at 3.2 miles an hour, whether it was for one mile or fifteen. No idea what my pace for walking is now - probably slower than that. I'm in sad shape now.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 26th, 2005
I find a page a minute is about my normal pace as well. Perhaps it's some sort of collective-unconscious 7-dimensional hyper-average or something?
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 26th, 2005
I tried to change my reading pattern, but at the time I was reading purely for pleasure, so it made no sense to make something I enjoyed into work.

Doesn't a lot of speed reading involve skimming to get an overview, and then skimming again and again until the stuff starts to seep in?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 26th, 2005
>> Doesn't a lot of speed reading involve skimming to get an overview, and then skimming again and again until the stuff starts to seep in?

Not necessarily. It depends on how much comprehension you want. Especially with well written articles, for example, you can get about 80% or 90% on the first skim, which may be enough. Think about scanning a newspaper article, you can often pick up enough to move on with a quick glance.
Permalink Mongo 
August 26th, 2005
When you ask if there are methods to read faster, I take it as you would want to read whatever you want in the least possible time.

I feel that the book 'How to read a book' by Adler and Van Doren is an indispensable companion for anyone for reads a lot. The title of the book is rather simplistic for what it offers. They argue why speed reading and similar techniques are not useful when it comes to a wide range of books and for materials of varying difficulties.

They cover subjects like x-raying books, determining the author's message, how to criticize a book fairly, and the role of relevant experience in reading. They then go on to describe the different approaches to various kinds of reading -- practical books, imaginative literature, plays, stories, poems, history, science, mathematics, social sciences, and philosophy.

While reading is mostly seen as a passive act, they give us the analogy of the ideas in a book as being a ball that is thrown and the active reader as one who should be observing where it goes to catch it. One of the habits they ask us to form, which would reduce our time to comprehend the ideas in a book, is to notice the way words or some distinct words and phrases are used. It is something like the statistically improbable phrases which Amazon.com shows.

The ideas in the book are summarized in some other books and sites but nothing comes close to reading the book and the way the authors forward put the ideas.
Permalink Senthilnathan N.S. 
August 28th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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