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How fast do people read, really?

  1. profile image0
    Jack Kongposted 8 years ago

    Hi All, I'm fairly new here. Saw in this forum about people who have re-read some books many many times. I've done that once, a long time ago, but, some of the replies to that topic were simple ... wow!

    I have long been curious about how fast people actually reads, for I think it is through reading that people gather knowledge; and it always fascinates me how some people just seem to know so much. For myself, considering the time needed for rest, eat, work, family, and life, it usually takes me at least three to four days to finish an average book -- and that is my faster rate. It'll usually take a lot longer for textbook-ish materials.

    This being a community of people who reads a lot, I thought it might be a good place to find out how fast people can realistically read.

    How long do you estimate that you take to read an average page of a fiction? I hear it's not uncommon for people to do 100+ page an hour -- that's about 30 seconds a page!

    How long, considering that life still do need to go on, does one take to finish, say, a 400-page novel, really?

  2. profile image0
    Crazdwriterposted 8 years ago

    For me if I am not too busy and REALLY into the book I can finish a 400 page novel in 2-3 days. smile But if i have a lot of other stuff to do then 1 -2 weeks.

    1. profile image0
      Jack Kongposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Wow, that was fast! The reply, I mean. OK, at least this first reply doesn't make me feel like I'm that slow now. Thanks. smile

  3. wyanjen profile image80
    wyanjenposted 8 years ago

    I just read this whole forum in like 15 seconds. tongue

    I tend to read too fast, then I have to go back because I didn't understand.
    Sometimes I'm too curious so I skip a chapter, then go back to where I left off.

    I'm probably not a good person to include in the equation, Jack lol


    Hi CW How you doing

    1. profile image0
      Crazdwriterposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Hey jen doing good doing good. and i was like you where I actually use to read the last chapter first then the rest of the book lmao stopped doing that though lol

    2. profile image0
      Jack Kongposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Well, we can always do with a good laugh cool  but if you read the novel in like 10 seconds, I'm sure there will be parts you'll miss. lol

  4. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 8 years ago

    Jack, "reading speed" is actually a pretty big can of worms.  For me specifically, there's a huge difference between how fast I CAN read and how fast I DO read.  Back in 1966, I signed up for an Evelyn Wood speed reading course with the idea that it would help me later in business.  Economics forced me to move too far to commute to class shortly after I'd signed up, though.  Never did finish the thing.

    HOWEVER, in that course we started by taking a reading test that measured both speed and comprehension.  The book we used for the test was George Orwell's Animal Farm, and we read for (as I recall) something like ten minutes.  (No, I had NOT ever read the book before that time, and the movie wasn't out yet.)

    My score (without any training) was just over 5,000 words per minute with a 72% comprehension level.  Obviously, I was competing:  GO-GO-Go!  During the last class I was able to take before dropping out, my results were something like 10,000 words per minute with a 96% comprehension level.

    However, I NEVER read like that in real life--unless (for example) the script is the User Manual for a strange rifle and the terrorists are about to pop up over the next rise.  If it's pleasure reading, a fiction novel or some such, a 400 page book (your example) will take me something like 6 to 10 hours, depending on the writer and what I had for breakfast.

    But if it's a (gag!) insurance textbook, it could well take 20 hard hours to competently absorb the material from 20 pages.  (That's if I can stay awake; 12 years as a Commercial Underwriter never taught me to enjoy insurance theory.)

    I'm one who may have posted about rereading favorite novels time and time again.  There's no telling for sure, but I SUSPECT the second readings, etc., are a lot slower than the first go-round...because I'm digging for flavor, nuggets I missed before, nuance, etc.

    1. profile image0
      Jack Kongposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ghost! (Are you really a ghost? yikes )

      Interesting to know that someone who actually can speed-read still chooses to read at more human pace.

      1. profile image0
        Crazdwriterposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I too can speed read but don't. It is the way to miss a lot of great detail from the author writing. So nope won't speed read either.

      2. profile image0
        Ghost32posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I was nicknamed "Ghost" in the Colorado gasfields (when driving big rigs there) by a guy who went by the name of "Hippie".  Go figure.  But Pam and I liked the tag and promoted it.  I've been called much, much worse.

  5. lorlie6 profile image82
    lorlie6posted 8 years ago

    For me, it all depends on my intention when reading.  If I am reading for pleasure, light and airy, then I can read quite rapidly.
    If I am reading something that I wish to comprehend fully, then I will take much, much more time.

    1. profile image0
      Jack Kongposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks lorlie, but sorry, I'm a bit of a number person. Care to share with us what 'rapidly' and 'much more time' translate into?

  6. samsbr profile image38
    samsbrposted 8 years ago

    I am a very lazy guy to reading books sad. but in my childhood I am very books reading lover while I have completed one detective story book in week smile...But this days I am so lazy sad