A friend of mine, headed to grad school, is taking a speed reading course and I thought it might be an interesting topic for a blog. She's been in the workforce for over 30 years and felt a bit intimidated at heading back to school. (I don't know why, because she's a voracious reader and has a fantastic memory. I'm sure she'll be wildly successful.)
In her case, she'll be learning to speed read non-fiction (textbooks and research material). She told me that the average person reads between 200 and 400 words a minute and that with training, we can all do much better.
Here's the thing. I read mostly fiction and the idea of speed reading just doesn't appeal to me. I like to savor each word, each paragraph. Does that make me unusual? I don't think so. I love books, cherish them and don't want to race through them. When I finish a book, I long for more! I hope there is a sequel. That's why I love to read series.
There is always another release to enjoy. Lorna Barrett's Booktown Mysteries is one of my fave series.
Warren Buffet once said that the secret of his success was that he read 500 pages a day. Wow. Impressive. His goal was to read 200 books a year.
At first it sounded impossible, but let's break down the numbers, The average non-fiction book is about 50,000 words. That's ten million words for 200 books. If you're reading at 400 words a minute, you could achieve your goal of reading 200 books a year in a little over 400 hours.
You'd just have to commit to reading an hour a day for 365 and doubling up on some days.
Does the idea appeal to you? I have mixed feelings, but then, I'm not headed back to grad school.
Happy reading, everyone!