Skip to content Skip to footer

Can Speed Reading Enrich Your Life And Make You More Productive?

Speed reading is a controversial topic. Some people swear that speed reading is a tool that makes them exponentially more productive, while others see it as totally bunk, as with most polarizing topics, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. Personally, I have had varying success with speed reading and usually only apply it when I have to get the gist of a vast amount of information.  This is especially important for my freelance writing career as I am often up against strict deadlines. I admit that my retention level goes down the faster I read, but I am obviously able to cover a lot more ground which is a trade-off that I am willing to make.

Speed Reading a Novel

When I am reading a novel for pleasure, I revert back to my old slower style of reading and often read mellifluous sentences over again to savor them and also to better understand the author’s construction. However, there are those who say that even while reading novels they speed read because they get a deeper experience by essentially moving their conscious minds out of the way and letting their subconscious absorb the story directly. Consider this quote by Howard Stephen Berg who claims to be the world’s fastest reader reading 25,000 words per minute: “When I read at high speed, I am immersed inside of my text. All my senses come alive as I experience the information instead of seeing it. Next time you need to read a text use more of your senses.” 

Speed Reading Skepticism

Skeptics claim that speed reading is limited because of subvocalization, which is essentially the little voice in your head that says the words as you navigate through the text with your eyes. Speed reading gurus claim that subvocalization is the enemy of lightning-fast reading. However, there is strong evidence that subvocalization is absolutely necessary in order to retain what you are reading Although there is some possibility to speed up your reading, you might be better off improving your vocabulary rather than shelling out serious cash for a course. The time taken to stop and look up words slows down the reading process significantly and the more you build your vocabulary the less you stop thereby increasing your speed.

Speed Reading in the Business World

There are those in all walks of life, including the business community, who swear by speed reading. Although there are many skeptics, Tim Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Work Week, is highly-productive and obviously very intelligent, and is also a huge proponent of speed reading. Consider this page on his blog where he lays out the simple speed reading techniques that he says has helped him excel.

Does speed reading work?

The simple answer is yes and no. Most people can speed up their reading without losing comprehension by doing simple things like increasing their vocabulary or following along with their fingers. However, there is no magic solution that will make you read 25,000 words per minute with the same retention rate you currently have while reading with subvocalization. Furthermore, most claims from courses that claim they can quadruple your speed are largely unfounded. For a thorough treatment of this discussion, I found this article quite helpful.  Ultimately, you will have to be the judge. Follow this link and receive a free speed reading book. Who knows, it could increase your productivity?

We Would Love to Hear From You

We would be happy to hear from you if you have any experience with speed reading that you would be willing to share.


  • Fodboldtrøjer Børn
    Posted January 6, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Hi! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you
    if that would be ok. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

    Fodboldtrøjer Børn

    • Post Author
      Red Scorpion Press
      Posted January 6, 2020 at 4:37 pm

      Hi Fodboldtrojer Born,

      Thank you for your interest. We would love to connect with you on Twitter. You can find us at @Scorpionpress11

      Have a great day!

Comments are closed.