As teachers endlessly tell children “don’t move your lips when you read.” There’s no disputing that it slows young readers down.
Reading speed is limited by how fast you are able to speak.
“You speak too quickly, slow down” teachers also endlessly tell children.
What does all this advice do to us? Well, presumably Sean Shannon ignored it, to become the holder of the world record for fastest talking. He can manage more than 655 words per minute – watch him on YouTube.
Unlike Sean the rest of us might need a helping hand if we want to read a novel in under 90 mins. And that’s the promise of Spritz; an app that offers to boost your reading speed. Try it for yourself
Using it means breaking the habit of saying the words, including voicing the words inside our own heads. Most speedreading techniques are based on removing this sub vocalisation.
Try lightly humming to yourself to stop the sub vocalisation. This is so much the opposite of what I do – when I proof I am saying each word in my head. I even go further, reading each sentence backwards so that words lose their meaning. It’s easier to spot mistakes when words are taken out of context. When I’m not anticipating a ‘their’ I can spot a ‘there’ and all those other pesky words not caught by the spell checker.
I’m constantly jumping around the page – ooh here it says ‘km’, but back there…let me see…’kilometres’ written in full. Looking for patterns draws my eye from a pull quote directly to the place it’s been taken from in the body copy. I can spot the differences.
Jumping around the page is exactly what Spritz prevents – it works by cutting out all that time wasting eye movement.
Spritz displays a maximum of 13 characters. You read a stream of single words. There is minimal punctuation.
It may actually be the cure for the misplaced comma. (If you want to work out where to put a comma read your copy out loud. In the places where you naturally pause, place a comma. Held your breath for a whole page? Hmm, you need specialist help).
Speedreading such as Spritz harnesses the brains ability to fill in the gaps. By anticipating what will come next it’s possible to read up to 1,000 words per minute.
I hum when I’m happy. I now hum when I’m reading. But my lips don’t move. Well, not much. How about you?