Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore March 5, 2014 - 7:52pm

So there's this new Spritz thing coming that displays one word at a time, centered around its optimal recognition point, allowing you to read much faster without fatiguing your eye by having to scan. It's not a new idea, but they've made some advances with it. And it has the benefit of a tiny footprint, so you could read on your Samsung Gear watch or whatever. There's a button to demo it on the site.

I think I'd like this for articles of nonfiction or "required reading," but I enjoy reading fiction slowly, to digest and admire the sentences, and to back up and reread often. What do you guys think?

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby March 5, 2014 - 9:52pm

Yeah, I read news quickly, just the basic facts please--but I linger over sections of fiction---I go back and reread just for nuance..a great phrase or metaphor. So much of writing nowadays is junk. And copyediting is a lost art. It irritates the hell out of me to find typos where you know these writers have depended on "spell-check" what a joke. 

By the way, what are we in such a rush for, for god's sake? I've had some life-changing events lately (oh who hasn't?), and I'm into savoring the moment, for now, anyway.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig March 5, 2014 - 11:59pm

I would also enjoy it for news and things like that, but i wouldn't write it off for fiction. I read A LOT doing Books and Booze and I end up in a situation where I have to choose between finishing one book or starting the next "on schedule". I could see this being really beneficial, though I would have to try it out on something a little more in-depth than the Spritz samples, because it does seem like it would be difficult to get rythym and tone through at one word at a time.

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Tana French! March 6, 2014 - 1:44am

I think I'd hate to read a book like that, it would do my head in. I like to see to sentences as a whole and yeah, some sentences you have to read again because they're so god damn awesome they ensnare you.

Also you're going to lose the power of structure. One word paragraphs. Single lines of emphasis, or just those cool moments when the author does something different with the presentation of the text. Yeah, i would definitely miss seeing the way words look on a whole page.

Linda's picture
Linda from Sweden is reading Fearful Symmetries March 6, 2014 - 12:13pm

Interesting. The stream was readable for me up to 400wpm, which is probably more wpm than I would normally manage. While it might work for the more quick-witted among us though, I doubt I'd remember much of what I just read.

As for fiction, I agree with you all. Like hitting fast forward to get through a movie quicker.

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things March 6, 2014 - 4:52am

Tried the demo. Seems cool enough for a pretty specific type of reading (news, blogs, etc) but very limited for fiction. As mentioned, paragraph breaks and formatting get lost, and even dialogue would probably be hard to follow using this system.

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer March 6, 2014 - 4:54am

I can do the 600 wpm without too much effort, but a few things bother me. First, all of these sentences are simple structures and have no other meaning or associated imagery outside of the words. Reading fiction in this way would suck. There would be no tiem for reflection and I'm not quite sure I buy in to some of their theories, anyway. I tend to do a lot of other things when I am reading. If I look up to talk to my kid or girlfriend, I'm going to miss whole sections of words. I would have to spend time tracking back to find where I left off. I take notes when I read books that might become academic work. This would be pretty hard with something like this.

Tim Johnson's picture
Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong March 6, 2014 - 8:24am

Eh, I got tired just reading a few sentences in the demo at the base setting. It felt like it was a really good way to hypnotize someone. I wouldn't mind short messages being delivered that way, but I really wouldn't want to read anything that way.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated March 6, 2014 - 9:36am

No.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 6, 2014 - 10:44am

I'm still not convinced speed reading is possible...

OtterMan's picture
OtterMan from New Jersey, near Philadelphia USA is reading Ringworlds Children March 6, 2014 - 11:20am

I can speed read by hand, it doesn't take very long to pick up. I've used it mostly to read stuff like mortgages and other legal documents at a closing or similar. Never for an actual book or something I'm interested in. 

Alan H Jordan's picture
Alan H Jordan from Reno, Nevada is reading "The Whisper Jar" and "The World Beneath" March 8, 2014 - 7:41am

Hey Gordon, 

Thanks for sharing. I wasn't familar with it.  I tried the demo and found that my eyes fatigued after a little while at 500 to 600 wpm. But, I sometimes find that my eyes fatigure when I'm attempting to read more quickly in a standard method.

There was a certain thrill that was associated with the reading, a little like down a hill when skiing. I think it might work for fiction, but it might work best if authors write a book that's designed to be spritzed.

Joan jogged down the Central Park path. What's that? OMG, in the bushes.  Was that a dead cat?  She felt the vomit start to rise in her throat. No, it wasn't a cat.  Not a housecat anyway. OMG, a dead baby lion in the bushes.

I feel that you have to take this technology in context.  It's probably well suited for certain applications, like reading via a smart watch. It's also not something to be dismissed out of hand, especially for quick dissemination of information on web sites.

However, I do have a concern that based on subliminal information implantation. It strikes me that it would be easy (particularly at the higher speeds) to implant words every so often that convey a secondary, message.

 

Natso's picture
Natso from Mongolia is reading Moby Dick March 8, 2014 - 8:44am

Interesting. Has anyone tried www.spreeder.com before?

It doesn't mark the middle letter of a word in red to concentrate but it's free.

Alan H Jordan's picture
Alan H Jordan from Reno, Nevada is reading "The Whisper Jar" and "The World Beneath" March 9, 2014 - 7:25am

Spreeder is interesting.  It seems to be an introduction to an $79.95 software program which has had many good reviews. (7 Speed Reading).  There are also a number of other competing products.

I enjoyed using the Spreeder software. I tried pasting some fiction text into it.  I'm considering buying that software because it seems to have excellent credentials. http://www.7speedreading.com.

Anyone else want to try it and chime in?

 

Tim Johnson's picture
Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong March 13, 2014 - 7:39am
Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff March 14, 2014 - 3:46am

Feels like I'd seizure any moment.

By the way, since patent is pending, there's a version of the app that's called Squirt. I wonder if my facebook followers will buy into it.

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby March 16, 2014 - 9:53pm

Speed Reading under Books and Authors

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby March 16, 2014 - 9:55pm

um, pay no attention to the above comment, ok?