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The Internet Software

Bringing Speed Reading To the Web 47

vencs writes "With the latest cycle of speed reading fad catching on all over, there bloomed a rather neat technique called Spritzing (an online implementation of Rapid Serial Visual Presentation). Even before the company released its SDK, many clones popped up, offering bookmarklets that do the same task. It's a cool (though situational) tool for going through text articles quickly (400-600 wpm)."
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Bringing Speed Reading To the Web

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  • by pregister ( 443318 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:42PM (#46468771)
    If you're trying to speed up your casual reading, how casual is it really? I tried the little Spritz button / example thing on the spritz website and thought it was pretty cool. 450 wpm took a short time to get used to but was readable. The problems are with unfamiliar names. It seems like you'd have to train yourself to NOT slow down when coming across an unfamiliar word (for me it was company or city names, or names of people) or in that fraction of a second you're trying to process it you lose words.
  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @06:18PM (#46469039)

    I'd actually disagree. I think it'd be best-suited for casual reading.

    I tried it out on the Wikipedia page linked in the summary and a few other pages, and found that at 500 wpm it quickly got confusing once it started hitting references, parentheticals, and other asides, since the flow would be broken up by the various brackets, parentheses, and content out of the main flow of the sentence. In contrast, it did great at that speed on the portions of the page that were typical prose, and I found I wasn't having to focus much at all to keep up at 500 wpm, despite having had no practice in using the method, nor any practice at other speed reading techniques.

    So long as you're not reading something that's beyond your vocabulary, I'd expect it to work exceedingly well. That said, once it hit a word I wasn't expecting (typically a proper name I didn't recognize), I found that I was "jarred" for a split second, throwing me off. The parentheticals and other such text had a similar effect. But were I reading a novel, I'd expect this system to work rather well, and would love to see an implementation of it for eReaders on tablets. Plus, the actual Spritz thing had a feature to jump back a sentence if you missed something, which, taken altogether, would still be much faster than a typical reading pace.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann