Read speed & Recollection

When I was in the sixth grade, my principal did a little experiment with all the sixth grade classes to try and get kids into reading. I remember it vividly because I have always loved to read and liked to show off my skills in that department. He came into the class and we were all handed the same small book. He then told us that he wanted us to read at our normal pace until a minute later he told us to stop. After which we were to count the amount of words we read and then turn to the person beside us and talk about what we just read. This was to see how we did speed vs remembering what we read. I felt like a pro because I was top of my class in speed vs recollection. Sadly the specific numbers are lost somewhere in storage.

Since then I hadn’t really thought much about the speed I read, I have always just read quickly. I have always had a knack for recalling (sometimes years later) what I read. This skill falters a bit when it is something I find very boring, and heightens when it us something I am really into. I always feel it is normal till someone points out that they can’t believe I am done with such and such book already, or questioning if I am really reading or just skimming. Once upon a time I used to proudly state that I could finish a Harry Potter book that I just purchased in under 24 hours. Which eventually turned into under 12 hours. I didn’t know if this was fast or not as a kid, but people always seemed to be impressed.

Today I read an average of 400-450 wpm, going up to 500-550 sometimes if I am excited about what I am reading. I have a recollection rate of about 85% on average which is pretty handy. And this is testing through various computerized tests. I have not done a physical book read test. Is this average reading speed? I really don’t know. I know I am faster reading from a book then anything online. I know it helps with my typing skills because I can read off to the side and type 70 wmp without looking at the keys. I don’t feel special or anything about my speed. I met a man who could read almost 1000 wmp with a high recollection rate. I think my passion for reading is what drove me to read so quickly, a blessing and curse. I have to check out three to five books at a time to get me through the week. I have a hard time just slowly enjoying a good book. I wonder if I should try and increase my speed for the fun of it-just to see if I can. Though I have yet to try because I am not sure if it would really be worth it.

Has anyone else been tested or self tested their read speeds? Do you automatically rush through reading? Is it something that is important to you? I wonder if they still do testing on middle schoolers anywhere? Ah questions. Anyways, this is just a little rant on a random memory. I am going to go curl up with a book now, all this talk of reading reminds me I am behind.

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