‘A Mountain of Words’, Emma Young, New Scientist, 11th February 2017 pp. 34-37. Part 1: Speed Reading


This article examined (1) the research on speed reading and (2) the relative merits of reading a physical book, newspaper or article as opposed to reading from a screen.  I am going to discuss (1) this week and (2) next.

The internet, emails, texts and Twitter all contribute to the fact that people today encounter far more written material each day than those from previous generations. If we want to making sense of all this written material quickly and efficiently, should we learn to speed read?  Apps, such as Spritz, which promote speed reading, suggest that we should but the evidence is not really in their favour.  A recent study by Elizabeth Schotter from the University of South Florida examined a number of commonly promoted speed reading ‘techniques’ and found that many of them are founded on bad science.  Take the idea that we should cease to internally vocalise (articulate…

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