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The Spritz App: Now You Can Waste Time, Even Faster

Does speed reading make us smarter, or dumber?

Hannah Sternberg


March 11, 2014 - 8:30 am
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Like all passionate readers, I sometimes feel anxious about the number of books I’ll never be able to read. A single lifetime is just a blip when you consider all the delicious literature out there, waiting to be consumed.

That was the first thing I thought of, after my mild horror subsided, when I heard about the new hyper-speed-reading app Spritz. Spritz promises reading speeds of over 500 words per minute; at its fastest, it can allow users to read the Bible cover to cover in 13 hours.

Why the mild horror? Well, it’s another byproduct of being a passionate reader: I’m torn between the desire to read as many books as possible, and the pleasure of lingering in each one. There’s no lingering in the magic of a scene at 500 words per minute.

This Atlantic article makes a great point that the app’s greatest utility may be sifting through the pages and pages of online articles many people feel socially and professionally obligated to read. If your goal is to be able to say you read it, that’s fine. Maybe eventually we’ll evolve to be able to comprehend at that speed, as well.

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500 wpm is now speed reading? Oh.

That's about my normal speed for casual reading.

/sigh/ It really is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, one can read a lot that way. On the other hand, it's sometimes tough trying to feed that voracious beast.

I recall reading, years ago, an article about the benefits of slow-reading. It has its place, as does speed reading.

However, not being ABLE to read quickly has ZERO benefits.

51 weeks ago
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