Friday, March 14, 2014

Speed-reading App is a Fraud?

Like so many things that go viral online, the truth is far more complex than the buzz itself. In the spotlight today is the Spritz speed reading app, which I recently came across in this post.

The story made sense: that eye motion was wasted effort, and we could consume more content if we maximized our intake efficiency. Stationary focus, plus some visual queues to improve word recognition.

But even while reading the article, it felt off. Many years ago (20 now, in fact) I did my undergrad in Psych & Linguistics. I couldn't recall anything specific as to why I was feeling skeptical about the upper limits of speed reading, but I figured it was somewhere in that past.

Thankfully, today I came across this piece by NBC news reporter Devin Coldewey. (And I now see there are other similar pieces being written.)  The truth, is that this method of reading isn't new; and historically, it doesn't have a great track record.

The method is called "rapid serial visual presentation," or RSVP, and has been around for more than 40 years. The problem is that with longer pieces of writing, this method of intake shows very poor comprehension by readers. Essentially, we can't jack up our rate of word identification, and still maintain the same level of understanding.

I have no doubt that reading efficiency can be improved. As an example, the article linked above also points to the power of skimming as a speed reading technique. But the idea of reading at 500 or 1000 words a minute? Consuming and understanding every single word over a sustained period, such as with reading a novel?

I'm not buying it. Neither, it seems, are the experts.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Now on Goodreads

Just a short note to say that I now have my author profile established on Jordan Furlong and I both had our accounts approved earlier this week.

We've also uploaded a profile for our book, "", published by The Ark Group last summer.

If you're already on Goodreads and happen to own a copy of our book, we would greatly appreciate your support via a positive rating or review. And if you don't own a copy, please consider adding us to your future reading list by clicking on the "want to read" button.


Monday, March 03, 2014

Quickscribe Manual Updates for February 2014

Five Quickscribe Manuals were updated in February 2014:

Don't forget to check out operated by Quickscribe, featuring free, daily updates to BC legislation!