This is yet another entry in line with my recent non-game posts. I’ve always been a reasonably fast reader, both in English and my native language Swedish. However, it’s always nice to have some numbers to back up that general feeling. Thus I created readspeeder. It uses the complete book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow, which he has graciously made available under a Creative Commons license.
You control the speed with your mouse, move it to the right to go faster and towards the center to go slower. If you move to the left you will go in reverse, farther to the left will move faster in reverse.
You can click the progress bar at the bottom to skip ahead. The Words per minute counter is an average of your last 50 words. I’ve made it so that it makes slightly longer pauses for words with more syllables. It also makes a small pause between sentences, I’ve found that really helps with reading comprehension. I guess it gives your brain a chance to process the actual meaning of the sentence before getting on with the next one.
According to Wikipedias entry on speedreading anything above 600 wpm can be considered quite good. 1000-2000 wpm is on a World Championship level. The very fastest readers claim speeds of 10 000 wpm or more. But I find that somewhat hard to believe.