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Sunday, March 2, 2014

There’s a new app coming out soon for the Galaxy S5 phone and Samsung Gear 2 watch that might change the way (and speed) people read. To be honest when I started reading the article I was skeptical, basically it stated you could read all 309 pages of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone in 77 minutes.

77 Minutes.

That’s a pace of 1,000 words per minute.

That’s insane, right? I mean I read really fast as is, but that number would have knocked me over if I wasn’t already lounging g in bed.

Well, maybe it’s not that crazy after all. Not if you have Spritz.

From Huffington Post:
”In order to read this quickly you'll have to use an about-to-be released app and forgo the idea of reading page by page. In the app SPRITZ words appear one at a time in rapid succession. This allows you to read at speeds of between 250 and 1,000 words per minute. The typical college-level reader reads at a pace of between 200 and 400 a minute –just to give you something to gauge that against.”

Understandably, this would take time to get used to and most of us would need a little training to build up our brain power to get to that 1000 word mark if we wanted it. But I was blown away that I could even do this at the 350 word per minute level, and remember I said I read fast as is. Put it this way – I read fast enough that won’t use audio books because the pace of “actual spoken word” annoys me, I can read so much faster and why do I want to spend 15 hours on something that would take me 5 to read myself.

Here, give it a try.
This is 250 Words Per Minute:

xiSS8E7

Not so hard…right? Bump it up. Now try 350 Word Per Minute

oo2oOpm

Got that? Now Try 500 Word Per Minute:

56tvOUK

From Huffington Post:
”Spritz goes all the way up to 1,000 wpm, but there isn't a visual for that yet.

Spritz isn't the first to suggest reading one word at a time. Apps like Velocity show the reader one word at a time in quick succession, allowing for much faster reading. And another speed reading method, works almost the same way: Rapid serial visual presentation, or RSVP, has been around for years and has proven to be successful for many.

The one-word-at-a-time technology is particularly good for smaller devices like smartphones and smartwatches. No more scrolling, zooming or pinching.”

Now – I’m skeptical. I mean okay, it works for me, I can do it. BUT - Would I like it?
We’ve already started the move from physical books to eBooks and that transition has been a bumpy one for most. Who doesn’t love the heft of a hard cover in their hands or the beautiful smell of a real book? I prefer real books over eBooks, but happily read eBooks when the need is there. Sometimes (especially when I travel) the eBook is easier and makes more sense. And in the case of bloggers, the eBook allows us to have international folks on tours and review, where a physical book once was not able to be shipped due to case, now we can include them with a simple e-mail.

The 500 Word Per Minute option even says “the more you relax the faster you will go” and it’s true. I could do it when I left go. It will no doubt build comprehension levels and make our brains stronger but at what cost? Is reading a book REALLY fast a good idea? Will miss things like the slow enjoyment of absorbing a book and being immersed in it? If even an eBook or SPRITZ version of a book, would I pick Spritz? What if I miss something because I have to look up (I mean I have kids…I often get distracted) how do I know where I left off? And lastly, I wonder if I really would absorb the book in the same manner as if I read it “the-old-fashioned-way”.

I can’t use SPRITZ because I only have a Galaxy S4, but I have to say I really would love to be able to give this a shot and be able to offer a more balanced review of the app. I’m actually insanely curious about this, and maybe in a few years when I upgrade my phone I will be able to give it a whirl. In the mean time, if you have (or will have) the S5 soon and you get this app when it finally launches – let me know how it is!!

I want YOUR opinion on this.

Tell me –
Could you read the different levels?
Which was the last you were comfortable at?
Do you feel that this program has a place in the blogger world?
Would you use it if given the opportunity?
Have you ever used other programs like this before?

Weigh in below – I can’t wait to discuss this more with my fellow readers and bloggers!!

NewAmber

*For the full Huffington Post article please click here. All info gathered from Huffington Post.

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6 comments:

  1. This is interesting. I'm kind of curious about this one too. It could have a place for bloggers definitely. With a faster reading pace books can be finished faster and deadlines met sooner. A blogger could fit more in they wanted to. BUT that isn't always a good thing. As you said people have kids... lives what if you look up and miss something. A person can't always be sure to remember to pause the book before looking up to see what that crash was. And what about the overall tone of the book? To me only getting a word at a time may take away from getting the feel or emotion of a scene or sentence... that tone or imagery. People read quickly yes and may not always absorb what they're reading or catch those things I just feel it'd be worse only seeing itthat way. I could be wrong.
    We still have people who REFUSE to make the switch to ereaders. I see it all the time at the library, so I know this will be just as hard to catch on with. Plus it aggravating that I'd have to buy a new phone just to even try the technology. I update my phone every 2 years and so on... I love updating to new stuff, but not this often. It gets expensive. And speaking of expensive... does this mean we will have to buy books formatted for this technology now? Or is it technology made to adapt to what we already have? Can we import the books we have now... any format... or will Ihave to go with a whole new library? That would be costly... it's the switch all over again. Cassettes to CD... physical book to ebook... VHS to DVD... DVD to BluRay... how many people are going to be willing to make the switch? They'd be better off creating the technology to adapt to formats already provided in my opinion instead of creating another.
    I do however feel it would build overall comprehension and most definitely speed. I think it would make for stronger brains. Speed... I am a very slow reader. At least I feel I am. When I sit down & just read it can take me anywhere from 6 to 10 hours to finish a book. Maybe that's average, but I know people who can do 2 plus in a day in that time frame. I'd love to know how to better my speed and still absorb what I'm reading. Still get it. So this technology is a toss up for me. I'd have to get more about it. Try it more maybe. We shall see.

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  2. I'm half intrigued by this and half worried that reading fast isn't the best way to read. I feel like I would miss more if I didn't allow the words to settle in with me. On the other hand, there are definitely times where I wish I could read faster. I just have a hard time believing that comprehension can keep up with such rapid speed-reading, no matter what Spritz says.

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  3. I could read the 500 wpm pretty easily. But do I wan't to read like that? I don't think so. I have to stop and look out the window once in a while. Sometimes I read so fast, I like to go back to a previous paragraph and read it again. I need some flexibility. (And maybe you would have it with this app, I don't know.) But, I just didn't find it relaxing. It's not just about quantity...it's about qualify. Very interesting, though.

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  4. wow this is very interesting. I am such a slow reader and wish I could read faster especially to keep up with my to be read pile. I am definetly going to look into this some more. Thanks for posting about it. :)

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  5. I'm a really slow reader, but that's kind of how I like it. I like to stop and reflect on what I read, maybe even to reread scenes or lines. In my job as an editor and tutor, I have to read slow to respond to the work analytically. Academics have to read articles slowly, again to analyze it. In some contexts it would be great to read more quickly, but I think the folks behind this have missed the point. The majority of people who have to read a lot also have to read it slowly.

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  6. I don't really like it... I kind of like being able to choose my reading speed. I could read the 500 wpm with a little bit of trouble, but it didn't really feel right. I consider myself a fast reader, but I don't like the feeling of having words thrown at you. I guess I like savouring some of the words.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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