Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How Do You Choose to Read?

With the rise of ebooks, I've wondered if I was reading faster, slower, or the same as when I read a paper book.  I think that I read faster because I can scan ahead a bit and I can certainly turn pages faster.  But that is only a hypothesis. I don't have a way to prove it. I do love the feel of paper books, but as I've downsized over the past two decades I've realized that storing all those books was not an option. Now I read books almost exclusively on my ereader or tablet.

There are some things I still prefer to read in paper. My newspaper is one of those. I tried the digital download when The Oregonian tried to get everyone to switch. It didn't work. I'm even paying a little extra on subscription so I can continue to get it delivered to my door every day.

Reading the newspaper in the morning is a wake-up-and-face-the-world ritual for me. I like spreading it out on the dining room table as I have my coffee in the morning. I like taking my time, beginning with the "happy" sections and as a I wake up moving onto business reports and eventually world news. Also, both my husband and I like to work the NY Times Crossword and the Jumble puzzles. Impossible to do that digitally. He does Sudoku too. Not me.

I came across this reading test recently. It takes less than a minute. This would be a measure of your digital reading speed. Warning, there is a three question test at the end to see if you remember anything you read, so don't cheat by scanning unless you are good at knowing what the details are to remember in a scan.

As I survivor of the Evelyn Wood speed reading tests when I was in elementary school, I'm happy to say I did better than I did then. IN elementary school I was trying to improve on a 300 wpm speed in about fourth grade. I vaguely remember making it to 450 wpm and my teacher not thinking that was very good. The test above placed me at 517 wpm. I will never be a 1,000 word per minute reader. I enjoy the words too much and I do read aloud in my mind providing emphasis and inflection. So phooey on speed reading. :)

How do you like to read? Paper? Digital? Combination? What about audiobooks? I've heard that people who read fast don't care for audio books which tend to move at about 150-200wpm. I've never been a big audiobook reader because I can't control the scanning if I'm getting bored or want to know the answer to a question right now. I can scan a page when I'm reading on my ereader or in a paper book.


Judith Ashley said...

I read both paper and digital. I've a Kobo but prefer, at times, to download to my Samsung Tablet...still trying to decide which one I prefer. Right now I'm reading my TBR list on my Kobo while I make up my mind.

While I don't know how many wpm I read, I do know that I read about 60 pages (more or less) an hour in a paper book. I don't know that I read faster on my Kobo or tablet and since that is 'reading for pleasure' I don't really care how fast I'm reading - after all, it is for pleasure.

Maggie Lynch said...

I hear you on being undecided, Judith. I love the convenience of an e-reader. Having thousands of books at my fingertips. The lightweight feel and being able to take it on trips with me without having to choose which books I want to read.

Lately, I don't seem to have a lot of time to read. But when I do, I must admit it is mostly digital if it's fiction. If it's non-fiction with lots of pictures, graphs, etc. then I definitely want print. If it is narrative non-fiction (e.g., memoir, self-help, etc.) then I prefer digital again. Lately my husband has been using my Kobo ereader and I admit I'm a little envious. If he keeps this up, I may just have to buy him his own. :)