Reading, fast and slow

It’s been too long, but now it’s challenge time.

When I started this blog two years (!) ago, it was with the purpose of documenting my progress on three challenges I had set up with my back-then-fellow-blogger Gonçalo. The challenges eventually went to waste, and so did Gonçalo’s blogging, but my blog remained more or less active… until about half a year ago. Since then I’ve been struggling with updating my blog, one reason being that I haven’t had much excitement to write about.

One of the very few benefits of being unemployed is that one can (with a little bit of self discipline) dedicate oneself to hobbies and interests one otherwise doesn’t “have time” for—for one reason or another.

A problem with learning new things, however, is that it nearly always requires a fair amount of reading. And every time I enter phases of intensive reading I get reminded of how slow a reader I am. I don’t think I am very much slower than an average reader, but I certainly read much slower than some of my friends. And although I generally don’t bother comparing my own skills with others, reading speed is one where I actually do. Why? Because I realize that reading faster would allow me to absorb more information in less time, which in the long run equals more knowledge with less effort.

So I have decided that it’s time to bring back challenge into this blog. This time I am challenging myself to increase my speed of reading. My current reading speed seems to lie at around 200-220 words per minute (wpm), which (apparently) is right on the average. My initial goal is to double that to 400 wps. I do not know how reasonable this goal is, but I will be documenting my progress here… taking this blog back to its roots!

Some initial Googling shows that there are great services available for free online for this. My first candidate will be Spritz, but this will be subject to change as I go along and try it out.

With me luck!

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