How fast do you read? It’s a question I never thought much about, I always figured I read at a near or slightly above average pace. I could read, there wasn’t much more I needed to know. There were other students in my high school who claimed to be speed-readers, but I could never quite understand how they read so quickly, while understanding the material. No matter how much I tried, I could never seem to increase my reading speed much beyond my default, without compromising my comprehension of the material.

An Easy Way To Improve Reading Speed

A new tool called Spritz was recently brought to my attention, and claims to improve reading speed by increasing efficiency. Spritz is a speed-reading tool for the web and mobile devices. Instead of reading around the page, moving your eyes from left to right, you look directly at a window that strobes words at whatever speed you choose. By focusing on this window, reading speed is likely to improve.

How Spritz Works
Spritz can help readers improve their reading speed by eliminating distractions on the page.

The point is to avoid saccades according to Spritz. By focusing your eyes on a central point, Spritz claims to eliminate up to 80% of your eye movement, giving you the ability to comprehend the words at a much faster rate. The Washington Post claims that at 400 words per minute, The Catcher in the Rye could be finished in just over three hours.

How to Get Spritz

Spritz is free and easy to try out. All you need to do is add the Spritzlet tool to your browser’s toolbar, then you can read any page on the web by clicking the shortcut on any page, and selecting your preferred reading speed. There are other tools as well, including iOS and Android (coming soon) apps, and some mobile developres are building the technology into reader apps to make reading on-the-go more efficient. Spritz is free for now, but may introduce a paid model eventually. A great, free, alternative is OpenSpritz which is an open-source tool that works in much the same way.

Image credit: kimubert via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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