Feb 3, 2014  •  In Books, Personal, Web

How Fast Can You Read?

And how do you compare to the national average?

Office supplies retailer Staples has created an online test that measures how many words you read per minute and how you rank up to the masses. The directions are simple: after reading a selection of text, you answer 3 simple questions to verify that you did, in fact, read the passage, and voilà!

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I’m sure that the test is not without faults, but I was still pleasantly surprised — with a smidge of nerdy pride — to score 1,068 words per minute. :-)  I guess my love of reading and my desire to consume every last written word in my path, starting from a young age, has made me an efficient reader over the years? I remember how I never had to study up on the reading comprehension portion of the SATs and still managed to receive a perfect score on those questions.

Here are the average reading speeds of various groups. At 1,068 words per minute, I’m still a slow reader compared to speed readers, who average 1,500 words per minute! And the world speed-reading champion? 4,700 words per minute!  8-O

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After displaying the results, you have an option to keep going to see how long it would take you — if you read at the same pace — to read famous works of literature. For me, I could finish War and Peace in 9 hours and 10 minutes, The Lord of the Rings in 7 hours and 28 minutes, A Tale of Two Cities in 2 hours and 7 minutes, and The War of the Worlds in 57 minutes.

It even tells me how fast I can read the entire Bible: 12 hours and 8 minutes.

Like many tests and quizzes widely available on the web, this test and its results are certainly not life-changing. Nor would I imagine it to be valuable information to most people. But it is fun and interesting, at least to this lover of the written word. :-)  And I want to know if any of my readers score higher than me.  ;-)


It feels good to be back blogging. I’ll post a catch-up entry in the near future. 

8 Responses to “How Fast Can You Read?”

  1. cindy:

    Good to see you back at blogging!:)

  2. This is embarrassing, I thought my score would be better than it was! I got 410. But that’s about as fast as I can go and still comprehend what I’m reading.

  3. Wow! 1068 WPM is really fast. I’ve always been a fast reader,but only got 763 words per minute.

  4. Stacey:

    I got 974! I do read really fast. It drives my husband (who is a slower reader) NUTS.

  5. Sylvie:

    Good to see you back! I was just checking your blog to days ago and are happy to hear from you again (since I hope that it means you and your family are feeling better).

    BTW: I only scored a 450. I’m actually a pretty fast reader but probably only in German… need to find this test in a different language to see if i’m right ;-)

  6. Jennifer:

    Ooo I got 1087! But I’m a grad student so basically reading is my full time job. I’m sure without as much practice it would go down considerably.

  7. Thank you for giving me a way to geek out during my morning coffee :-)

    Hopping over from savespendsplurge’s blog roll.

  8. Rase:

    I got 1052 – thanks for linking this!

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