Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
I found on the internet that the average reading speed is 200–250 words per minute in non-technical material–about 2 minutes per single-spaced page. In technical and scientific material, the average reading rate is approx. 50–75 words per minute–roughly 5–6 minutes per page.
Go ahead and test your reading speed and post it as a comment. Probably the easiest and most accurate way to do this would be to copy/paste some of our blog material into a Word document and set the timer for one minute. I’m pretty sure our blog would be classified as non-technical reading. Read as much as you can in a minute and then highlight what you read and use the word count tool to see how many words you read in that minute. We can compare reading speeds! 🙂 I’ll post mine too!
The benefits of reading…
Reading is relaxing! It helps you lose stress and also puts stressful things out of your mind. You’re able to get involved in a story that’s not your own, directing your attention and emotions toward something less personal and stressing.
Reading makes you smarter. Reading is a way to expand vocabulary, and it’s also a way to learn about things beyond your own walk of life. Through experiencing life via a character’s eyes, you can learn empathy and gain understanding for people who are going through situations similar to the character’s. The same is true for nonfiction projects. You learn about experiences beyond yours, and you can see how other people have dealt with real-life situations.
Reading keeps you informed. When we read the Books & Such blog, magazines, newspapers, and books, we’re learning about the publishing industry, world events, national events, historical events, and much more. Of course particular genres of books inform best in these different areas: biography, historical fiction, history books, text books, satire, etc. Some examples are: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama; I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert; and Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter.
Reading is FUN! It’s one of the things I enjoy the most, and I know I’m not alone in that. I sometimes take mini-vacations (not from work, but from home and responsibilities) so that I can enjoy a book without interruptions.
Have you ever planned an escape from life to read a good book? Thought so.
Reading helps you write. Through extensive reading you pick up grammar techniques, you learn how to use different sentence structures, you learn about point-of-view, and you learn how to write effectively–getting your point across without losing your audience. When you read a lot, you gain the ability to pick out good writing and bad writing. This ability will help you notice if you’re making the common errors you see in the bad writing you’ve encountered, and through that you’ll improve your skills. Plus, you could always read books on writing and grammar like those listed on the Books & Such recommended reading page.
Why do you read? And don’t forget to test your reading speed!