Faster Pussycat! Read! Read!

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Feb. 18 2000 9:30 PM

Faster Pussycat! Read! Read!

Can our reporter train himself to read as fast as the guy in the Guinness Book of Records?

The Slate Reading Test

* Can You Improve? 

(Continued from Page 2)

I don't think so. Reading at 1,000 wpm is really educated skimming, and what's more it's unpleasant, although I suppose that with some materials, reading every word can be worse. Also, it's very difficult to sustain without a lot of practice.

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And I kept worrying that I was missing something. Moreno has a clever tip for this: Make a quick mark in the margin so you won't feel a troublesome passage is gone forever, and then keep powering ahead. You can always go back later. Also, it's OK to miss things. Moreno likes to give her students texts with various words blacked out to prove they can still get the gist.

I could practice and practice to keep up 600 or even 1,000 wpm, but I'm happy cruising through vanilla prose at a nice laid-back 400 wpm. I'll chew on novels more slowly, I promise. As to Bloomsbury, nobody will read about it faster than me, because I won't read about it at all.