I’m not much of a bookworm, I read the occasional article online now and again. I think the main reason for this is the pace in which I read, so I don’t allocate any time for reading and therefore never learn to read faster. A classic vicious circle.
If any of this sounds like you then you are probably going to enjoy Spritz.
Spritz is a nifty way to power through text by blasting the content straight into your eyes. It does this by flashing the words one by one in a small window centering words around the character that your eye naturally focuses on when you read them. For example, if Spritz were to display the word “Habitual” it would focus on the character “b”. This allows you to read faster because your eyes do not have to move and focus on the most important character manually and you are not distracted by other surrounding lines of text. You also have the option to set the speed you read at in words per minute, so you can steadily improve how fast you read at your own pace.
Now Spritz itself is not an application, but an engine available to developers for use in their own applications. I will go over a few I have found that may interest you, but there are many more out there even for mobile devices and smart watches, which is where Spritz really shines due to the small screen sizes.
After installing the Readline extension in the Google Chrome browser, you can highlight any text on any webpage, right click and select “start readline”. After some processing the Spritz window appears and you are now reading faster than ever, try it out on this article. Want to turn up the speed? right clicking on the Readline icon in your toolbar allows you to access the options where you can set the speed the words appear onscreen. There are also other setting such as changing the font and font size.
Visit the Spritz my PDF website and upload a PDF file to have it loaded into Spritz for faster viewing, great for steaming through those annoying project proposals. Also, most books are now available as eBooks which can easily be converted to PDF for use with Spritz my PDF. The only downfall is the lack of controls for pausing or rewinding which could hinder your reading experience. Let me know in the comments if you find any better alternatives.
You can definitely expect to see a habit using Spritz to read faster in Habitual when the beta is launched within the productivity category. This will give us a chance to test it against other speed reading habits submitted by the community.