Slow Down, Speed Reading Enthusiasts


Last week, we talked about the new speed reading app Spritz, which promises to have us reading faster than we ever thought possible. As it turns out, it may not be possible after all—or so argues this article up at The Atlantic. Most research concludes that “as speed increases, comprehension deteriorates.” And why are we in such a hurry? From the article:

I could see myself Spritzing through a tedious-yet-necessary white paper, say, or some nonessential emails. But much of the press coverage has emphasized that Spritz users would be able to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in just 77 minutes or The Bible in 13 hours. I’m sure that’s technically possible—and it sure would add a little zip to all those ‘begats’— but I’m not certain it’s ideal.


Marisa Siegel lives, writes, & edits in Evanston, IL. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Mills College in Oakland, CA. Her essay “Inherited Anger” appears in the anthology Burn It Down (Seal Press, 2019) & her debut poetry chapbook, Fixed Stars, is out now from Burrow Press. Poems have recently appeared or are soon forthcoming in Voicemail Poems, Hobart, Autofocus, & Sweet: A Literary Confection. She is senior acquiring editor for trade at Northwestern University Press, & editor-at-large for The Rumpus. Follow her on Twitter at @marisasaystweet & on Instagram at @marisaemily. More from this author →