If you're challenging yourself to become a speed reader, you may be curious to know how you compare to others in the speed-reading department. (And who wouldn't be?) Roughly speaking, readers fall into these categories where speed is concerned:

  • 1 to 200 WPM (words per minute): You're a talker. You read one word at a time at about the same speed as you talk and you may move your lips when you read. Most talkers are held back because they engage in vocalization while they read — they speak the words silently to themselves as they read them. Unless you're an especially fast talker, reading at the speed you talk slows you down.

  • 200 to 300 WPM: You're an average reader, one who probably doesn't enjoy reading as a hobby. You engage in some vocalization as you read, but you can read several words at once. Most people read at this speed.

  • 300 to 700 WPM: You're an above average reader who can read groups of words in a single glance, recognizing and reading phrases in sentences quickly. You vocalize a little when you read. You very likely have a large vocabulary.

  • 700+ WPM: You're a speed reader. You're adept at reading 10 to 16 words at a glance, both horizontally and vertically on the page. You read with a great degree of confidence and agility.

So if you read 700 or more words per minute, take the rest of the day off. You don't need speed-reading lessons — you're already a fast reader.