I Speed-Read A Novel In 60 Minutes

Speed-Read A Novel - The Secret Garden

Do you ever challenge yourself to something completely random, just to see if you can do it? Yea, maybe that’s just me. Well, anyway, my latest challenge for myself was to see how quickly I could speed-read a novel.

If you have seen some of my other “Challenge Posts”, you probably know this is pretty typical for me. For example, my “I Only Drank Water For One Week” challenge, or  my “No Technology After 10pm” challenge or my “Waking Up Early for One Week” challenge. Check those out if you’re interested.

For this challenge, I decided to go to my bookshelf, choose a book I had never read, and speed-read the novel as quick as I possibly could in one sitting.

The book I ended up choosing was a classic that I’ve been wanting to read for a while called “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Since this book is young adult fiction, it is made to be an easy read, and even though it has 178 pages, the font is fairly large.

As I was home for a visit at the time, I told my parents (kindly) not to bother me because I was speed-reading a novel as fast as I could. They are used to me doing such things, so they left me to my own devices and off I went to read The Secret Garden.

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speed-read a novel - The Secret Garden

Before I started, I got the book ready and set my timer on my phone as I opened to the first page. I proceeded to speed-read the novel as fast as I could.

I still don’t really know why I’m telling you this, but alas, I digress.

I managed to finish The Secret Garden from start to finish in EXACTLY one hour. Not a minute more, or less. Which I thought was pretty darn neat.

Now, usually it takes me a really long time to read a book because I take time to contemplate every line and paragraph. I am quite the dreamer so usually I end up re-reading sections multiple times, squeezing out every bit of nuance I can find.

So, I figured I would test to see if when I speed-read a novel, I can still get the whole story out of it, and do all my contemplating after the fact. I will say, it went better than expected, and I think in the future I will try to read a bit faster to be more efficient, and do my dreaming later.


Have you ever tried to speed-read a novel? If so, what did you think of the experience and did you get everything out of the book you wanted? Do you prefer to read slowly and stew on every paragraph, like I am used to doing? Let me know in the comments below!

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