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Extensive reading and reading speed


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Regarding reading speed - the 250 cpm is for conversing, right? In my mind if you are reading out loud, like I am (making sure I don't cheat on pronunciation, haha), this is a good number to compare to. I'm at around 80 cpm now, and I'm shooting for half native speed, or 125. But people normally read silently at about 50% faster than they speak. So I'm wondering - do you guys read silently, out loud, or some combo? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update on reading speed


I've read a cumulative of 1.7 million characters since April 2nd 2021. Here is how I proceeded:

  • started with graded readers (Rainbow Bridge and Mandarin Companion)
  • translated children's books (Winnie the Pooh, Roald Dahl)
  • native children's / young adult fiction (曹文轩,夏正正,孙幼军,张天翼著)
  • and now native adult fiction (余华 novels and short stories,刘慈欣 short stories, 紫金陈's King of Reason i.e. bad kids trilogy)


Note the reading speed also includes time looking up words (Pleco dictionary) and translating occasional sentences. Recently I have been trying monolingual dictionaries which also slow my CPM.


Tracking my reading speed was a really important motivator in the beginning, now its more or less a habit and something I do to share with others.  I plan to continue tracking at least until I hit 10+ million plus or when I start reading paper books, whichever comes first. These days my interests have shifted to exploring native Chinese literature, discovering new authors, building and working through my reading list.


Cheers and happy reading!


2023-01-14 reading speed.png

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