I’ve been following a chronological Bible reading plan for a while now and working my way through the first several books of the Old Testament with some Psalms thrown in when they are relevant. For instance, Psalm 8 fits near creation.
Yesterday I had an idea and I’ve now changed the way I’m reading the Bible each day - at least, temporarily. I’m experimenting with a speed reading technique called “rapid serial visual presentation” or RSVP. Not the best acronym choice but the technique has been around for four decades (since 1976) so I guess we’re stuck.
Here’s why RSVP is so interesting from Wikipedia:
The unique method used by RSVP allows for the reading of unlimited text in a limited position. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon have found that as many as 12 words per second are readable in controlled situations (720wpm). Further research has shown that for shorter pieces of text, RSVP formats increased reading speed by 33% with no significant differences in comprehension or task load.
I’ve wanted to try this out for a while and recently learned that Amazon just put the technology in their Kindle apps! This is great news for those of us who haven’t quite mastered reading a paragraph in an instant like FDR.
Be sure to check out the video at Amazon.com to see how this works. Two things I hope they will add in the future: 1) the ability to flash more than one word at a time, 2) the ability to go over 900 words per minute. Not that I’ll get there any time soon, but some have supposedly reached speeds of 1,200 or even 2,500 words per minute!
Obviously, this method won’t replace my serious study times. Pouring over the original languages, cross referencing, and seeking wisdom in God’s word isn’t exactly made for speed reading. But for daily reading of scripture for personal devotion and spiritual refreshment, this may work well - especially if the claims regarding identical comprehension are true!