Reading Materials That Aren't Books to Practice Speed Reading
reading materials that aren't books

Reading Materials That Aren’t Books to Practice Speed Reading


reading materials that aren't books

When you hear the word “read,” what do you think of? For most people, novel, book, or work documents are what comes to mind. These are all great to practice speed reading while getting work or studying done. We encourage you to get creative with how you practice your speed reading skills with other types of reading material. Mix things up a bit and enjoy pieces of text like the ones you’ll find below.

Blogs and websites

You probably already subscribe to blogs and websites. If you haven’t already, you should! Hosting Tribunal estimates that there are more than 500 million blogs out of the 1.7 billion websites. Many have free-content to enjoy and learn about all sorts of subjects. Pick the ones that are wordy. This is an opportunity to catch up on the latest news in business, crafts, parenting, music, and more. It’s fascinating about all the topics people can find to blog about.

Magazines and newspapers

Support local journalists by purchasing a local newspaper or magazine. As much as we love blogs and websites, science proves that reading a physical copy of text is better for you. In a previous article, Science-Backed Reasons to Read a (Real) Book, we cited a study at Karlstad University in Sweden. They found that people absorb more information when they can see the material all on one page. The study also found that a person’s comprehension suffers when reading text on a screen due to having to scroll through the text and the light e-Readers omit. Even though you can read the same article online pertaining to your industry, you’re better off grabbing a physical copy to better absorb the information. 

Dictionaries and encyclopedias

In a guest post on the Meriam-Webster website, Jack Lynch is a professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark discusses great minds who read the dictionary cover to cover and why. “Many great writers have been great readers of reference books. Walt Whitman was ‘an avid reader of dictionaries, which he realized were the compost heap of all English-language literature, the place where all the elements of literature, broken down, were preserved. . . . The nation’s unwritten poems lay dormant in that massive heap of words.’” It certainly paid off as one can see in Whitman’s many works of art. Russian author Leo Tolstoy loved encyclopedias and read the Encyclopædia of Law for fun each morning. Nothing would be more challenging than speed reading about a subject you know nothing about.

Religious texts

Religious texts can be another “book” to read while taking a break from the latest New York Times bestseller list. In addition to utilizing these detailed texts for speed reading practice, this is also an opportunity to learn more about religion, either your own or exploring others’. The average word count in a few religious texts include:

  • 700,000 to 800,000 words in the Bible (depending on the version)
  • 300,000 words in the Tohra
  • 82,650 in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 
  • 77,000 words in the Quran 
  • 64,500 words in the Vedas 

If you estimate the reading length of the book and compare it to how quickly you can read, there is a possibility of reading one of the sacred texts in a day! 

Essays, dissertations, or theses

Student’s you’ll want to set the textbook aside for a moment and turn to a thesis or essay related to what you are studying. Popular thesis papers include: 

  • Marie Curie’s Researchers on Radioactive Substances 
  • Albert Einstein’s A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions, and more recently,
  • Social Media and Self-Evaluation: The Examination of Social Media Use on Identity, Social Comparison, and Self-Esteem in Young Female Adults by Michelle Solomon.

Another thought is to read a past essay or thesis that you’ve written yourself. You’re a better writer and researcher than you think!


Have your kids practice speed reading with a comic book! It would seem that there aren’t enough words in a comic book to justify it as practice material for speed reading, but you’d be surprised. Some comics are much wordier than others. Alan Moore, the author of Watchmen, The League of Extrodanry Gentlemen, and From Hell, is known to write comics with more words than usual. Similar to comic books, playrights are good practice too. Be sure that whatever comic book you choose has attractive photos, large print, and contains vocabulary suited for your child’s age group. How fun!

Put your speed reading skills to the test by enjoying other types of writing that aren’t your day-to-day material. Soon, you’ll find that speed reading is the only way you can read! Contact us to learn more about the benefits of speed reading and how our courses can keep your skills sharp and on point.

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