It makes sense that we would all like to read more quickly than we actually do. There will always be more information out there that we would like to know, more books to be read. One solution to this is to read more quickly. The question is, to what extent is this possible?
As with any human activity, people will have a range of abilities. Some will naturally read faster and understand more of what they read than others. However, with training it is possible to increase reading speeds.
In speed reading competitions people are tested to see how quickly they can read an unfamiliar passage and are then questioned on it to see how much of it they have understood. In these competitions reading speeds of between 2,000 and 3,000 words per minute with comprehension are often recorded. This is about five to eight pages of a novel. The physiology of the eye suggests that it is unlikely that we can read much faster. However, given that most people only read at 200 to 400 words per minute, increasing your reading speed to even 1,000 words per minute (3 pages) would be a huge improvement.