Speed Reading is a Scam!

…but not how you think it is.

Daniel Wieser 🔥
5 min readMay 16, 2024


Ten years back I did a speed reading test and scored over 800 words per minute. Quite an achievement if you think of it — the average reading rate is 150 words per minutes up to 200. Then I did another test online and scored over 1000 words per minute.

Clearly, the sky is the limit…

All of that is wonderful and sounds too good to be true but in fact it is not. I am, today, still speed reading, and it helps me a lot with learning. I am not finished faster with reading a text, I read it more often in the same time as any other person would read it.

This means, I can digest it more often and remember it more easily.

Not only that, I will understand it better at the end because I can spend more time reading the paragraphs which I did not understand so well at the beginning.

When I was at university some time ago — I am still studying, just somewhere else — the lecturer asked us to give a short summary of a text that we had to read as a homework. Not only was I flabbergasted, I was also bamboozled and seriously surprised.

I totally forgot to do the homework…

Anyway, I asked her to give me five minutes so I could read the ten pages with around 500 words each and give the summary she wanted. Of course, she was skeptical, but I took five minutes of her lecture time and gave the summary afterwards.

I could answer every question she asked me about the text — okay, one question I could not answer, but I took another ten seconds to find the answer in the text.

So when everything is working so well, what’s the actual scam?

It does not work right away

You have to practice over and over again.

You have to use this skill every day to increase your reading speed. I thought it was a total scam because I could not speed read with 800 words right when I started.

Nobody told me that it would take years of practice!

I just wanted to digest one speed reading book and then be able to speed read with 800 wpm or more right from the start.

It did not work.

I gave up.

And so do most people.

I remember I bought every speed reading book I could get. I practiced every day. I moved from 100 wpm to 300 wpm quite fast. I must admit, I was a very slow reader at the beginning…

It wasn’t much but I kept going. After some years (5+) of practice I took a speed reading test (offline) which was monitored and achieved up to 813 Wpm.

Now I laugh at everyone who thinks

speed reading is a scam.

You can’t change their attitude.

So is it a scam or not?

Clearly, there must be something fishy when it comes to speed reading and I want to show it here. I want you to be very clear about the following information that I am giving to you.

Are you ready?

Speed reading is not a scam because it does not work. In fact, it works quite well. It works so well, that you could read many many books in a short time. And this is what people actually do! They read many books and finally they achieve …


It is the same when reading online on Medium. They read a lot of articles and then they learned … nothing. The beauty here lies in the paradox of commodity fetishism in the very form of pathological self-reflection — I am doing myself a favor by reading so much, I am very productive by doing so — which results in a mere abstract and potentially perverted form of self-improvement.

Because nothing is learned and nothing is improved.

Instead, one explores the infinite amount of data with no end in sight, a great weakness which perpetuates itself not into an extension of oneself, but an ideological image of what is meant to be achieved. This results into further imprisonment of the reader into a mere metaphor, a substitute for the actual learning. Instead of focusing on the output — that is to say, having learned something — the focus is on the input, but merely the amount of input, not necessarily the quality of input.

Focus on Output instead

I understand the general notion that is often communicated within this platform:

If you cannot apply it, it is not worth reading.

This results in a rather short-term thinking where only the books are read one can instantly apply into their lives, that is self-help books and so on. But this takes away the possibility to read more complex theory, something that cannot instantly be applied, but which needs focused study for a rather longer period of time.

Maybe we should not focus on application, but rather on something different which I call Output. And this output is, to put it very simply, a big idea. An achievement, usually in a scientific field, if you dare to try.

The absolute central core of this philosophy does not lie in the application of theory, but rather in the transformation of existing theory into new theory — a creation of new ideas, constructive solutions to already existing problems or maybe some, which are not yet existing.

A very important factor in shaping our society today, is not blind action, but careful consideration, thoughts, thinking more deeply about a subject than anyone else did before, then writing about it and hopefully coming to better conclusions than the rest of us.

So, yes, speed reading is a scam, because it makes you believe that reading books is all there is and there is nothing else to do — just reading books until the end of times. But this is not the case. In fact, this is just the beginning…

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
– Ecclesiastes, 12:12

We need YOU to write your book

Now I want you to personally thank you for reading this whole article.

If you did, you have made quite the effort.

Now it’s time to write your book.

Your book lives on even after your death. We are not immortal but our works can be for us. It may sound selfish, but this may be the best chance to help more people without your own doing that there is.

Books are an ingenious way of organizing your thoughts on a particular topic. You can sort, reference, paraphrase, or publish a collection of all this as a book.There are no guidelines as to what a book should look like if it serves a purpose for you.

Your knowledge can be of great benefit to other people.All you have to do is share it with them.Do you have some brilliant ideas or have you found something out? Write about it and help people. There are so many who need your help.

Moral of the story: Write your book.

🔥 Genius Mastermind is a persona that is still being developed. More things need to be learned, more books need to be written. Follow for more articles on Book Writing and how to write your own book.

📚 Books:
📕 The Secrets to Learn Any Language
📘 Speed Reading Genius
📗 Why Everything You know About Making Money Is Wrong



Daniel Wieser 🔥

http://www.danielwieser.com Genius Mastermind 📚 Wrote a lot of books just for fun | ASD | Writes about writing books, technology, AI, ChatGPT.