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Overview

Speed reading, or the act of training your eyes and brain to read quickly, has always been a goal of mine. I suspect many of you out there have also had the same goal. I mean who wouldn’t want to read faster? The amount of information thrown at us on a daily basis has increased dramatically, while the time we have to digest that very same information has decreased. You guys feelin’ me here?

So, all that got me to thinking about how I can address my need to consume information with the limited time in my schedule. The options are pretty lame. I mean it’s inconvenient to take a speed reading course at a community college or online, I don’t have time to read a book on the subject and using a speed reading application on my computer is out of the question. So, what do I do?

Inkstone Software, Inc. may have come up with a solution called, QuickReader – The Speed Reading eBook Reader. QuickReader is the first speed reading trainer in the App Store. All I have to say is, “What took so darn long?” and “Line up for your kisses Inkstone!”  Mobile Photo Dec 3, 2009 15 20 26

Before I get all crazy I need to tell you that QuickReader is an impressive eBook reader that also functions as a speed reading trainer. How does it do that? Well, QuickReader uses a guided reading technique to help you increase your reading speed over time. QuickReader attempts to help you build speed reading skills by providing you with:

  • The convenience of being able to practice just about anywhere.
  • The proper measuring tool so you can access your current reading speed.
  • The ability to train with consistent Words Per Minute (WPM) guiding.
  • The ability to practice eye scanning or tracking level.
  • The ability to change the WPM speed on the fly during your training.

But, before I get too deep, let’s talk about the features and then I will dive into how it works.

Features

This review was hard for me to write, mainly because I couldn’t figure out where to begin since there are so many features. QuickReader is chock-full of features, which helps you tailor the tools provided to build your speed reading skills.  QuickReader’s mobile speed reading software makes it possible for you to:

  • Read at a consistent WPM speed
  • Focus your attention on larger groups of words or lines
  • Practice anywhere, anytime and pick up where you left off

Mobile Photo Dec 3, 2009 15 20 40I love apps that allow you to customize lots of stuff and QuickReader does just that. I also love apps that provide the settings inside the app rather than through the iPhone or iPod Touch settings page. The customizable components in are well designed and really enhance your ability to use the trainer the way you want for maximum skill absorption. The customizable components include:

  • Guide styles, colors, and sizes
  • Guided reading speeds ranging from 100 up to 2,000 WPM
  • Screen rotation lockdown
  • Landscape mode
  • Font type and size
  • Line spacing
  • Return to last place on at launch

I know you’re blown away, but wait, there’s more! You can also customize the look and feel of the reader quickly with one of the many color schemes.  Now, I’ve just given you the features included with QuickReader, but still haven’t told you about the 21 full-length classic books that are included. Here is a short list that includes my favorites.

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • A Room with a View
  • The Secret Garden
  • A Tale of Two Cities

Mobile Photo Dec 3, 2009 15 20 54QuickReader also includes a small book called, QuickReader User Guide and Speed Reading Tips. You really need to read it in order to get the most out of the app.   To view the entire list of books click here.

Alright, let me tell you briefly how QuickReader works. When you first launch you have the option to read an eBook in a normal fashion, do some guided reading, customize settings, or take a speed test.

My suggestion would be that you read the QuickReader User Guide in normal mode first.   Then customize the font settings to best accommodate your vision.  Next, take a speed test to determine your current reading speed.  I wouldn’t suggest using the QuickReader User Guide for your speed test if you read it first, because that is cheating ladies and gentlemen.

After your first speed test adjust your settings as necessary and then start practicing your speed reading with the guided reading feature using one of the classic book selections. You will want to adjust your guided reading settings for practice as you move forward but they explain all of that in the user guide.

The Breakdown

Phew, I feel like I need a martini after all that. But, before I do, let me break QuickReader down for you. You know, give you the skinny on “The Good “and “The Bad” on QuickReader – The Speed Reading eBook Reader in a nice tight package.

The Good

QuickReader will actually teach you a marketable skill if you put the time in. What’s not to love about that? The UI is “fab-boo”, basically I’m saying it is fabulous.  Some of you may look at it and say that it isn’t all that. But, Inkstone Software, Inc. took great pains to nail it and they did. I’ll give you an example, in QuickReader you tap on the left side to navigate back a page and you tap the right to go forward a page. I bet you’re thinking that I would have liked to see the iPhone and iPod Touch swipe motion as a navigational tool.  But, you’d be wrong. Why? Because swiping actually detracts from your eye tracking the words.  A swipe motion would actually slow you down. See what I’m sayin’? Inkstone Software, Inc. designed the heck out of QuickReader and they thought of just about everything and that is “All Good.”

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The Bad

These aren’t bad items, but there are features that I would like to see in future updates to QuickReader – The Speed Reading eBook Reader:

  • I’d like the ability to hide or delete books I don’t like.
  • I hope they provide additional book offerings.
  • I’d love to be able to import books and PDF documents somehow.
  • It would be beneficial if Inkstone Software, Inc. added some eye tracking exercises or games.

But, as it is, QuickReader is well worth the introductory $4.99 price tag.

The Comparison

QuickReader – The Speed Reading eBook Reader is the first of its kind in the App Store.  As a part of my research I tested some speed reading apps on my PC.  What I noticed is that the full blown PC applications that cost WAY more than $4.99 don’t even come close to the functionality of QuickReader.  As a matter of fact, one I tried was so bad I uninstalled it after 20 minutes.  Mobile Photo Dec 3, 2009 15 54 57

The Verdict

At first I was hesitant about QuickReader, I readily admit that.  Don’t get me wrong, my hesitation isn’t with QuickReader,  it is with my dedication to give it a good ole’ college try.  Because for QuickReader to work, you have to use it in order to reap the rewards.  But, I decided to give it another try, and with some additional research, I have to say I love it. I love QuickReader so much that I deleted all my games so it was my only “go to” app for recreation. Why am I taking that drastic step?  To be honest, I’m tired of skimming emails due to lack of time and then going to meetings and looking like a complete idiot because I’m not “in the know” about what’s happening on the project. I want to put in the time to build my speed reading skills.

The bottom line is if you have always wanted to build speed reading skills QuickReader is the app for you.  If you are hesitant about purchasing QuickReader then Inkstone Software, Inc. has provided a free lite version.  Use it and if you really feel you need to build some speed reading skills go ahead and pull the trigger on the full version. You won’t regret it if you actually put the time in to it to make it work.