Sunday, June 19, 2011

Roosevelt the speed reader

In the Wikipedia entry on Teddy Roosevelt, the following line appears: Roosevelt was also an avid reader, reading tens of thousands of books, at a rate of several a day in multiple languages.

I'd checked up on his biography because in a tweet that came through an hour ago the writer stated: Teddy Roosevelt wrote 150,000 letters in the White House - and read 1-3 books PER DAY as president.

The 150,000 letters while in the White House seems a common statement about Roosevelt, but 1-3 books a day let alone several a day in multiple languages seems to be pushing the bar just a little far...

There's no doubt the man had extraordinary energy, (it sounds in fact as though he was on some kind of hgh) and it's possible that in his time as President, the job wasn't quite so pressured as it is now, but that many books a day? To what extent was he skimming them? And when did he actually find the time to read that much? A person without a job would be doing well to get through that many books a day.

Does it sound as though I'm a little skeptical? I'd really like to have some more detail about this amazing ability to speed read.
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