I’ve seen a lot of skepticism and etc on this topic, so I wanted to comment. I have personally met two natural speed readers in my life(natural meaning have always done so, never had to be taught). Both of them are of unusually high intelligence, though I haven’t concluded that intelligence is the sole cause, or even has anything to do with it. I suppose it could be coincidence. Anyway, I have witnessed proof that their speed reading is real. One of them tested at 1149 WPM, and the other at 1369 WPM. In order to ensure it was real, I personally wrote out of body of text that was around 1100 words, so that I knew they had never read it before. I read with them side by side to compare reading speeds. Both of them finished in under a minute, while it took me around 5 minutes to finish. I made sure they put down the text as to not continue reading after claiming to have finished. They both had 100% comprehension, and both also comprehend far more efficiently than most people. In fact, one of them is a musician, and she can read a lyric sheet once and never have to read it again. She remembers the first time and never forgets.
Due to this personally witnessed information, I conclude that true speed readers read at 1000+ WPM. The only thing I cannot conclude is what gives the ability. It seems strange to think that someone naturally does this without instruction, does it not? Neither of them could conclusively explain how they do it, but were able to give me clues. Both of them said the same things though. I think the best explanation I got was when one of them told me that they see one or two sentences all in one shot, and take it all in at once, instead of one or a few words at a time. She said to think of it like seeing a prohibition sign, like a circle with a line through it. A sign like this has many different parts that make up the picture, but one doesn’t look at each part in order to interpret its meaning. They see the sign and just know what it means all at once. An example she gave was the sentence “I love you.” She said imagine not seeing three words, but instead seeing a heart. Seeing a heart would be much faster than seeing three words. Obviously that is an overly simplistic example that would roughly be incompatible with the concept of taking in entire sentences the same way, but it’s similar nonetheless. I have watched her read two and three sentences in one glance and tell me word for word what they said. One glance meaning one millisecond. Speed reading is real, even if you don’t understand how it is possible.