This is a post by FlowReader’s Product Owner, Zee Kulsariyeva. 

image of social reading

Created by Zee Kulsariyeva

When people use the term “social reading”, I have one very clear memory that comes to mind.

My freshman year, the department of rare books at my university’s library. I’m in my favorite spot across from the door to the garden, exposed to a gentle May breeze, hiding to avoid having to interact with anyone. I’m calm and happy. I’m reading.

Ironically, I’ve always been adept at asocial reading.

But, I’m all grown up now and there’s this thing called social media. Reading no longer solely revolves around printed word anymore, and it requires (and trains) more than just reading comprehension. For instance, it also builds up your computer literacy skills.

I’ve guesstimated my own reading activity during the day. I spend about 10 hours in front of my devices. During this time, I’m generally socially available and active (at least digitally :D).

I’m a fast reader, but I do have the awful habit of scanning. Not a total surprise, as Elle has pointed out before scanning is the new reading.

Here’s a rough breakdown of my reading stats:

  • 7 hours of work
  • 3 hours of social media activity
  • 2/3 of this time is spent reading
  • 1/3 of this time is spent writing (hey, I’m an introvert)
  • Average reading speed: 300 words per minute

So, according to my calculations:

300 (words per minute) * 60 (minutes per hour) * 2 (hours of reading) = I read 36,000 words per day

social reading equation

I read 36,000 words per day!

And the number of printed words read on a usual day? Close to zero.

I’m still a passionate reader, but I almost never read printed books anymore (and the ones I do read are typically non-fiction).

What’s important to consider here is the way I read my 36 thousand (yes, thousand!) words every day. I don’t read silently, on my own. Gone are the quiet reading habits of my university days.

In fact, I couldn’t be louder if I tried.

I cite e-books I’m currently reading, I comment on articles (hey, it’s reading!), I share or like statuses (yep, still reading), and I share whatever I find relevant to my professional profile on LinkedIn. When I’m reading, I’m constantly being exposed to social interaction.

My friends react to my reactions, my reading activity can be tracked or followed – quantified. This is social reading, completely redefined.

There are a plethora of various tools and places that spread my meta-reading activity, but not a single place or service. So, what would  the ideal solution for (and others like me) look like? Good question.

This is the question our team is constantly evaluating and trying to answer.


Zee Kulsariyeva is the product owner and UX designer at FlowReader. Her favorite party trick: She can name and differentiate between 30-50 shades of green. Check out more of her work at www.80211.cc.


How many words do you read a day? Are you more of a social reader or do you still read print?

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