Who doesn't want to read faster? Sadly, if you do a Google search for "speed reading," a lot of the sites that come up either try to sell you very expensive software or feel like a scam. Currently, however, Apple is featuring QuickReader in its iTunes store, which brings a much-needed breath of fresh air to the world of speed reading apps. At its core, QuickReader is a fully featured e-reader app with a connection to Feedbooks, but the app is also a great tool for learning to increase your reading speed.

While there are already quite a few speed reading apps for the iPhone, most of them tend to offer a very limited number of books (or expect you to copy and paste text from other sites) and often only flash word at you instead of helping you to read regular books and articles faster. QuickReader's approach is different. Instead of flashing words at you at a set speed - which can quickly become very tiring - the app displays a whole page of text and then gives you visual guidance that drives you to read faster (the app supports speeds up to 4000 words per minute) and avoid excessive subvocalization.

Besides the basic e-reader features (change font, font size, page and text color), QuickReader also allows you to test your current reading speed and share your accomplishments on Twitter and Facebook.

Getting Books

QuickReader allows you to download books from Feedbooks.com and thanks to its support for the increasingly popular OPDS e-books catalog standard, you can also add books from a number of other vendors as well. You can also copy and paste text from other iPhone apps. Sadly, thanks to the DRM-issues that are still plaguing the e-book world, you can't use the app to read books from vendors like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Pricing

QuickReader comes in a free edition with just a few books and without the ability to download more, as well as in a number of paid editions for $5.99, including three international editions that come pre-loaded with books in German, French or Spanish.

iPad Version Coming Soon

As Patrick Thompson, the app's developer, told us last week, he is also working on an iPad version of the app, which should be available later this summer. He also plans to make it easier for users to import DRM-free ePub texts.