Read as fast as you are able to while still comprehending what you are reading. I can speed read, usually I skip around the paragraph to quickly grasp the point of it, but the more complex the writing, the slower I have to read. You have to be careful, it's easy to fall into the habit of speed reading and you can miss an important point.
There is speed reading and there is skimming. In skimming, you pick up the general sense of an article, but it is very general. Speed reading allows you to actually comprehend what you are reading, but do it much more quickly.
As to the stop sign, in fact, you do say stop in your head but you don't subvocalize it any longer. It's now symbolic recognition and many of the words that you read - such as the, and, but and their like, also become symbols. You gloss over them lightly because they aren't really germane to what you are reading.
Actually, I comprehend better when I speed read, if I'm reading for ideas. If I need tiny details, I first speed read, then go back to catch the details. If it's really challenging (Ph.D. or M.D. level material) I read it slowly, to try to understand each idea. That's the only time.
If by "speed reading" you mean not sounding out words in your head, yes, it usually improves comprehension.
There are some forms of speed reading where you train yourself not to follow the line of words with your eyes, but to try to see groups of words at a time. This can be very good for quickly getting the grasp of a news story, or going over instructions for how to put together a tool, but many people (I am one) find that later recollection of details really suffers.
The best way to look at reading speed is to think that it should depend on what you are reading and for what purpose.
Reading the paper or a detective novel, speed is good, so long as you're following the story. You won't be tested on the details a month later.
Reading difficult stuff with lots of facts in it for a class, you may want to slow down a bit and make sure the facts actually catch your interest and will stick in your mind.
Reading poetry, or a book with very beautiful language, you might want to slow down a lot, and even read some things to yourself out loud (or at least say the words in your head) to appreciate the music of the writing. I did this with some of the very beautifully written parts of Lord of the Rings, and really enjoyed it.
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