Friday, September 3, 2010

S is for Speed

If you've been following my blog for the past, oh, couple weeks at least, you've probably noticed that in my reviews I include my Approximate Reading Time for each book. And, if you've paid attention to any of my times, you've probably caught on that I'm not the speediest of readers.

Sure, I can usually finish a book in a night, two if it's longer or more complex, but I'm not what I'd call a speed-reader. My mom, for example, can finish a 300pg romance in a couple hours (with the TV on). I'd clock my own speed at about...double read-aloud speed. Pretty slow, yeah. But I was quite content with my own speed for a long time.

Then I entered college...and had 4-5 classes all expecting tons of reading. One of my lit classes actually expected an entire classic book (think As the Sun Rises, or Absalom, Absalom) read in a week. Now I wished I could read faster. But, even with the professor's encouragement that 'skimming is okay,' I could never do it.

Skimming a book is like watching a movie on mute. Sure, you get the gist of things, but there's a whole other level of depth that you're missing out on. The mood, the environment, the tension... I can't ever reach that when I skim.

Suffice it to say, I fell behind a lot in class readings.

Now that I read on my own time, a part of me still wishes that I could blaze through a book in a couple hours. There's so much else I want to do—want to read—that being able to read and review a book before midnight would be great!

And yet...I've found that my slower pace affords me a few perks too. For one, there's that mood thing I talked about earlier. Sometimes the pacing of a book is breakneck on its own, and other times it's slow and sensual—I like being able to tell the difference. For another, I actually remember just about everything I read. My mom, on the other hand, can barely name the characters of some of the books she reads (and not out of complexity, either).

So, I guess I can't crank out a book review every day or two (or not even once a week [lately]). And, I guess my Approximate Reading Times might be off... But at least I'm enjoying myself!

Alright, how fast do you read? Are you a skimmer? Or do you savor each and every word?

Some S Books I've Read:

A Spiritual S Group:

The S Font: