A message to the speed reader

Oh you who prides himself in flipping all the pages, from cover to cover, as quickly as your hands can move, your satisfaction does not compare to he who reads the book!

On my way to becoming a more accomplished reader and keeping to my resolution of reading more classics, I was leisurely reading and enjoying the literary wonders of Jane Eyre, when my impatient mother commented on the speed of my reading. My pace was not slow, she simply wanted me to return her Kindle and no speed would have been fast enough.

She, as are many others, is a speed reader and can go through many books in a week, although she isn’t the most boastful and competitive I know. Others will race each other to complete a book in the least amount of time and compare and criticise those who read at human speed, holding them in contempt and fancying themselves superior. However, how much of it do they actually read? Do they understand, process, ponder and savour the actual words or do they just move along the letters in a mechanical fashion?

I am not a slow reader but sometimes, after a particularly powerful line or paragraph, I like to move back a moment and think, imagine myself in the character’s position, guess what will hapen next and even read over it because I appreciated the words so much. How could you do that if you just skim through it?

So, here’s a message to the speed reader and precisely what I told my mother:

“If you swallow it, you will not taste it.”

What is your opinion on speed reading? Is it something you do yourself?

8 thoughts on “A message to the speed reader

  1. Ughh, I’m so glad you brought this up! Two of my friends are really speedy readers, and another one read the last Harry Potter book in a day. I just don’t understand how you can completely take in all the details of the author’s world if you speed though it, I know I can’t anyway. I don’t really understand whether they just pay less attention, or whether their brain can just process it quicker?
    I wouldn’t say I was a really slow reader, I’m probably about average. But I kind of wish I was a faster reader, there are so many great books in the world and I want to be able to read all of them! 🙂

  2. I’m not at all boastful, but my brother calls me a speed reader. I don’t consider myself to be one though! I savour everything going on, on each page. I also do pop back and read whole paragraphs again if they’ve particularly caught my eye! I thoroughly enjoy the whole book, but I don’t think we can necessarily catagorize everyone into specific groups! On a related note, do you keep a book of books? I have been doing this for a few years and enjoy looking back over the few lines of synopsis. Guess what, my brother thinks this is geeky too! Read at your own speed, but maybe your own kindle or even perhaps a real book? (sorry, not sold on the kindle thing yet!)

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