Posted by: Raws | February 19, 2011

On the Topic of Speed Reading

I’ve never been much of a speed-reader and from varies synopses of how to do it I’ve come to the conclusion speed-reading isn’t as in-depth as the way I read. Learning the technique seems to involve skimming and picking out key parts along the way. I was curious, so I looked it up on wiki. Here’s a snippet from the first paragraph outlining some of the techniques used;

‘…identifying words without focusing on each letter, not sounding out all words, not sub-vocalizing some phrases, or spending less time on some phrases than others, and skimming small sections…’

The reason I started thinking about the speed of my reading was because of all the books I want to read. As each day passes the pile gets bigger too. Today I bought two more books; one from an author I love and another from an established fantasy one. There are some books I’ll stop reading others for but at the moment I’m reading them in the order I bought them. There are some that need less concentration to read and I’ve started employing some of the techs above. So that’s what got me thinking about speed-reading; and then why not blog about it?

For me I usually act out the book in my head while reading but when I start “speed-reading” all goes blurry.  When I try “speed-reading” I get taken out of the story. May be I’m not doing it correctly? I have a cousin who read a Harry Potter book (one of the longer ones) in three hours. No plot points were lost either. Though, I can’t help but wonder if the fantasy world feel was lost on her.

I’m not saying I’m that slow of a reader, but it would be nice to finish some books quicker.  I find that when I start to speed up my reading I end up slowing down again at an interesting part. I only end up doing this with books I read for the story and not the writing techniques (literature?).  The ones I dissect for the juicy bits I enjoy.

Also, there are other books I want to prolong the inevitable ending to the novel. These are the ones I get obsessed with like The Kingkiller Chronicle or Terry Pratchett novels etc. I devour my favorites but I never “speed-read” them.

So is it good to speed-read a novel of fiction? Like some sort of textbook for school? At times I feel like it’s a contest. But I think it’s okay as long as you enjoyed reading whatever you read. As for me, I like to imagine a book’s events taking place in my mind.  Now if only I could figure out the fast forward button in there.

This has been brought to you by my new section; On the Topic…


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