Hello lovely bookworms! 😛
Let’s not kid ourselves here. We all wished to be able to read a lot faster. With a TBR that grows at an exponential rate while our currently reading book is taking a decade to go through, it’s no surprise that we’ve contemplated the idea of having super speed-reading powers.
I’ve always personally seen myself as an incredibly slow reader. I’ve never been able to finish a 200 page novel in a single sitting or even in a day, but life has put in front of me people who are able to go through a 1000 pages in a blink of an eye. Young, I strongly avoided comparing my reading speed to anyone and everyone. Instead of having a high reading speed, I’d use more of my time per day to go through more chapters than another, faster, reader would. You see my compensating strategy there?
However, you must also see that with adulthood, time becomes precious and the difference between a fast and slow reader becomes more and more obvious. As much as I’d love to sit at home, lay down and go through a legit 300 page novel, I’ll know beforehand that I’m going to needing a lot of time to go through a certain number of pages, every time. Sure. Some books are so good that certain events get your eyes speeding through every sentence faster and faster. But, in overall, the average time I’m going to spend for every 25 pages read will be the same. How annoying is it when you know that that other person, right next to you, could go through the same 25 pages in a tenth of the time you’d need. How agonizing is it to know that if you had the same reading speed as that person, you could be reading so many more books in a year, month, week and even day.
Then again, this wouldn’t be much of a discussion if there wasn’t something to ponder, right? That’s right. While my reading speed might be a lot slower than someone else’s, does that necessarily mean that I should wish for a miraculous lightning to strike me and make me the fastest reader alive? I once contemplated the idea of learning how to read faster, to get my eyes moving side to side faster, and to assimilate more information in shorter time. But the more I think about it, the less ashamed I am of my reading speed.
I see my reading speed as ideal for my own self. With my slower pace, I feel like I can absorb an information, extract that very content, examine every side of it and then put it back into the puzzle. They say that the more you read, the faster you get until you reach a certain peak. They also say that the younger you start, the higher that peak will be later on in life. While I believe I’m close to reaching my peak and that the odds that I’ll ever get naturally faster at reading are slim, I’m glad that I even have a certain rhythm. In fact, my younger self might have tried to compensate speed by consuming more time, but my older self has learned that time management can bring you to further places. This is how I’ve come to realize that I shouldn’t expect myself to see any major improvements to my reading speed because, in the end, it all came down to how much you read as a kid and how much you’ve maintained—and ameliorated—it till your adulthood.
Does that mean that people who have faster reading speed might be missing a lot clues along their read? Who knows. There’s no way for me to know what glues onto their memory and what just rolls off it. But I’m pretty sure that every person who naturally reads fast probably understands and gets the gist of a book. Is this to say that slow readers are better than fast readers? Absolutely not. I‘m not going to go looking for some scientific proof of such a thing. I’ll however say that most people who take the time to read or reread something will be less likely to misinterpret or simply miss something along the way. Proof? Any freakingexam. Don’t tell me that reading a question super fast and answering it just as fast is better than taking your time and slowing the pace down. We learn this the hard way.
Wait. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have speedsters who are able to absorb a chunk of information and understand the hidden depths of a book without ever misinterpreting or missing something. Your language skills and your reading experience plays a gigantic role in those cases. Being flooded in words on a daily basis sure must have some sort of upside right? Breathing words, eating words, smelling words, it’s all that these people do and that definitely helps them create memory chunks to read through sentences swiftly. I mean, there has to be a difference between someone who’s just learned a language and a veteran of the tongue. Take Trang, for example. Her reading speed up against English literature blows my mind. But when it comes to her first language (french), it simply multiplies by a billion. Someone teach me how to steal powers already.
But, what about people who believe that reading faster, on purpose, is amazing? More power to them is what I say. I believe that these kinds of readers are definitely jumping over a lot of the simple pleasure of reading. These speed readers who intentionally skim through books and only remember some of the key elements are the kind of readers I definitely wouldn’t want to become.
I mean, why read if it’s only to compile a list of barely skimmed through books?
Am I right?
Here’s the deal. Reading is something everyone is entitled to do at their own preferred speed. It is a pleasure that you alone control. At least it’s true when it comes down to how you want to read it; we all know teachers are good at forcing you to read books. Nobody is going to tell you that you’re reading to fast or too slow, and if they do, they can go **** themselves. However, I do hope that people won’t try to try hard to break sound barriers by reaching new reading speeds. What? You didn’t know eye movement can break the sound barrier? Pick up a book, silly!
As much as I’d wish my reading speed was as good as some of these readers out there, I’m quite happy to be able to indulge a novel as huge as the world and to, one day, complete it. Whether I read slow or fast won’t change the fact that we all will, sooner or later, end up telling ourselves that some of the books we read deserve a reread because that’s just how awesome books are (or how bad our memory can be).
What can we do? Just keep on reading my bookworm buddies. Life has a gazillion novels for us to go through, and time only goes in one sense.
What do you think about your reading speed and speed-reading?
Let’s discuss! 🙂