A Bookidote Discussion – What Do You Think About Speed-Reading?

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.

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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?

timeistickingHowever, 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.slow reader

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.

Wait, what?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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! 🙂

Yours truly,

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16 thoughts on “A Bookidote Discussion – What Do You Think About Speed-Reading?

  1. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    I really, really like this discussion post 🙂 I think I am an average reader, and I could read a 200-300 pages-book in a day, if I got the time to do so, but I am definitely not able to devour three to four books a week, as some other bloggers and big readers are able to. I wish I could, but on the other hand, I feel like I am able to really enjoy the books I am reading when I take my time with it. this way, I can really get into the world, and the words of the author, and it makes me enjoy the story even more 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • transhaan says:

      Oh, thank you so much. I’m happy to hear that you like this! 😀 Same goes for me. Even if I could eat up 3-4 books per week, I don’t think I’d be too happy about how fast I go through a book and move on to the next. I mean, I’d rather go at my own personal speed and enjoy it over time.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Holly says:

    Love this post ❤ I don't really know how my reading speed compares to others. I think I probably read at a pretty average speed, but because I spend so much time reading it seems like I read a lot faster than I actually do. I completely agree with you– whenever I try to read faster, I always end up missing little details. Slow and steady wins the race! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • transhaan says:

      Yay!! Thank you so much, I’m really happy that you enjoyed this! I honestly don’t know how slow I am, although I do believe I ain’t that fast in the reading department. If I were to decide to read faster, I’m 100% sure I wouldn’t be enjoying what I’m reading and I’m probably going to miss bits of information here and here that could’ve made my reading experience a lot better, 😛 Slow and steady definitely wins the race! 😉

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emily | RoseRead says:

    Great post! I’ve always considered myself a slow reader as well. I agree that if I were to start reading faster, which I very well can, I’d miss out on much of the experience of absorbing the text. I think people who naturally read faster don’t miss out on things, because everyone has a different natural reading speed. I think you start missing things if you’re consciously forcing yourself to read faster. I used to feel a bit bad about my slowness, but now that I’m an adult, I don’t care. Everyone should read at their natural, comfortable speed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Thank you so much! I know right. People with a naturally fast reading speed are quite fascinating. Absorbs so much information in so little time all because of practice and language mastery. That doesn’t mean we have to go just as fast to get as much information! To each their own speed! 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  4. amber @ onlytruemagic says:

    Oooh, an interesting topic you bring up! Reading speed is definitely something that comes to mind when I’m in the middle of a slump, like I was this year in the late spring/early summer. I’ve always been a quicker reader — not in terms of just skimming, but rather absorbing the material — but you just can’t help but bring your strengths into question if you’re not hitting your average speeds. It truly is disheartening to feel like you’re falling behind. However, we, as readers, all have to bear in mind that speed is relative! What’s slow to me might be really, really fast to others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Yay! Thank you! I understand how slumps can be quite depressing when you observe an obvious drop in reading speed. Definitely must make people wonder what’s up and attempt to amp up their game by going faster than what you naturally are going at; which could be bad in fact! Relativity is really the key idea here. Totally agree with you. Pretty sure what’s slow for me is fast for others. But I guess even with that in mind, a lot of people won’t help to realize that they still aren’t going as fast as they wish they would or as fast as their peers are going at.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Karina Pinella says:

    I could be a speed reader when I put in the time and just read. I’ve done it before and I still enjoyed the book. I read but I read quickly. I don’t skim the whole book, or like you said, what is the point. I have to understand what I’m reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Yeh, I see. I think the most important thing is to understand what you’re reading. I hope no one just speed reads without ever grasping the full essence of the novel they have in their hands. And if they do, I hope they reread ASAP for the sake of the book. :\

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Why, thank you so much! It really makes me happy to know your appreciation for the post. 😛 I also like to slow down, especially for classics. After all, they’re classics for a reason! Probably 10000 things hidden between the lines.

      I definitely understand what you mean by cheating. I think it especially applies to people who wants to get through a book instead of leaving it DNF (did not finish). 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ljshouse2015 says:

    Back long ago when I was in elementary school, I considered myself a fairly fast reader, but I am mostly not a speed reader. There are courses you can take that supposedly teach you how to speed-read really fast (I have heard that one of the techniques is not to move your eyes back and forth but to keep them trained on the center of the page as you go down). I think in the courses they have exercises to train you to get and retain more of the details too. Sometimes I wish I could do this, but at this point in my life, it just sounds like too much trouble.

    The one thing that slows me down now is if I don’t understand something, so I feel like I have to keep re-reading it until I do. Sometimes I go to sleep in the middle of a page trying to understand something. This is less of a problem with really good fiction though, because there is less of any one book that I don’t understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      I’ve heard about the courses you can take for speed-reading. Learning to read in diagonal and all those tricks that goes with reading fast. As tempting as it might be, I also think it’s too much trouble. I mean, instead of relaxing and enjoying a good book, I’d be adding an additional cognitive task of reading faster.

      I too do tend to re-read when I didn’t understand what I just read or if I feel like I forgot what happen in the past 5 minutes. My mind could wander onto other thoughts and that just forces me to go through the page again. I actually don’t mind it cause I’d rather understand it than risk missing out on something that could be important to the story.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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