Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Reading Styles

Sometime in middle school I was introduced to the idea of speed reading. By nature, I like things faster - I'd rather get my bang for my buck and stack many things into my day. Same rule applies with reading, I felt if I could get the same information from a book in less the time why not? I could read 3 books in the time it took someone to read 1! Score! Thus, for the last fifteen years or so I have consistently sped-read. There have been some books that have been entirely too difficult to read that way (Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand comes to mind), but overall my reading has been on 5th gear. I generally devour a book and think about it after. Despite it's convenience I have found that I've missed out on small -yet important- information. I remember sitting in the movie theater watching "Twilight" (don't judge) and my friend leans over to me and says something about how handsome Jacob is. I reply "I always imagined him blond." She thought that was the most hilarious thing she'd heard....Somewhere along the lines I never read about his repeatedly referenced deep, thick, long black hair. Most likely because it fell within the space in the sentence you tend to skip while speed reading.

I've never understood the interest in slow, digestive reading until my daughter was old enough to read. For teach-ability sake I had to slow down and read at her pace, slowly working our way through chapter books - taking upwards of months to finish one book. We've been reading the Harry Potter books and I've found myself learning something new each chapter. Because I am forced to slow down, read each sentence carefully and take time to think about the story I am enjoying a new style of reading comprehension.

Not sure which way I enjoy best. I may have to try both styles out for bookclub over the course of the next few months. How do you read?

1 comment:

  1. If I like the book much, I'm definitely a careful reader. If I love the book, no question. And parts that I feel are especially good or significant get infinite re-reads. Sometimes I'll sit down to read for a while, and by the time I get up I swear I've only read a few pages because I had to read them so many times for the sheer joy of it.

    If I start skimming and reading fast, that's a sure sign that the book doesn't really interest me.