1. AllWrite
    Offline

    AllWrite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0

    Speed Reading

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by AllWrite, Aug 24, 2011.

    How many of you speed read? Do you find that you can enjoy the book the same as reading at a slower pace? Thoughts on speed reading?
     
  2. Yoshiko
    Offline

    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    27
    I find that I enjoy a book much more if I read it slowly: I pay more attention to style and the way the writer is trying to express the scene/characters, the techniques (s)he has used and I often stop to think over certain quotes (often writing down those that make me think or laugh along with a page reference).
     
  3. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    When I was in high school I used to speed-read. I thought I'd learn more and better if I read really, really fast. I practiced a lot.

    Now, I hate the concept. I read slowly and indulgently. I love to read aloud. I think that started when I found that a) when I speed-read, I don't remember what I read very well; and b) I discovered poetry. Poetry pretty much has to be read slowly, and I think the best of it should be read aloud. Reading poetry aloud made me realize that many good prose writers should be read aloud as well.

    When I read slowly, I enjoy it much more, and it stays with me. So I learn more from it.
     
  4. Eunoia
    Offline

    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    England
    I prefer reading fast, out of excitement and anticipation, because usually I can't wait to know what happens next in the book.

    If I want to learn and remember what happened, I have to read slowly and reread it a few times. That's more to do with my poor memory though.
     
  5. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I use speed reading for research. I can cover a lot of material that way, but when I find what I want, I go over it more slowly for detail.

    But when I'm reading fiction, I take my time. The enjoyment is in the details, and the appreciation of the craft.
     
  6. Clumsywordsmith
    Offline

    Clumsywordsmith Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    4
    My normal reading speed is close to 1000 wpm, so in all honesty, I rarely -- if ever -- have a need to speed read. Though I do have a habit of sometimes missing things here and there, and so often I might find myself re-reading the same passage once or twice (if I liked it) to be certain I missed nothing.

    But I don't really "read" anymore, per se -- I just let my eyes glide over the lines and paragraphs, pick out words and patterns and push them together into a meaningful whole. Trying to read something a bit thicker or more difficult -- such as, say, a rousing evening of Nietzsche -- and proposes a distinct challenge for me, as I suddenly find I can no longer "cheat" the reading process and instead must take it all in at a more digestible rate.
     
  7. LaurenM
    Offline

    LaurenM Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    2
    I second what Cogito said. I speed read for research to get more covered in a less amount of time, but when I'm reading fiction, I'll slow down and really absorb what I'm reading. If I particularly like a certain passage, I'll even read out loud, just because I can. :)
     
  8. spklvr
    Offline

    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    734
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Sarpsborg, Norway
    I feel incapable of reading slowly. If I think it's exciting, I'll finish most books in a day or two. I've tried reading aloud, but I alwasy stop paying attention when I do and have to reread it again...
     
  9. AfterBroadway
    Offline

    AfterBroadway Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    Something in my big dumb head makes it impossible for me to speed read. I once read out of one of those books at the entrance of a Barnes & Noble about how to speed read. The one's that are always titled something like, "1001 Things to Know Before You Die."

    Anyway, it said instead of reading line by line, back up and read it paragraph by paragraph. The book said it would take a lot of practice, and I didn't practice it too much. I don't think I'd be able to even if I did, though.
     
  10. popsicledeath
    Offline

    popsicledeath Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,037
    Likes Received:
    71
    I can speed read (more accurately described as academic skimming, lol), but if a fiction book lends itself to speed reading, then I just stop reading, as I find that's ends up being the biggest time saver.
     
  11. art
    Offline

    art Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    113
    What do we mean by speed reading, here? Are we talking about reading quickly and perhaps skipping stuff of not immediate interest, or about that rather particular technique of subconscious assimilation or whatever it is (that I guess we see Good Will Hunting engaged in)? The latter strikes me as a rather happy trick...but I imagine most have been talking about the former.
     
  12. Logan | Aspire
    Offline

    Logan | Aspire New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    United States
    I find speed reading to be pointless. When I read a book I like reading slow and at my own pace. This is because when I take my time I more effectively absorb the plot and therefore enjoy the book more. It also lets you have more time to realize the moral value of the story if such a thing is present in the book.

    -Logan
     
  13. NaughtyNick
    Offline

    NaughtyNick Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    UK
    I am a slow reader because the books I tend to favour place just as much importance on good prose as a compelling story. I want the author's artistry to lure me into the characters' world.

    I am speed reading my current book as it is absolute shash. I am only reading it for research purposes. It is a rock star diary / autobiography. The author cannot write for toffee and crowbars the word "dude" into every sentence. It is hard work.
     
  14. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i'm a fairly 'fast' reader [approx. 50 pph/250 wpm], but i can't see anyone enjoying what they read if doing so at the speeds one is supposed to attain with 'speed reading' [1,000wpm!]...
     

Share This Page