Thursday, December 17, 2009

Booking Through Thursday- or, Do You Book Through Your Books?

Suggested by Barbara H:
What do you think of speed-reading? Is it a good way to get through a lot of books, or does the speed-reader miss depth and nuance? Do you speed-read? Is some material better suited to speed-reading than others?

I know there are people who read 20 books a week and swear to God that they have perfect comprehension and appreciation for the literary arts, but I don't believe them. I think speed readers miss a lot, never mind that I don't think that reading should be a race, or an endurance test, or a quantity-over-quality, don't-stop-till-you-drop marathon. Reading should be a pleasure, and should be taken at the pace of enjoyment. I read because I enjoy good writing; speed reading misses the point. I read, on average, one book per week- or rather, I finish one book per week and usually take 1-2 weeks to read an average-length book. Wolf Hall took over a month, being 400+ pages and a challenging literary read; on the other hand, I blazed through Secret Son in three days because it was short and light. Some things just go faster than others but reading fast as a habit defeats the purpose of reading.