18 December 2009

Btt for 12/17

Sort of a philosophical question today.

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?

Well, it depends on what you call "speed reading". People at work say i must speed read because i read quickly. Various self/online testing has shown i read about 400-450 wpm, which is good but not spectacular. I certainly don't feel like i'm trying to read fast most of the time. I don't know that i've ever tried to learn to read faster either. I think speed just comes from practice, practice, practice, a lot of which occurred during my formative school years. i know i read some things faster than others. Fantasy, general fiction, horror or histories are all things i read more quickly, while techie sci-fi, philosophy, biology and astronomy slow me down a good bit. just try to read a book on quantum theory quickly! you may technically have read all the words but if they made any sense good for you!

I don't want to rag on anyone else's reading style though. if you speed read and you enjoy it great! If you just speed read to say you can, or just to say you've read x books this week to impress people, then you and i might not get along in general. Remember, Reading Is Fun! :)


  1. Ha! You and I would get along. I naturally read quickly as well (years of grad school in lit will do that to a person), but I slow myself down now intentionally. I think about all the time an author puts in writing a book. Think of it this way: if your favorite chef made a meal for you, would you eat it as fast as you could?

  2. I'm not a fan of speed reading. I can & do do it for school books, but not for books I want to enjoy.