I will start off by saying that I mostly love the fact that I zip through books and basically inhale them. It helped me cram ALL the wonderful books in my head when I was growing up, it helped me toil through numerous volumes for my undergrad, and at my present job as an ELT editor, it helps me scan through stories when I have to read a thousand selections to pick out an appropriate twelve. I just scan for words like ‘cigarette’ and ‘rum’. (jk, jk.)
However, it has its cons. For books which I am highly anticipating, I speed-read at exceptionally obnoxious rates. For instance, when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows first came out, if someone had asked me after that first read as to what happened in the book, all I could’ve mustered would be “Destroyed 7 horcruxes. Voldemort finally dead. There were things called hallows? Also, a weird dream sequence kinda thing at the end there.” I read it without attention to any detail: I just had to know whether Harry was alive. (This is also the reason why I quite often flip to the last page of a book and read it, or Wiki a movie’s plot before I commit to it.)
When I was a child, and my parents bought me books every week (god bless them), the only books I was forbidden to buy were Archie comics, because let’s be real, they weren’t worth the fifteen minutes of entertainment.
I think a lot of that has carried over to adulthood, where I flip through the pages at bookstores, looking at the font and analyzing if the price is worth the reading time, and look at Amazon’s ‘number of pages’ section before clicking ‘add to cart’.
Pretty books consisting of just quotes and/or doodles?
Na-ah. Not for me.
I also think my speed-reading is partly to blame for my long-standing belief that comic books just weren’t worth any money and weren’t really ‘real books’. I know, I know!
I have been trying very hard to rectify that situation for the past few years, and I have tons of great art and kickass plot to catch up on in that area.
Here are some weird things that I have noticed help me slow down:
Dear fellow speed-reader, please, for the love of elegant sentence construction and painstaking details in books, let me know what slows you down.