"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Am Not A Speed Reader

I admire readers like A Mom's Life (27 books read so far this year), Misc. & Co. (90 books read last year) and my 96 year old FIL (reads 1-2 books/week).

I am a slow reader. I read each book as if it were a textbook and I'll be quizzed on it later. When I read novels, I am analyzing sentence structures, punctuation, and descriptive language. I cannot speed read a page just to get the gist of the story. The blame can be put upon my elementary teacher that introduced me to diagramming sentences. Oh, how I loved doing that - taking things apart and seeing how single parts work together to form something entirely different. That's me - always curious as to what makes things work.

Add my busy work schedule in the first quarter of the year to the snail's pace reading speed, and I find I've only read a handful of books so far this year:

Gone Baby Gone - Dennis Lehane
Prayers For Rain - Dennis Lehane
Six Easy Pieces - Walter Mosley
Devil In a Blue Dress - Walter Mosley
Thirteen Moons - Charles Frazier
Millionaire Mind - Thomas J Stanley

You probably notice a pattern. For some reason, I don't usually like female authors, although there have been a few exceptions over the years, and I seem to be on a crime novel kick. I have especially been enjoying the Walter Mosley books because of his succinct use of words, yet keeping the reader engaged in the characters and storyline. Next up: Mosley's Cinnamon Kiss.


Misc said...

My habit of reading quickly was born out of necessity - I was an English major and was reading on average 2-4 books a week and later I taught high school English (though I despised diagramming sentences I appreciate the knowledge it gave me). It's a habit I've yet to give up.

Though I read relatively fast, I do love good writing. I relish it. There are a few writers, like Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore and Terry Pratchet, that make me stop and contemplate their word choice, etc. or just admire their craft and make me envious.

And it's only w/in the past couple of years that I gave myself permission to stop reading a bad book. What a revelation to realize I didn't have to finish a book I hated.

I'm not one to favor female authors either. My favorites are male, though I've been reading Donna Jo Napoli's books (they're written for young adults, are very short and I can whiz through one a day) and mostly enjoying them.

I'd like to read some Dennis Lehane. I think I'll stick him on my to be read list...

Catch Her in the Wry said...

I was also an English major, but with concentration in rhetoric, so reading those 2-3 books per week was a major challenge. I thought I wanted to teach, but I wise-up and took an entirely different career path.

I have quit reading many books and don't feel guilty one bit about doing it. Why waste my time on a bad book? So many books, so little time...