A while back, I was obsessed with learning to speed-read. I tried all these iPhone apps that supposedly help you read faster. I timed myself whenever I opened a book. I gave up on those weird apps almost at once, but over time did learn to speed-read.
Though I’m not the fastest reader I know, I surprise people with how quickly I can finish a book. In many ways, it is a useful skill. However, sometimes I have to slow down and enjoy the novel I’m reading, word-by-word.
It’s an exercise of patience, but when I’m reading a good book, it’s not too hard. Sometimes you love a book so much, you don’t want it to end.
We’re not all the same, and things might be different for you, but here are my motivators for learning the art of reading slowly:
1, I want to remember more. One of my favorite things about reading is when I can remember a story long after finishing it. If I can’t do that, I don’t feel that I’ve gotten all I could from the book.
2. Magic survives into reality. Everyone knows that crash that comes after closing a good book, the shock when all the magic is gone and we are back in real life. When I speed-read a novel, the crash comes faster. If I take the time to better experience the adventure, it isn’t so hard–magic follows me.
3. It improves my writing. When I read slowly, I’m able to pick up tricks the author used. I learn new words, get swept away in description, and put away plot bunnies to work on later. My writing is improved in ways I don’t realize until I work on my own projects again.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t speed-read; we’re all different when we write stories, as well as when we read them. In the end, there is no right or wrong way to enjoy a book. As long as it takes you to another world, the rest is just preference.
How fast do you read? Do you enjoy a story more when you read quickly, or take your time? Maybe you do both—let me know in the comments!