One of the things that's always bothered me is that I read pretty slowly. Or atleast I think I do. I need to compare times.
How long (add up the hours if you must) does it take you to finish say a 300page novel? - 20 minutes? - couple of hours? - the whole evening? (~5-6 hrs) - Most of the day? (~12hrs) - entire weekend? (~24hrs) - longer? (>24hrs)
Or a better question: how many novels do you typically read in a week? in a month? over a year? and what is your rough estimate of the average novel length?
Does anyone speedread? or Does anyone believe speedreading is a scam? Or the greatest thing ever?
Does anyone like to read out loud, or go at a that pace but is subvocalizing?
I'm interested in our Hatracker's reading skillz!
It takes me a day and an evening to read a 300 pg novel (~16-20hrs) - yes I subvocalize - i also tend to get distracted by looking up sciencey stuff i dont know about while I read sci fi - or other things if reading fantasy.
It usually takes me a day and a half to read a novel, maybe longer to read a similar-sized non-fiction thing, somewhat substantially longer to read something, well, substantially longer. It used to be quicker, but there are more demands on my time, and, besides, there's television and music and all that to entertain and distract me.
I can up the speed. I read Volume One of "Harry Potter" in a little over an hour, at the request of relatives---and was able to retain it in my mind and discuss it with intelligence afterwards. (My niece and nephew were mispronouncing "Hermoine," being too young to know anything of Hermoine Gingold or Hermoine Badderly.)
That doesn't always work. In my high school days I read "Anna Karenina" in the better part of a long day---but, ever after, I could only remember character names and two scenes from it.
You can classify me in the very slow reader slot. I will stretch out a novel for a good week. My intention is to enjoy the story and not miss any of the nuiances in the finely crafted words. I take my time. No speed reader here.
Posts: 3072 | Registered: Dec 2007
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I'm one of the quick ones. I can read a 300 page book in about two hours. The most I've ever read is three 500 page books a day, but I usually limit myself to one. My record is to read the first six books of Wheel of Time in five days. My house never recovered.
I don't read everyday, I couldn't afford it both in house maintenance, and actual book cost, but I usually read at least three books a week.
I can read fast when I want to. But I usually don't when reading for pleasure.
I tend to like to savor a good novel. I'll spread it out over a week, reading in one or two hour snatches a couple of times a day. Sometimes, I'll reread especially good parts.
It's taking me longer to get through THE DRAGON BOOK and I'm actually a little frustrated by it. I think it's because it is an anthology and I can't just settle into one story. As soon as a story gets going really good, it's over and I have to get into another one. I'm not feeling pulled forward like I would be in a novel. Only two stories left to go, both on the longer side. Then it's ELANTRIS.
It really depends on the novel for me. It also depends on what else I have to do.
I can read some 300-page novels in a few hours if there's nothing else distracting me, and if I actually want to keep reading one without stopping. I submit that the more you read, the more easy it is to put down a book. I haven't read a book that "I couldn't put down" in a long time, and the best thing I can say any more about a book is that I am anxious to get back to it.
That said, I have read every one of the Harry Potter sequels in less than a day, partly because I haven't wanted to put them down--and several of them were much longer than 300 pages.
I used to pride myself on finishing every book I started, but I realized that some don't deserve to be finished, and there are too many books I want to read and too little time in which to read them, so I don't scruple to put down a book and never pick it up again.
Also, lots of books take me longer because I have to finish them for one reason or another, and they have become chores to read. Besides, I have a lot of reading to do elsewhere (such as Hatrack) that takes up my former novel-reading time.
I have a disability that affects my reading speed. Along with that, I tend to analyze stories as I read them - some "chewing on words" and some obsessing over various aspects of the story.
Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008
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I average about a page a minute when reading a standard layout paperback. It varies, of course, based on the writing style and whether the book triggers a thought that causes me to stop and ponder, or get bored and daydream and have to re-read. I tend to read only on the train and during my lunchbreak, which is my only guaranteed "alone time", so I'll knock over a novel in under a week. I've read six or seven so far this year.
As for speed reading, I had an English Lit acquaintance who would read the last page, then read the first few words of a couple of paragraphs of every page, then declare that he'd "read" a book I'd recommended. Geez I found that annoying.
I tend to do 200 pgs in a day if I really care about reading the book. If I have to I can do more but I prefer to spend a little time with the book. I did read Red Prophet and wrote a paper about it in one day. And it is one of my favorite books and I remember it well.
I do speed read for school sometimes. I just rip out the subject verb and object of every sentence and if I find something that I think is important I read the whole sentence. I only do this for things which I will need to bs about in an intelligent conversation. But speed reading is a scam, but not as much of a scam as those you're baby can read commercials. You can teach a 6 month old to stick their toe up their nose but it doesn't mean anything. The only thing babies learn that will stay with them, because it is relevant to them, is the finer points of eating and how to move about the environment. (Yes there is an argument for brain stimulation.)
Also there is something I want to say, it bothers me when people talk about reading in terms of speed. I have heard people say they don't read because they do it too slowly. It's not a competition people! You read for your own enjoyment/edification don't worry about comparing yourselves to others. When I started reading for enjoyment I did one novel in a year. The only time reading should stimulate guilt in you is if you read something you wish you hadn't.
A 300 page novel would usually take me 5-6 hours. Of course I've read some very 'light' 300 pagers that have only taken 2 hours but those were meant to be read in an afternoon at the beach. Sometimes cotton candy is fun.
Posts: 1993 | Registered: Jul 2009
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I think a three hundred page novel would take me about three hours. I'm just a little faster than normal. I don't like to chew on words and as I read it's like watching a movie in my head. I usually have very good comprehension. I was reading about 1-2 books a week but I haven't read anything in a few months since I got a few hefty fines at the library and no money to buy a book. I hate putting a book down so when I read everything else gets neglected and it's like what Shimiqua said, my house gets out of control and the children neglected, even eating is a chore, because of that I have to breaks from books.
Maybe I should try what KDW said and read so much that it's easy to put down every book. If I could just read moderatly then I could do it all the time. I prefer reading a good novel to just about anything.
I'm trying to read a novel for an hour a day without pushing myself and hopefully do better each time. Maybe I'll see some progress in speed as I go along...
I think the "subject-verb" hopping skill has some merit. I can get the sense of the sentence, and the nuances provided by side phrases seems to bring context to the sentence by itself without direct effort. But I loose any sense of overall context of the paragraph. I usually have to go back over it quickly, hitting on the ideas of each sentence to see the whole point of the paragraph (I'm reading a textbook). Dang...this speedreading stuff just might work with a lot of practice in spotting the subject-verb-object in every sentence.
I can't see it working for learning new subjects though - if you don't already know the jargon or are familiar with concepts, especially in the sciences where things can get abstract and you have to know very specific definitions and how to apply them in practice, you should read slowly and carefully until you are familiar with all of it. Speed reading would actually destroy any effort to learn new subjects, I think...
With me it varies greatly depending on my interest level. On average I seem to get in about 2 or 3 pages a minutes, and about 100 books a year.
No matter how bad it is I never abandon a book once I've started it -- there's just been too many times where I got something from it when I persisted, even if it is a lesson on how not to do my own writing. Of couse I don't go onto sequels if I didn't enjoy the book.