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Random Thoughts: On Being a Slow Reader

I am always amazed when people assume that I read quickly. When I express concern over my very large reading pile and people say, “…but you’re a fast reader!” I am stunned. Because I have no idea why they’d think that of me.

I am a slow reader. An incredibly slow reader. I’ve come across fast readers, but I most definitely am not one of them. At year-end I heard of someone who claimed to have read over six hundred and fifty books in 2011. Even before I started blogging I could never have imagined reading even half that quantity of books in one year. Last year, my ambitious goal was to read one hundred and fifty books, and I didn’t make it.

And while I am a slow reader, I in no way want to change that fact. Even though I can only top out at reading fifty pages an hour, that’s a pace I’m happy with. If it’s only forty pages, I’m fine with that too. It may not be great for book blogging, meeting deadlines, or reaching my reading goals, reading as slowly as I do, but it is a pace that lets me enjoy the books I’m reading the way I want to.

I have the ability to read quickly. I do it all the time for work or if I’m checking out online posts. I could probably up my pace to one hundred and fifty pages per hour if I chose to. Maybe more if I felt like speed reading. But why would I want to do that?

I’ve been reading for many, many years. And the way I read lets me escape into the world the author is creating on the page. In my mind I envision the characters, I envision the world, just as if I were a voyeur. I see every little detail – from the buildings to the grass to the cars in the parking lot. I hear the wind howling through the trees. I hear the sound of the blade as it slices through the air…. or the sound of blood-stained grass as it’s being munched on by a demon.

As I read, I live all of these things. They become the world that builds itself around me for the time that I am connected to that story. So, I couldn’t imagine wanting to speed that up, cut that time short, create less of a world just so that I could finish a story early.

I love the feeling of spending eight or nine hours, or more, with a book and then discover that the real world around me has changed from day to night, that I’m no longer in the faerie realms, that I have not traveled to the underworld and back but am sitting in my living room. The books that let me escape so completely from the reality of my environment are books that I treasure. They’re the books that make me want to read. That make me completely okay with losing that large of a chunk out of my day.

I love knowing that there are readers who take the time to savor a book, to devour each page in a way that it will forever stick with them. And I envy those that can do just that at a faster pace than I do.

Of course being this type of reader is a wonderful thing if I were just a reader. But I’m not. I am a reviewer and a blogger. And reading slowly is counterproductive. As a slow reader I am not able to accept as many review books, and those that I do accept, I’m usually behind on. And while I am often tempted to breeze through a book, to ignore my need to make a connection, I fight the urge.

Because once again it comes back to the reason why I choose to blog about books. I do it because I love books. I love to read. And I love to read slowly. I want to share my love of books, but know that if I picked up the pace, I wouldn’t love them as much as I do.

For me, getting the gist of the story isn’t what reading is about. For me it’s falling in love with the characters, letting my heart break when theirs do, suffering along with them when they are in pain, and being terrified for their safety when they’re at risk.

I want to join them on their adventures, even ones that are less than pleasant. I want to see their world through their eyes, experience it as they do. And imagine just what they’re going through when they do. And I could never make that kind of a connection if I read rapidly.

When I’ve heard stories of reviewers from editorial media who skim books, or just read certain parts of a book to get the idea of the book in order to write their reviews, it breaks my heart. I can’t imagine how their reviews would properly express their true feeling for the book if they only glanced at the story. I’d much rather read a two sentence review from someone who savored the book, fell madly in love with it and was at such a loss for words they couldn’t properly express just how much that book affected their lives.

I’d much rather meet a reader who only read ten books in a year but could tell me about each and every one of them, than someone who read five hundred and couldn’t even recall the author’s name for even one of them.

If I was told that in order to keep blogging I would have to read faster, I would simply choose not to blog. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a slow reader. In fact, I am proud of it…. Of course I wish I had more time to read, better time management skills, better ability to say no and the smarts not to bite off more than I can chew…. Somehow I don’t think any of those things are going to see major improvement anytime soon.


But, I would love to know what you think of slow readers. Are you a slow reader? Do you choose to savor your books? Do you feel the need to race through a book to meet a review deadline? Do you choose to miss your deadline so you can enjoy the book the way you want to?

How do you choose to read?

53 Responses to “Random Thoughts: On Being a Slow Reader”

  1. Jen R says:

    You’re not that slow! 40-50 pages an hour measn that you can read a book in 4-5 days.

    No one can read 3 books a day unless they don’t do anything else. And if that’s the case, kudos to them for making that work:)

    I’m a pretty fast reader. But I constantly worry about reading too fast. Missing something important.

    So I think in reading, as in life, you have to go at your own pace and not worry about what others are doing!

  2. I am a slow reader too! I read because there is just something about experiencing another world through a story. This is the reason I love to read, and this love is why I choose to blog. I am horribly behind on my review books, and it stresses me out to no end. I just do not want to speed up my reading lose out on that connection and adventure. I think my reviews were suffer if I read faster and lost some of that connection to the books I read.

  3. Vicki says:

    I used to think I was a fast reader, but I’m really not. Even though I’m a slow reader, I agree with everything you said about being able to live in the book’s world. That’s how I read; if I can’t connect with a book in that way then I find no interest in it. I am a slow reader, but there are so many books to read lol. There’s not enough time in a day to read it all. Like your list of growing books, I also have a very long list of books to finish that I couldn’t finish last year. I’m still trying to read those books this year too! πŸ™‚

  4. Jenn Sommersby says:

    I considered myself a fast reader …

    Until I met book bloggers.

    You guys put me to shame. Not only am I a slow reader but I’m also a slow reviewer. I review for LitStack.com, but not on a regular basis because it takes me so bloody long to get my review brain in gear. I don’t know how some book bloggers read SO fast, and then post comprehensive, well-constructed reviews on a very regular basis, sometimes every single day! I thought that because I read 10-20 books a year (and buy at least three times that many), I must be special. In this new reality, I’m not even asked to sit at the same table as these other readers. *hangs head* I’ll never be cool.

    My reading also comes in fits and starts, often during quiet moments that are mine and mine alone–my Preccccccious–over cereal in the morning, 10 minutes over coffee before picking the kids up from school, before falling asleep at night. I am too bloody busy (and addled by a guilty conscience that tells me I should be writing/folding laundry/scrubbing something) to sit and indulge in an entire book very often. Christmas Day was great — read Shatter Me in almost one sitting. That doesn’t happen very often.

    Interesting post, Rachel. Always a pleasure to read your thoughts!

  5. i honestly don’t think it matters what type of reader you are for blogging. I’m a fast reader–I can usually get through 300 page novels in three hours–but I like that. I still devour it, savoring each word and what goes on in the novel. Books stay with me afterwards, making me feel whole.

  6. Thank you for this post! Like you, I’m a slow reader. I average between 30-45 pages per hour if I’m not being distracted and depending on the format. For me reading is all about getting into the story. It’s falling into the world that the author created and living the story. I don’t think I could ever speed read my way through a book…not if I expect to enjoy it.

  7. Momo says:

    Omg, I am such a slow reader. I think I’m slower than you. My reading pace equals that of a snail. I’m serious. I agree with everything you stated. It’s true. I’d rather be a very slow reader than a fast reader…just to get the book done. That to me, isn’t a true bookworm. I love the little things that happens in books. The soft brush of his fingertips beneath her chin, to the little half smile he tosses to her from across the room – those are the little things that make my heart flutter and flutter and flutter until I go into cardiac arrest. =)

    Yes, I’m a book blogger but I can go days and days without reading. Over the year, I sorta lost myself in that I got consumed with *wanting* to get review books that now, I just don’t read as much. I have found myself again and now I read when I want and what I want. I have books I need to review but I don’t let that consume me because then I feel like a little piece of me breaks away each time I feel like I *have* to read it. It takes away my passion of wanting to read for fun.

    But yes, fab post! I’m tempted to go and write up my own posts about being a slow reader, haha! In the blog world, I’m a slow reader and in the real world, I’m a fast reader but you know what, who cares, I’m a reader. That should be enough, haha!


  8. Ellen Trieu says:

    Hey! I love this post and I completely agree with you, thank you for sharing your thoughts! I am a very slow reader, I’m trying to read a bit faster, but still enjoy the book at the same time. Every time I read, I always imagine the book in my head, it’s definitely like escaping to a whole new world. My cousin and a few friends of mine are pretty fast readers, I envy them sometimes because I want to be able to get to the next book, but at the same time I’m happy with my reading pace because when my cousin finishes her books, she’s always pondering what to read next, like she’s run out of books to read. With my pace, I’ll still have tons of books to read because more are always coming out. I’m not a popular reviewer so I don’t email publishers to get a copy for review nor do I get many or any emails to review their book, I review the books as I finish them. I don’t think I could ever handle having a reviewing deadline. I kind of wish I could get paid to just read though, that’d be an amazing job! Anyways, thanks again for the thought! (:

  9. Andye says:

    YES!! I’m such a slow reader, and that’s the way I like it! If we didn’t have twenty million reviewers on our blog, and it was just me? uh…..yeah. That’s also why I like audiobooks so much. The reader really slows down and focuses on every emotion. Yes, it takes much longer, but to me, it’s so much more meaningful. I love it!


  10. Arianne says:

    I think I’m a slow reader. I only read less than 60 books in 2011. I join blog tours and sign up towards the end of the tour to give me time to read. I want to be able to read faster and get through more books but I don’t want to sacrifice enjoying the book itself. If I’m struggling with a book I’m reading, I don’t bother finishing it even if it was for review.

  11. Marthapao says:

    I completely agree with everything you said! I’ve always been a slow reader compared to most bloggers but fast compared to mostly everyone in my life. I like to take my time with a book and I actually reread a lot of paragraphs. Especially ones that make me swoon or have something I don’t quite understand. Rereading passages takes a lot of time while reading but to me that is the only way to truly enjoy a book. I know everyone is different so everyone will always read in their own way. πŸ™‚

  12. I am a slow reader. I totally share your emotions about it! Although sometimes I wish I could read a bit faster πŸ˜› I have another problem you see, if I fall in the story it’s almost imposible for me to stop. And while I read slow, lots of times it’s 6AM in the morning when I finish a book just because I couldn’t bare to put it down πŸ™‚

  13. Ana LucΓ­a says:

    Beautiful written, love this post.
    My name is Ana LucΓ­a and I’m a slow reader too πŸ™‚ I read one book in one week, pretty much always. It’s rare when I read something in less time.

    I’m a slow reader for different reasons (time, I can’t read much without having a headache, etc.) but mostly because I want to savor the book. The way you described it it’s perfection! I promise, is like you were reading my mind. “For me, getting the gist of the story isn’t what reading is about. For me it’s falling in love with the characters, letting my heart break when theirs do, suffering along with them when they are in pain, and being terrified for their safety when they’re at risk.” That’s me!

    Brilliant post!!! πŸ˜‰

  14. Caitlin says:

    I’m actually a really fast reader, about 100 pages an hour. I’ve tried to slow myself down many many times, but I can’t, that’s just how fast I read! I don’t think it matters, as long as you enjoy the book. Like you said, no point in skim reading and reading certain parts. As long as you really enjoy a book, it shouldn’t matter how fast you read it.

    The Cait Files

    • Fiktshun says:

      I totally agree and you’re the reader I’m envious of that I mentioned in the post. As long as you can enjoy and savor the book it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you read. But reading fast just to reach a reading goal like during a readathon isn’t reading the way I like to read. I’d love to read exactly as I do just faster.

      I’m just not going to kick myself for reading slowly. I’m opting to be happy with the way I read.

      And why should you slow down if you enjoy it just as much? You shouldn’t be ashamed to be a fast reader who enjoys what you read?

  15. I am slow reader and busy being a mom too, so it just seems that I read and review fast πŸ™‚ I am trying to enjoy reading more this year.

  16. Raine says:

    I used to be a fast reader and I then like the things you mentioned, I like to build places, the world the author was envisioning in the book, stay longer with the characters in their adventures especially when you connect with them, I wanted the author’s words to sit longer in my mind, minced at it too. Of course, there’s a downside, when I’m faced with a 700-page book, ah well, I try not to think about the pages. lolz.

  17. I used to be a really fast reader…-2 books a day while on high school- but then I realized exactly what you’ve posted here, and that’s also exactly why I just reduced the number of books I want to read this year.
    I loooove making a connection and take my time but sometimes I feel like…if I’ve taken more than a week to read a book is simply because
    1.I really am not making a connection
    2.I’m slacking
    3.I’m forcing it
    So…it has been happening to be since December last year…don’t know why T_T
    That’s why if you go to my blog the only review that I’ve written this year is for a book I read last year : /
    And for reviews…yeap I’m bad working/reading…um FUNCTIONING under pressure…I stress myself out sooo much it really isn’t healthy X_X
    Sometimes I really need to fight the urge to just skim the book to write a review but I have to fight it over and over and over…it has happened twice since I started blogging. It’s not a happy feeling…I feel awful *-*
    I’m lucky enough to have the chance to read what I feel like reading most of the time, but I know that I’ve got a review to write about the book, I know I know it’s not a MUST nor obligation since those aren’t for-review books, but I still feel like it, because what’s the point of having a book-review blog if I don’t review at least one book in the week so…
    god …
    I’ll end this comment now before I start stressing out T_T
    So I guess I need help more than comment on your thoughts hehehe but in the end..

  18. Mindy says:

    I agree totally that even though I’m a slow reader, I feel like I get more out of a book in detail then someone that rushes through a book. But sometimes I do wish that I at least have the capability to speed read. That doesn’t work for me. If I even tried to speed read then I would comprehend anything that I’ve read. Great post.

  19. How the hizhell did someone read 650 books in a year! My goal was 100 books last year and I was so proud when I reached it, this year it’s 120.
    I’m the same as you, I like to take my time to read every word and am a slow reader, I average two books a week, I’ll read something quicker if I simply cannot put it down and stay up late with it or ignore everything else I’m supposed to be doing haha

  20. Chrystal says:

    I just mentioned this issue on twitter tonight and was told about your post. I agree that I am a slow reader, but I like to get to know the characters and be pulled into their worlds. I can skim quickly over work related writings as well, but don’t read too fast when it comes to books.

    I have actually bitten off a lot more than I should have and am paying the price of TRYING to play catch up this year. I’m hoping to get through a lot of books in the next few months.

    I also have a tendency to spend lots of time working on my blog, surfing the net, reading other blogs etc when I really should be reading my review books. I’m actually imposing a book buying ban for myself for a few months.

    *crossing my fingers that I can catch up* and looking forward to more of your articles. You write so beautifully. πŸ˜‰

  21. Rhiannon says:

    Slow reader here and I’m damn skippy proud of it! haha I’ve always been this way because just like you mentioned, I adore being transported to the world that the writer created. That happened so much in my recent read of “Everneath”. It was like being in that small town in Colorado that the Brodi created. I swear at one point I could smell the lunch food lol

    Anyway, being a slow reader doesn’t mean we don’t care about the reading, but I do think it means we are more imaginative in the mind in terms of envisioning the world of the book.

    Also I’m guilty as charged for day dreaming a lot so a great book is an excuse to exercise that part of my brain and just go to the town with the book πŸ™‚

  22. Loni (@LoniFlowers) says:

    I feel like you read my thoughts in this post. I’m such a s-l-o-w reader. Seriously. 40-50 pages an hour is probably pushing it for me. To me, just like you mentioned, I get completely sucked into the world and the emotions of the characters I’m reading. I giggle and laugh at the little things, i get made and want to chunk my book across the room (or my eReader)and I can cry at the slightest of circumstances, whether they be happy or sad. When I’m on my lunch break at work and if I come back with tears in my eyes, the first question that is asked of me is if was reading a book. They know me. My friends pick on me for crying… but I can’t help. I completely invest myself in the world I’m reading and for me there is no other way to enjoy a book. Being slow, lets me take it all in and enjoy it that much more!

    Momo… pointed me to this post. Great topic!

  23. Shelleyrae says:

    I’m not a slow reader, I read roughly 100 pages an hour and I read about 5 books a week on average. I have always read that fast though and it bugs me when slower readers assume I must skim read, or skip pages or somehow not read with the same depth as they do. I feel I do, I think my reviews prove that – it’s just that I am a fast reader.

    • Fiktshun says:

      I would be annoyed too. People shouldn’t make assumptions based on the speed you read. I hope you don’t think that’s what I’m implying.

      For me when I read at the rate of 100 or more pages per hour I don’t skim but I just don’t connect the same way.

      Also to me 100 pages an hour seems normal. Which is why I feel my 50 is slow. But when I hear people saying they finish a 300 page book in an hour I don’t assume they skim or skip I am just curious as to how much they connected.

      My skim comment was specifically directed at known instances of reviewers who state that they don’t need to read a book in full to review or that skimming is sufficient to write a review.

      Again maybe it is. Who am I to judge but for me, as this post is just my thoughts, I wouldn’t want to write a review or read a book by skipping or skimming.

      • Shelleyrae says:

        I didn’t think you were implying it but it does seem to be a common perception. Many of the comments on this post seem to agree with the idea that faster (generally meaning faster than whatever pace they read) equals a lack of comprehension or attention to detail or ability savour a book. I think that is an unfair assumption, reading is a process and it makes perfect sense that people do it at different rates

        • Fiktshun009 says:

          I totally agree with this – “reading is a process and it makes perfect sense that people do it at different rates”!

          I think everyone has their own interpretation of what’s fast and slow. To me 50 pages is slow, 100 pages is normal and 300 pages an hour seems fast. So for me, I feel I read slowly by only reading 50 pages an hour. But that’s my perception for me. And for me, 50 pages and hour is the speed I need to read stories at to connect. Whereas I can read 100 or more pages an hour to read something other than novels.

          I created this post simply for the fact that people shouldn’t be judged (whether fast or slow, but as a slow reader I wrote it from my pov) for the speed at which they read. I have been feeling like something’s wrong with me for not reading at the pace most bloggers do and I started not to like that feeling so I took a step back and embraced the fact that the pace I read was right for me.

          You can be a fast reader and savor a book, if that’s the way you read. But if I were to read faster, it wouldn’t be savoring. It would be skimming or racing through it. Just as if you doubled the pace at which you read the same would be true. It’s not the number as much as it is increasing the speed beyond the one that works best for you.

          I do find it fascinating to hear the perspective from the other side. I always believed that it was only the slower readers who were criticized for their slowness, which is why I think there are so many slower readers sharing their experiences. I never really thought of the opposite being true. Thanks so much for sharing!

          • Shelleyrae says:

            I’ve found it an interesting discussion – I have written my own post about being a fast reader with reference to this post, which will be on my blog on Sunday. πŸ™‚

            • Fiktshun009 says:

              I’m so glad! I have too. And I can’t wait to read what you have to say. I’m curious if you touched on the question about what counts as a fast read – 50 pages an hour, 100 pages an hour, 200?

              I would think 100 pages an hour is normal and my 50 is slow? 200 pages and up would be fast, for me, I’d say….

              The reader I mentioned who read over 650 books a year, had to average over 12 books a week to meet that stat. Unless he was reading 10 page picture books, he’d have to be a fast reader!

  24. Kalynn says:

    I’ve often wanted to be a slow reader, but I’m naturally a really fast reader. I rarely can stand to spend more than a day or two with the same book, especially a normal length novel. My version of savoring is being a rereader. I sometimes read a book through 2 or 3 times if I really liked it. Sometimes I just read favorite passages, other times I reread the whole things. Some books I keep to reread multiple times.

    I don’t think there’s anything inherently better about being a slow or a fast reader. The problems come when you force a pace that doesn’t let you enjoy the book. If I read slowly, I get so bored that I start nitpicking commas and word usage. The point is just to go at your pace. I think, sometimes (and I am so guilty of this), we forget that this is supposed to be fun πŸ™‚

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      See, I want to be a faster reader. I never spend more than a day or two with a book. I just spend a lot of hours during that day or two. Which I suppose is why people think I’m a fast reader. I stay up at night and read from Midnight to 4 a.m. for a couple days and I’ll have finished a 400 page book.

      I’ll one sit read a book for eight straight hours when I have to.

      I love re-reads for many books, but not all. I read through the first 3 in the TMI series many times and the Sookie books a few times, and then just skimmed to my favorite parts which I bookmarked throughout the series.

      While I do have envy for those who can read faster and get the same enjoyment out of their books as I do with the pace I have, I agree that there’s nothing better or worse about reading faster or slower.

      My own pace just happens to be slow.

      I try never to forget that this is supposed to be fun, but with deadlines, etc. that sometimes requires a reminder.

      But that was the point of my post. I’m a slow reader. I shouldn’t be ashamed to be. I want to enjoy the books I read, even if it means I’m not like those “better bloggers” who can bang out book after book, where I only get one or two reviews in per week.

      If that’s all that I can do then so be it. I’m happy with the way I read and as Shelleyrae mentioned above about being criticized by slower readers, the same is true in the reverse – being a slower reader shouldn’t make me feel that I’m a lesser reader who should be reading more or faster than those other readers.

      We all have our own pace and as long as we are enjoying it, loving the books than that’s what matters. To heck with everything else!

  25. Lexie C. says:

    Honestly while I knew I was a fast reader–they used to test us in school and I was always done with the reading material before anyone else AND had the highest comprehension skills, for which I am proud of XD–but when reading stuff I want to read it didn’t occur to me to notice. I can read slow, often the more plot heavy fantasies I read I will take much slower because they require me to remember multitudes of cast members from chapters ago or minor events from forever ago, and on re-reads I read slower, but most books I tend to read at a quick pace.

    I have nothing on my sister though–if she’s into a book she’ll finish a four or five hundred page novel in 2 hours.

    I don’t see why there’s anything wrong or better about reading slow or fast. Despite how fast I read my reviews take forever because when I’m in the mood I don’t want to take the time to write a review I just want to read the next book :shrugs:

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Yeah, I forgot about those Reading Comprehension tests. I did test out fast on those. But for me comprehension is one thing and enjoyment is another. I have an odd and strangely detailed memory. I comprehend quickly. But if I’m reading for pleasure, I have to create a visual picture of what I’m reading, and for some reason that just slows me down to half speed or more.

      Your sister sounds AWESOME! I’d kill to devour a book that quickly.

      There are people who feel that slow readers shouldn’t be blogging. The idea that if you can’t read a certain quantity of books and write your reviews you should just be a pleasure reader. But I say phooey on that. I will read at my pace, even if it is slow. And talk about books the way I want to.

      But maybe I should accept fewer review books so that I don’t disappoint authors or publishers because I fall behind. And it will be less stressful…

      I know what you mean about forever reviews. I’m actually blogging about that right now on my other blog.

      I need to “feel” like writing the review, but also I typically would much rather be reading!

      We all have our own pace. And whatever works for the individual reader is what matters, right? As long as we are reading our lovely novels for the pleasure of doing it and not racing for a deadline or feeling pressured to increase (or reduce) our pace for someone other than ourselves.

  26. Jess says:

    At some point I learned I could read a page in about a minute and a few second. I’m not sure if that’s fast or slow, but I know it takes me a while to finish a book.

    When I was in H.S I would have a structured reading schedule that I read about a book a week, in college I could never find time to read.

    Now I’m still trying to find a balance. I was amazed when I finished a 500 page book in 11 hours (non-consecutive) during a read-a-thon, so I think those help me understand how I read.

    I am also heartbroken to hear most professional reviewers only skim books, I’ve heard that quite a few places before.

  27. Jackie says:

    Thanks so much for this post! Ever since I read fellow book bloggers New Years Reading Resolutions I’ve been feeling pretty insecure about myself. Bloggers mentioned they wanted to read 150 books in a year, but they missed it by maybe 20 books and they were bummed out. My mind was boggled! How do people read over 100 books so easily? I barely got through 20 it seemed. I felt like as a slow reader I didn’t really have a place in the book blogging world. But, this post and other reader’s comments have made me feel a little confident.

    For me, it’s not about quantity. It’s about quality. And if the only way I can get a quality read is to read slowly, then so be it!

  28. Excellent post! And rather timely for me. I was beginning to worry I couldn’t keep the pace with my fellow bloggers on a new site. After reading this post and the other reader/blogger comments, I’m no longer concerned. Especially after seeing some of my blogger friends were leaving those comments. Like Raine, I was a fast reader and I really didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t get as caught up in the world building and the emotions of the characters. Now, for me, that connection is essential. If I can’t relate, empathize or imagine where (they) are coming from or what they are going through, whether I like the character or not, I won’t enjoy the book. And mostly, as much as I love to share my love of books…I read because I love to escape to other worlds and other people’s realities. And to marvel at the imaginings of writers.
    So, yay! I’m in very good company.
    Happy reading all. Enjoy at your own pace. Just enjoy. πŸ˜‰

  29. Daisy says:

    I’d say 40-50 pages an hour makes you a pretty fast reader! I do roughly the same thing, if it’s a really exciting book I sometimes read more in an hour, because I’m reading faster as I’m dying to find out what happens next (love it when that happens πŸ™‚ )! Sometimes I wish I could read faster as the amount of books I need to read is enormous, but on the other hand: I don’t want to skim books. Because then I will probably not enjoy any of them and for me that’s the whole point of reading.

  30. Carmen says:

    I’m also a rather slow reader. It depends on the book, really. If the plot is very intense, I speed along with it. If I’m more focused on the way it is written, the words and pictures the author chooses, then I read slowly. Some of my favorite books took me long to read because sometimes I read the same paragraph several times because it was just so awesome. Also, the faster I read the faster I will have to say farewell to the characters and the world of the book.
    Sometimes I have to read faster though. I study literature, so I have to read a lot of books for my courses, and working 2 jobs on the side I’m sometimes behind, so I start skimming. But I tend to stop without noticing it because I get drawn back into the story.
    Basically, I don’t see the point of reading the story if you aren’t going to pay attention to the actual words the author chose to express what is happening, both within and around the characters. And in order to appreciate that, you have to take your time.

  31. I’m a slow reader, too, as I enjoy savoring a book over rushing through it. It’s about the journey, not the destination, right? That’s my philosophy, although I wish I could read faster because it’s hard to take so long to finish a book, only to see that very tall TBR pile towering over my head. I want to savor my books, but I’ve got too many to manage that.

  32. I read about 2 books a week, and that’s plenty for me. I think bloggers who post 2 reviews a week – that certainly sounds plenty to me! Honestly, I subscribe to a lot of book blogs & I don’t read many reviews … just not interested. I’m more interested in the other content – but that might just be me.

    And I also wonder why bloggers feel the need to accept so many review copies (with caveats). Honestly, I feel it’s better to read & review a book long after it’s published, when other folks have read it and are thus more likely to comment – or have something to relate to … the only time I read a book review on a blog is if I’ve already read the book. Chances are, if it’s an ARC – I haven’t read it yet, and have nothing to say about the review.

    I guess the point of my long rambling comment is to say – I heart your blog, so if you’re a slow reader, keep doing what you’re doing πŸ™‚

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Thanks so much! (And I love your long and rambling comment.) And I read and review about at that pace, too. I always find I get less traffic on reviews than my other posts. And like you, I don’t generally read reviews unless I’ve read the book or if it’s one I haven’t heard of that I’m curious about.

      I think, at least for me, the idea of accepting review copies is that the eyes are bigger than the stomach, so to speak. I want to read the books super early. Especially books in a series I’ve already fallen in love with. I love reading early. I don’t care so much about posting my review too early, but just being able to read a book months before the rest of the world is exciting. I hate to wait, I’m terribly impatient and the idea of an early read still makes me grin.

      But part of the idea, at least from the publisher’s standpoint, is to get the buzz out about a book. It’s why early reviews can be helpful. So that by the time the book releases it’s already being talked about. It takes awhile to create buzz. Even if just a handful of readers check out the blogs, then they share the news with their friends and those readers spread the word, by the time the book hits the shelves, those readers will have heard of the title, even if in some vague sense, and be more inclined to pick it up to see just what it’s about.

      And for me, as a lover of books, if there’s a book I read early, like Everneath, I want to share my love for that book with everyone. I want it to be a huge success. I want sequels and trilogies and on… But for that to happen, people have to buy the book. Readers have to want to read it. And while covers can sell a book, sometimes just hearing something about a book will get you to pick it up.

      Anyway, I went way off topic there. Sorry about that. I’m just a super fan of reading things as early as possible. But I read so slowly it usually doesn’t happen. LOL.

  33. Caitlin says:

    I can be both at times. Usually I’m slow at reading when other things get in the way. Or when I try to read more than one book at a time. I use to good at that but now I’m failing lol. When I do get enough time to read nothing else exists. I have easily put away books in a day or two. I love savoring the books but at the same time never want to stop reading. Plus I know one day I will come back to the books for a second time so I don’t mind going through them like crazy.

  34. Faye says:

    No I AM A SLOW reader!!! lol no seriously…seriously πŸ™‚

    I know people who can read a “little old” 300 pg book a DAY! and that’s not counting the ones with the ity bity texts. I am like jealous. Two books a week is pushing it for me. now if i didn’t have school i would totally be pulling those 2am kinda reads.

    But the thing with me, i can’t read a book for more then 3hrs start(with the same book), somehow I’m always adding more to my currently reading pile. maybe that’s why I’m not reading fast enough! lol

  35. Natalie says:

    I am a slow reader, and I always will be. I’m proud of being a slow reader because it means I can savour the book. It means I can escape reality and stay with the characters on their journey just that little bit longer. I love connecting with the characters and feeling what they feel, smiling when they do and even crying with them too, because eventually the characters become my friends and I get lost in their world that takes me away for a while, that makes time just stop, just until you finally close to the book again.

  36. I actually wouldn’t be able to properly classify myself as a “slow reader” or “fast reader” unless I chose to take notice of how many pages/books I can read in a certain amount of time. With me, I think, it varies from book to book. There are times when I read slowly to savor them (like with Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races) and then there are times that I get too intensely excited about a book that I read it really quickly (like with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins).

    I think, like many others have said, the important bit of this is that I read. I love to read. I will always love to read. And no matter what, if I’m a fast/slow reader, it’s the act itself that’s enjoyable and worth your while πŸ™‚

  37. Jasmine Rose says:

    I’m definitely a slow reader. I like to savor books which makes me go at a much slower pace (still, I finish a book every couple days). My main problem is distractions though. I get so distracted by tv and computer and daily chores that my poor book gets shoved to the side making me and even SLOWER reader.

  38. Thanks for this post! I am also a slow reader, I read about 50 pages an hour too… I always laugh when people assume I’m a fast reader. I don’t really mind because I feel like I’m REALLY reading it, and immersing myself in the book. If I read faster, I’m just skimming the surface and I don’t always GET the book. I have a really hard time meeting deadlines, but this is also because I’m a mood reader and hate HAVING to read something. As soon as I HAVE to read a book, others begin looking super shiny and I want to read them instead.

    Anyway, a big fat ditto to this post! Thanks!

  39. Hannah says:

    I can read somewhere between 30-50 pages per hour, depending on the book. If I read any faster than that I don’t even get the gist of the story. I constantly wish I could read a lot faster and still get the same out of it as I do now (if not more, my memory is awful, I have to take notes to be able to write decentish reviews) but I can’t. So I just have to take the time and the quiet, aim for a minimum of 100 pages per day, more if possible and enjoy it. πŸ™‚
    Being behind on review books, however, and not being able to read my own books – that sucks.

  40. Shelleyrae says:

    Since there is no room left to reply (LOL) here is the link to my post Rachel http://bookdout.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/stuff-on-sundays-on-being-a-fast-reader

    • Fiktshun009 says:

      Thanks for leaving the link so that others (if they check here) can find it! I actually left a rather long (sorry about that, but I’m really long-winded with all my comments) comment on your post as I just finished a book after my own mini weekend readathon and remembered that today is Sunday where you are so I headed over and there it was!

      I thought your post was awesome and touched on a lot of issues. I had not realized when I was going through my own random thoughts that readers who read quickly were criticized. Not until I started reading the comments here, and then reading your post it hit home.


      If you read slowly you feel inadequate as a blogger. You feel like you’re letting down the publishers and authors who send you their books for review when you can’t read them fast enough, you can’t meet the release date deadlines.

      And when you read too fast you’re seen as not taking enough of an interest in a book and not reading it as carefully as a slow reader.

      What you said about natural pace in your post is exactly right. If your natural pace is slow and you read above that, then you can be accused of skimming, and if your natural pace is fast, then if you read even faster, you too can be accused of skimming. But it all depends on what your natural pace is. And mine, sadly, for fiction, is slow. Mine for work-related texts is fast.

      I build my stories and worlds slowly. When I don’t have to build them, like with a text on the financial markets, there is no world to build, I can crank through it. But no one, who is reading at their appropriate pace, should be criticized of anything, from anyone.

      But I still stand by the fact that if you are a paid reviewer (having nothing to do with pace) but are skipping chunks of a book and reviewing it, you are doing a disservice to readers everywhere.

      • Shelleyrae says:

        “But I still stand by the fact that if you are a paid reviewer (having nothing to do with pace) but are skipping chunks of a book and reviewing it, you are doing a disservice to readers everywhere.”

        Completely agree and honestly whether you are paid or not, a review on a book you only skimmed isn’t a review.
        Thank you for your comments and a great discussion πŸ™‚

  41. maree says:

    I am so slow. I must time myself, But I don’t think I do anywhere near 50 pages an hour.
    I wish I were faster. But I can’t change.
    There are so many books I want to read. I have to be very picky!

  42. Great post, I came over from Shellyrae’s post – fast reader.

    I consider myself a slow reader, I only complete 1 book a week sometimes 2. I wish I can read faster only to be able to accept more review books but I am a mood reader also so I am very choosy and have to say no at times.

    I do think some ‘professional’ reviewers skim but this is why I love bloggers, I believe they have a true love to read and escape in books.


  1. Bookish news and publishing tidbits 17 January 2012 | Read in a Single Sitting - Book reviews and new books - [...] On being a slow reader. (I am one, actually. I just spend a lot of time reading) [...]
  2. Poll: How many books do you read a week? « book'd out - [...] the fascinating discussion between my post: On Being a Fast Reader and Rachel’s post: On being a Slow Reader,Β …
  3. Stuff On Sunday: The Best of 2012 Survey « book'd out - [...] On Being A Slow Reader at Ficticious because that is what sparked my blog about being a fast reader…
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