Do You Wish You Read Faster?

Sometimes I wish I read faster.

I had friends in college who could read a novel in an hour. There are times when I sigh, and think how many books I could read if I were like that.

And I don’t read particularly slowly, either — but I have so many books I want to read…and I get further behind every month.

Sometimes, though, I suspect that I get more from a book than those old friends of mine. Maybe they were really skimming the book, and getting the story but missing the details, the setting, the subtleties.

And even if I’m not getting more details of the story than they were, perhaps I’m paying more attention to the prose. (Or is that just wishful thinking?)

How about you? Do you wish you read faster? Or do you think you’d miss too much if you did?

Remember: next Tuesday in the Jane Austen movie club we discuss the Ang Lee/Emma Thompson Sense & Sensibility!

Cara King, author of My Lady Gamester and writer of silly taglines which no one reads

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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16 Responses to Do You Wish You Read Faster?

  1. Todd says:

    I read pretty quickly. Sometimes I read so quickly that I suffer from eyeball injuries. Once I ran into a comma where I was expecting a period, and I was in traction for three weeks. It was a mess.

    Seriously, I used to read more quickly when I was a kid than I do now–but looking back, I think I was really often skimming long passages, especially long passages of description. Nowadays I think I’ve settled into a more steady habit. You know, reading the actual words that are written, and things like that. πŸ™‚


  2. Todd says:

    Oh…and we do, too, read your taglines! Uh…well, most of the time, anyway…


  3. AndreaW says:

    Sometimes I wish I read faster. I used to, but now it usually takes me a few days to read an entire novel. But then again, maybe it’s because I have two kids who take up a lot of my time. πŸ˜‰

  4. Yes, I do wish I read faster. I read a lot of books about the same speed I’d read them if I read aloud. I like to “hear” the rhythm of the language that way. But I’m so behind on my reading that it isn’t even funny. My sister can speed read, and I’m jealous.

  5. Cara King says:

    But then again, maybe it’s because I have two kids who take up a lot of my time. πŸ˜‰

    I bet, Andrea! I’m one of those unfortunate readers who has great trouble getting back into a book after an interruption — so if I had kids, I suspect I would never get any reading done!

    I like to “hear” the rhythm of the language that way.

    I do, too, Therese — sometimes, anyway. I do find it interesting to go into a book discussion group and say something about the prose or style or whatever and get a lot of blank stares…so perhaps most people just read for story.


  6. Diane Gaston says:

    I wish I read faster. I’m probably about average as far as readers go. It would be nice to think it is because I want to appreciate the prose, but I’m probably just slow.

    I have learned to skim, though, and this means I get through more books than I otherwise would. But to me that is not reading.

  7. Tracy Grant says:

    I’ve always been a fairly slow reader (I’m a rather slow writer too, come to think of it). I can skim pretty efficiently, which was good for getting through college and for research, but isn’t the way I want to enjoy a novel. I only read a book at one sitting if I can spend a day and evening doing nothing but read (which I’ve been known to do with new books by writers such as Dorothy Dunnett, Elizabeth George, and Laurie King, but I can’t afford to do it often). Mostly it takes me a week or more to get through a book.

  8. I read pretty fast, but it also depends on the book. I can run through a short category romance in a day, but I took a week to savor the final Harry Potter, because I didn’t want it to end. Looking at my TBR pile, I wish I read faster, but I think you lose something if you’re getting through a book in an hour. Sometimes it’s nice to just luxuriate in the prose of a really good wordsmith.

  9. Eyeball injuries? Must be that ping-ponging action.

    Another hand raised for Cara’s Taglines, especially when they tie the obscure to My Lady Gamester.

    I’m comfortable with the pace I read. Most of the time, the building TBR pile has to do with not spending enough time reading, not with reading speed.

    If there are too many interruptions or the book takes too many days to “get” read, then I, too, lose interest in the book. I’d love to read in one sitting, and sometimes, can do so, but that is rare these days.

  10. Cara King says:

    If there are too many interruptions or the book takes too many days to “get” read, then I, too, lose interest in the book.

    I’m with you on that, Keira! That’s why I like to find a big chunk of time — generally at least two days in a row when I know I’ll have a lot of reading time — to read books by my favorite authors. Don’t want to sully the experience! πŸ™‚

    who is glad Keira enjoys her taglines

  11. Todd says:

    Keira wrote:

    Eyeball injuries? Must be that ping-ponging action.

    Yes, I think I get bruises on the inside of my eyelids. πŸ™‚


  12. I read fast but only when I have the luxury of settling down with a book and immersing myself in it. I’ve been trying to read the latest HP for days, weeks now, because I read a few pages and then go to sleep. I mean, it’s gripping stuff and all that, but I’m tired.

    Janet (always amazed at the inventiveness of Cara’s taglines)

  13. Cara King says:

    Janet (always amazed at the inventiveness of Cara’s taglines)

    I’m honored, Janet! And here I didn’t think anyone read them. πŸ™‚


  14. B says:

    I would love to read faster, but i wouldn’t want to miss out on anything. Then again, if i just had the ability to read faster, i could always go back and re-read slower to get more from the book….i think i’d prefer to get most from it first time tho. I did manage Harry Potter 7 in a weekend- and i was pacing myself(or i tried to at least) I guess i’m okay with my reading speed- oh dear what a waste of a comment lol

  15. Cara King says:

    oh dear what a waste of a comment lol

    Not at all! πŸ™‚ I feel pretty much the same way, i.e. a bit conflicted!


  16. Lois says:

    I read tag lines too! πŸ™‚

    I was going to put that yep, wish I could (but in terms of read more books than I do, not how I read the book I’m on). . . but I actually want to say I really should slow down. There are plenty of times I have to go back a paragraph or two to actually comprehend what I read. So, nope, not faster, but maybe slower. πŸ™‚


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