The Reading Habit

Wednesday, and Susan Sarah here…

Stillboo Rushing through the last bit of my current WIP, moving in hyperspeed, zooming through drafts and last-minute research, and looking longingly at my TBR pile — which has been sadly neglected for too long — I got to thinking about reading =speed= — the simple state of reading fast or slow.

Stack_of_books I tend to be a pretty quick reader, when the focus is there and I have the quiet and the time for reading. This is particularly true with nonfiction. I can fly through research books at a lightning pace, scribbling notes as I go, and enough info seems to stick, probably due to ingraining a research-and-notes habit through years of graduate school, that I don’t have to read it again, though I use the notes as a refresher as I get further into writing  the book. With online research, I can fly through reading on screens, if the material is well organized, and though online research is a fantastic resource–especially for visual research, or quick-hit information–I am a bookaholic. If I can do the research in a book, I will. I love books–the smell of pages and binding, the weight of them, turning pages, skimming, scanning, dipping and reading. I am not keen on reading onscreen, being a bit light sensitive, but I will do it if I have no other choice.

GlassesYears ago I took a reading improvement course, not a speed-reading course per se, but one called PhotoReading, which takes a whole-brain approach to reading: the entrainment is geared to allow the eyes and brain to work together to absorb information from the book efficiently and quickly, according to the ways the brain works best, rather than the eyes doing a speed-racing trick to dump the information into the brain. Considering all the research I did in graduate school and as a writer of historicl fiction, the reading course was a big help, and I still use the techniques, and though my skills are a bit stale they still work for me. But I find it more useful for nonfiction and research than fiction, because of reading styles and preferences.

Readingw_1 I don’t want to fly through reading fiction–I want to savor it. Reading can be an art form in itself, the enjoyment of the physical book, the pages, the relaxation of getting cozy and comfy and settling down to a great book, and a great reading experience. That’s the way I read fiction when I have time. But reality does have its bite…and more often than not I am flying through a novel when I really want to take time to read it carefully.

As a writer, I know what goes into the crafting of a novel, and ideally I’d like to give all my attention to any book that I’m reading. I already have quite a to-be-read pile to go through, and there are always more books coming up on the radar screen to tempt and distract me, and so while I want to give each book the time and reading energy, it’s not always practical or possible. I end up zooming through books, zipping chapter to chapter, skimming passages. And while I can certainly enjoy books that I’m reading at that pace — I always feel a little unsatisfied when I reach the end.

Breughel_land_of_cockayneThen I find myself reaching for more books, and more, zipping through sometimes more than one book a day. I have been known to go on a reading binge, plowing my way through a stack, absorbing stories, characters, and writing styles…not even finishing them, casting them aside and reaching for another, and by day’s end, I’m lying sprawled in a mass of books like a crazy drunken sod.

I’ve realized this leads to more dissatisfaction with the books–reading more and enjoying it less. Often this is not the writer’s doing (ok and sometimes it is, just a fact of too many books, the publishing glut) –often it’s my own fault. I’m reading too fast. I’m not getting what I need from the story, all the pith of it, the mental, emotional, spiritual nutrition of that book. It’s like eating fast food or taking in empty calories–the more I eat, the more I want, because the body is still craving its nutritional needs, and wants more.

I find that if I slow down and really, truly give my attention and respect to what I’m reading, and allow myself the leisure to disappear into the realm of that story and those characters, the reading experience is a lot more satisfying. Yes, it does take me longer, and my TBR pile grows. But I am learning to trim out the chaff, and read what I really want to read, what I most need to read, and not just what’s out there, what everyone’s reading, what’s on the bestseller lists. I still go through my binges–one has to keep up, and reading in a way becomes the bane of a writer–but I have learned that I have to slow down and savor a book. And often, when all conditions are right — when I have the time, and the book and author’s voice are the right fit for me at that moment — those are the books I cherish, the ones I will never forget.

So, reading habits: I read nonfiction very fast, in a glut of book stacks and notetaking. I read the fiction I need to read pretty fast too, going on a romance or a mystery or a historical fiction bender…and I’m still way behind, because I’m not getting what I want with that approach. So many books, so little time, as someone once wisely said.

And I slow down my reading approach when the book is very good. I slow down…and allow myself to love that book.

136_3604 How about you all? How fast or slowly do you plow through books, or do you have a different approach depending on the book, as I do? And do you finish every book you read?

~Susan Sarah

60 thoughts on “The Reading Habit”

  1. I read fiction very quickly to get the story. If I like it a lot, I’ll reread it slowly to savor all the word choices and the nuances of the plot. That’s how I determine which books are “keepers.”
    With non-fiction, especially technical reading regarding to nursing practice, I have to read more slowly to get all the particulars. It just doesn’t stay in my data banks with enough detail to answer a question if I don’t do that.
    In general I’m a very quick reader of fiction and can get through one of those little series books in about 1.5 hours.

    Reply
  2. I read fiction very quickly to get the story. If I like it a lot, I’ll reread it slowly to savor all the word choices and the nuances of the plot. That’s how I determine which books are “keepers.”
    With non-fiction, especially technical reading regarding to nursing practice, I have to read more slowly to get all the particulars. It just doesn’t stay in my data banks with enough detail to answer a question if I don’t do that.
    In general I’m a very quick reader of fiction and can get through one of those little series books in about 1.5 hours.

    Reply
  3. I read fiction very quickly to get the story. If I like it a lot, I’ll reread it slowly to savor all the word choices and the nuances of the plot. That’s how I determine which books are “keepers.”
    With non-fiction, especially technical reading regarding to nursing practice, I have to read more slowly to get all the particulars. It just doesn’t stay in my data banks with enough detail to answer a question if I don’t do that.
    In general I’m a very quick reader of fiction and can get through one of those little series books in about 1.5 hours.

    Reply
  4. I read fiction very quickly to get the story. If I like it a lot, I’ll reread it slowly to savor all the word choices and the nuances of the plot. That’s how I determine which books are “keepers.”
    With non-fiction, especially technical reading regarding to nursing practice, I have to read more slowly to get all the particulars. It just doesn’t stay in my data banks with enough detail to answer a question if I don’t do that.
    In general I’m a very quick reader of fiction and can get through one of those little series books in about 1.5 hours.

    Reply
  5. Your excellent post has made me think of a question for you Wenches. As you read, are you able to sit back objectively and just enjoy, or do you wish you could tinker with the author’s words/ideas? I know since I started writing I’m way more critical (I’m thinking too much backstory, headhopping, purple prose, didn’t she use the same phrase two paragraphs up? I annoy myself!).
    I tend to read pretty quickly if I’m in a quiet space, averaging 4 or so books a week, more in the summer when I’m on vacation. Of course, these are “fun” books that require little thought. I tend to take longer with non-fiction, since I’m usually note-taking.
    I’ve only recently given myself permission to not finish a book. I abandoned one this week at page 108, and it was a struggle to get that far. My current read stands at 225 and I expect I’ll be skimming until I get to page 464—I’m just not captivated. But sometimes I love a book so much I defer my pleasure with it, because I simply don’t want it to end.

    Reply
  6. Your excellent post has made me think of a question for you Wenches. As you read, are you able to sit back objectively and just enjoy, or do you wish you could tinker with the author’s words/ideas? I know since I started writing I’m way more critical (I’m thinking too much backstory, headhopping, purple prose, didn’t she use the same phrase two paragraphs up? I annoy myself!).
    I tend to read pretty quickly if I’m in a quiet space, averaging 4 or so books a week, more in the summer when I’m on vacation. Of course, these are “fun” books that require little thought. I tend to take longer with non-fiction, since I’m usually note-taking.
    I’ve only recently given myself permission to not finish a book. I abandoned one this week at page 108, and it was a struggle to get that far. My current read stands at 225 and I expect I’ll be skimming until I get to page 464—I’m just not captivated. But sometimes I love a book so much I defer my pleasure with it, because I simply don’t want it to end.

    Reply
  7. Your excellent post has made me think of a question for you Wenches. As you read, are you able to sit back objectively and just enjoy, or do you wish you could tinker with the author’s words/ideas? I know since I started writing I’m way more critical (I’m thinking too much backstory, headhopping, purple prose, didn’t she use the same phrase two paragraphs up? I annoy myself!).
    I tend to read pretty quickly if I’m in a quiet space, averaging 4 or so books a week, more in the summer when I’m on vacation. Of course, these are “fun” books that require little thought. I tend to take longer with non-fiction, since I’m usually note-taking.
    I’ve only recently given myself permission to not finish a book. I abandoned one this week at page 108, and it was a struggle to get that far. My current read stands at 225 and I expect I’ll be skimming until I get to page 464—I’m just not captivated. But sometimes I love a book so much I defer my pleasure with it, because I simply don’t want it to end.

    Reply
  8. Your excellent post has made me think of a question for you Wenches. As you read, are you able to sit back objectively and just enjoy, or do you wish you could tinker with the author’s words/ideas? I know since I started writing I’m way more critical (I’m thinking too much backstory, headhopping, purple prose, didn’t she use the same phrase two paragraphs up? I annoy myself!).
    I tend to read pretty quickly if I’m in a quiet space, averaging 4 or so books a week, more in the summer when I’m on vacation. Of course, these are “fun” books that require little thought. I tend to take longer with non-fiction, since I’m usually note-taking.
    I’ve only recently given myself permission to not finish a book. I abandoned one this week at page 108, and it was a struggle to get that far. My current read stands at 225 and I expect I’ll be skimming until I get to page 464—I’m just not captivated. But sometimes I love a book so much I defer my pleasure with it, because I simply don’t want it to end.

    Reply
  9. “by day’s end, I’m lying sprawled in a mass of books like a crazy drunken sod. “”
    LOL! What an image, Susan Sarah. 🙂 I used to be a faster reader, but for books I read for pleasure, I take my time to sink into the story and characters to I can fully enjoy the journey.
    But yes, I’m MUCH more critical of other people’s writing than I used than I used to. If I’m enjoying the story, I’ll overlook the minor rough spots like repeated phrases.
    I’m also tolerant of things like omniscient pov–the kind of focused third person that we usually use in romance is custom, not natural law.
    But there are perfectly good books that I simply can’t get into because the writing doesn’t speak to me. Whereas if I really like the writing, I’ll read all kinds of odd things. (Humor that’s on my wavelength gets me every time.)
    Mary Jo, another book rat

    Reply
  10. “by day’s end, I’m lying sprawled in a mass of books like a crazy drunken sod. “”
    LOL! What an image, Susan Sarah. 🙂 I used to be a faster reader, but for books I read for pleasure, I take my time to sink into the story and characters to I can fully enjoy the journey.
    But yes, I’m MUCH more critical of other people’s writing than I used than I used to. If I’m enjoying the story, I’ll overlook the minor rough spots like repeated phrases.
    I’m also tolerant of things like omniscient pov–the kind of focused third person that we usually use in romance is custom, not natural law.
    But there are perfectly good books that I simply can’t get into because the writing doesn’t speak to me. Whereas if I really like the writing, I’ll read all kinds of odd things. (Humor that’s on my wavelength gets me every time.)
    Mary Jo, another book rat

    Reply
  11. “by day’s end, I’m lying sprawled in a mass of books like a crazy drunken sod. “”
    LOL! What an image, Susan Sarah. 🙂 I used to be a faster reader, but for books I read for pleasure, I take my time to sink into the story and characters to I can fully enjoy the journey.
    But yes, I’m MUCH more critical of other people’s writing than I used than I used to. If I’m enjoying the story, I’ll overlook the minor rough spots like repeated phrases.
    I’m also tolerant of things like omniscient pov–the kind of focused third person that we usually use in romance is custom, not natural law.
    But there are perfectly good books that I simply can’t get into because the writing doesn’t speak to me. Whereas if I really like the writing, I’ll read all kinds of odd things. (Humor that’s on my wavelength gets me every time.)
    Mary Jo, another book rat

    Reply
  12. “by day’s end, I’m lying sprawled in a mass of books like a crazy drunken sod. “”
    LOL! What an image, Susan Sarah. 🙂 I used to be a faster reader, but for books I read for pleasure, I take my time to sink into the story and characters to I can fully enjoy the journey.
    But yes, I’m MUCH more critical of other people’s writing than I used than I used to. If I’m enjoying the story, I’ll overlook the minor rough spots like repeated phrases.
    I’m also tolerant of things like omniscient pov–the kind of focused third person that we usually use in romance is custom, not natural law.
    But there are perfectly good books that I simply can’t get into because the writing doesn’t speak to me. Whereas if I really like the writing, I’ll read all kinds of odd things. (Humor that’s on my wavelength gets me every time.)
    Mary Jo, another book rat

    Reply
  13. “As you read, are you able to sit back objectively and just enjoy, or do you wish you could tinker with the author’s words/ideas?”
    The sign of a good book, IMO, is that I’m not mentally tinkering with the prose, I’m too involved in the story! When I find myself taking overt notice of the writing itself, that’s not a good sign (unless it’s just to think, “d*mn, this person can write!”).
    A few years ago an author who used to be an autobuy for me slipped into ‘avoid at all costs” because her writing just began to have too many problems that pulled me out of the story. The book that killed it for me had “of course-itis”. She frequently used the phrase two to three times a page (and sometimes more!). It got so distracting that I started counting the totally usage, and to this day “of course” in ANY book makes me twitch. I just kept wondering what happened to her editor? How could no one have noticed this?

    Reply
  14. “As you read, are you able to sit back objectively and just enjoy, or do you wish you could tinker with the author’s words/ideas?”
    The sign of a good book, IMO, is that I’m not mentally tinkering with the prose, I’m too involved in the story! When I find myself taking overt notice of the writing itself, that’s not a good sign (unless it’s just to think, “d*mn, this person can write!”).
    A few years ago an author who used to be an autobuy for me slipped into ‘avoid at all costs” because her writing just began to have too many problems that pulled me out of the story. The book that killed it for me had “of course-itis”. She frequently used the phrase two to three times a page (and sometimes more!). It got so distracting that I started counting the totally usage, and to this day “of course” in ANY book makes me twitch. I just kept wondering what happened to her editor? How could no one have noticed this?

    Reply
  15. “As you read, are you able to sit back objectively and just enjoy, or do you wish you could tinker with the author’s words/ideas?”
    The sign of a good book, IMO, is that I’m not mentally tinkering with the prose, I’m too involved in the story! When I find myself taking overt notice of the writing itself, that’s not a good sign (unless it’s just to think, “d*mn, this person can write!”).
    A few years ago an author who used to be an autobuy for me slipped into ‘avoid at all costs” because her writing just began to have too many problems that pulled me out of the story. The book that killed it for me had “of course-itis”. She frequently used the phrase two to three times a page (and sometimes more!). It got so distracting that I started counting the totally usage, and to this day “of course” in ANY book makes me twitch. I just kept wondering what happened to her editor? How could no one have noticed this?

    Reply
  16. “As you read, are you able to sit back objectively and just enjoy, or do you wish you could tinker with the author’s words/ideas?”
    The sign of a good book, IMO, is that I’m not mentally tinkering with the prose, I’m too involved in the story! When I find myself taking overt notice of the writing itself, that’s not a good sign (unless it’s just to think, “d*mn, this person can write!”).
    A few years ago an author who used to be an autobuy for me slipped into ‘avoid at all costs” because her writing just began to have too many problems that pulled me out of the story. The book that killed it for me had “of course-itis”. She frequently used the phrase two to three times a page (and sometimes more!). It got so distracting that I started counting the totally usage, and to this day “of course” in ANY book makes me twitch. I just kept wondering what happened to her editor? How could no one have noticed this?

    Reply
  17. Kalen said “I just kept wondering what happened to her editor? How could no one have noticed this?”
    I had something similar recently with a book that got very repetitive. Only it wasn’t inoffensive things like “of course” but ridiculous statements like “he nearly swallowed his tongue with excitement” 3 times in 40 pages. It was a overdramatic phrase the first time around, by the third time it was just laughable. Can’t remember whether I managed to finish the book or not!

    Reply
  18. Kalen said “I just kept wondering what happened to her editor? How could no one have noticed this?”
    I had something similar recently with a book that got very repetitive. Only it wasn’t inoffensive things like “of course” but ridiculous statements like “he nearly swallowed his tongue with excitement” 3 times in 40 pages. It was a overdramatic phrase the first time around, by the third time it was just laughable. Can’t remember whether I managed to finish the book or not!

    Reply
  19. Kalen said “I just kept wondering what happened to her editor? How could no one have noticed this?”
    I had something similar recently with a book that got very repetitive. Only it wasn’t inoffensive things like “of course” but ridiculous statements like “he nearly swallowed his tongue with excitement” 3 times in 40 pages. It was a overdramatic phrase the first time around, by the third time it was just laughable. Can’t remember whether I managed to finish the book or not!

    Reply
  20. Kalen said “I just kept wondering what happened to her editor? How could no one have noticed this?”
    I had something similar recently with a book that got very repetitive. Only it wasn’t inoffensive things like “of course” but ridiculous statements like “he nearly swallowed his tongue with excitement” 3 times in 40 pages. It was a overdramatic phrase the first time around, by the third time it was just laughable. Can’t remember whether I managed to finish the book or not!

    Reply
  21. Really cool topic that I wish I’d thought of!
    Generally, in my personal life, I’m laidback and nonjudgmental, figuring everyone’s their own person and who am I to say they’re right or wrong. But writing has forced me to be critical of my own work, and I carry that nasty judgmental stuff over to my reading, I fear. I know a book is bad when I can skim the first line of every other paragraph and get the whole story. I gave up finishing books I don’t like years ago. My TBR stack would have crushed me by now if I hadn’t.
    But the really good authors, particularly the ones who can play with words and hide dry wit, are the ones I sit down and savor. I forget to be critical while I sit there in gloating satisfaction over their story. I read quickly, but in these cases, I read every word, which is more than I can say for most fiction.
    Genre fiction as fast food–that’s a pretty good observation.
    I have never been able to read or absorb nonfiction quickly. I learned at an early age that I need motion to absorb, so I have to underline and take notes, and that’s time consuming. But I’m an ace at using indexes to find what I want!

    Reply
  22. Really cool topic that I wish I’d thought of!
    Generally, in my personal life, I’m laidback and nonjudgmental, figuring everyone’s their own person and who am I to say they’re right or wrong. But writing has forced me to be critical of my own work, and I carry that nasty judgmental stuff over to my reading, I fear. I know a book is bad when I can skim the first line of every other paragraph and get the whole story. I gave up finishing books I don’t like years ago. My TBR stack would have crushed me by now if I hadn’t.
    But the really good authors, particularly the ones who can play with words and hide dry wit, are the ones I sit down and savor. I forget to be critical while I sit there in gloating satisfaction over their story. I read quickly, but in these cases, I read every word, which is more than I can say for most fiction.
    Genre fiction as fast food–that’s a pretty good observation.
    I have never been able to read or absorb nonfiction quickly. I learned at an early age that I need motion to absorb, so I have to underline and take notes, and that’s time consuming. But I’m an ace at using indexes to find what I want!

    Reply
  23. Really cool topic that I wish I’d thought of!
    Generally, in my personal life, I’m laidback and nonjudgmental, figuring everyone’s their own person and who am I to say they’re right or wrong. But writing has forced me to be critical of my own work, and I carry that nasty judgmental stuff over to my reading, I fear. I know a book is bad when I can skim the first line of every other paragraph and get the whole story. I gave up finishing books I don’t like years ago. My TBR stack would have crushed me by now if I hadn’t.
    But the really good authors, particularly the ones who can play with words and hide dry wit, are the ones I sit down and savor. I forget to be critical while I sit there in gloating satisfaction over their story. I read quickly, but in these cases, I read every word, which is more than I can say for most fiction.
    Genre fiction as fast food–that’s a pretty good observation.
    I have never been able to read or absorb nonfiction quickly. I learned at an early age that I need motion to absorb, so I have to underline and take notes, and that’s time consuming. But I’m an ace at using indexes to find what I want!

    Reply
  24. Really cool topic that I wish I’d thought of!
    Generally, in my personal life, I’m laidback and nonjudgmental, figuring everyone’s their own person and who am I to say they’re right or wrong. But writing has forced me to be critical of my own work, and I carry that nasty judgmental stuff over to my reading, I fear. I know a book is bad when I can skim the first line of every other paragraph and get the whole story. I gave up finishing books I don’t like years ago. My TBR stack would have crushed me by now if I hadn’t.
    But the really good authors, particularly the ones who can play with words and hide dry wit, are the ones I sit down and savor. I forget to be critical while I sit there in gloating satisfaction over their story. I read quickly, but in these cases, I read every word, which is more than I can say for most fiction.
    Genre fiction as fast food–that’s a pretty good observation.
    I have never been able to read or absorb nonfiction quickly. I learned at an early age that I need motion to absorb, so I have to underline and take notes, and that’s time consuming. But I’m an ace at using indexes to find what I want!

    Reply
  25. I tend to read fiction more quickly than nonfiction, but I don’t know if I’m actually reading more words per minute, or if it’s just that with nonfiction there’s rarely as much of a suspense factor to keep me from taking a break at the end of a chapter. (Though really well-written nonfiction can create such an effect. I once had to sternly tell myself that it was OK to put down a book on Waterloo, because it’s not like the outcome was going to be different this time around!)
    I don’t finish every book I read, not by a long shot. Life is too short and the TBR list too long to waste time on a book that isn’t working for me. With new-to-me authors, I finish 50% of what I start, if that. I’m finicky, I guess. But if a book is “important” somehow–a bestseller, a book getting huge buzz, a new book in a genre I’m writing or considering trying–I’ll give it a few more chapters before giving up and maybe skim to the end to figure out what the big deal is, or if there’s anything I can learn about the market from it.

    Reply
  26. I tend to read fiction more quickly than nonfiction, but I don’t know if I’m actually reading more words per minute, or if it’s just that with nonfiction there’s rarely as much of a suspense factor to keep me from taking a break at the end of a chapter. (Though really well-written nonfiction can create such an effect. I once had to sternly tell myself that it was OK to put down a book on Waterloo, because it’s not like the outcome was going to be different this time around!)
    I don’t finish every book I read, not by a long shot. Life is too short and the TBR list too long to waste time on a book that isn’t working for me. With new-to-me authors, I finish 50% of what I start, if that. I’m finicky, I guess. But if a book is “important” somehow–a bestseller, a book getting huge buzz, a new book in a genre I’m writing or considering trying–I’ll give it a few more chapters before giving up and maybe skim to the end to figure out what the big deal is, or if there’s anything I can learn about the market from it.

    Reply
  27. I tend to read fiction more quickly than nonfiction, but I don’t know if I’m actually reading more words per minute, or if it’s just that with nonfiction there’s rarely as much of a suspense factor to keep me from taking a break at the end of a chapter. (Though really well-written nonfiction can create such an effect. I once had to sternly tell myself that it was OK to put down a book on Waterloo, because it’s not like the outcome was going to be different this time around!)
    I don’t finish every book I read, not by a long shot. Life is too short and the TBR list too long to waste time on a book that isn’t working for me. With new-to-me authors, I finish 50% of what I start, if that. I’m finicky, I guess. But if a book is “important” somehow–a bestseller, a book getting huge buzz, a new book in a genre I’m writing or considering trying–I’ll give it a few more chapters before giving up and maybe skim to the end to figure out what the big deal is, or if there’s anything I can learn about the market from it.

    Reply
  28. I tend to read fiction more quickly than nonfiction, but I don’t know if I’m actually reading more words per minute, or if it’s just that with nonfiction there’s rarely as much of a suspense factor to keep me from taking a break at the end of a chapter. (Though really well-written nonfiction can create such an effect. I once had to sternly tell myself that it was OK to put down a book on Waterloo, because it’s not like the outcome was going to be different this time around!)
    I don’t finish every book I read, not by a long shot. Life is too short and the TBR list too long to waste time on a book that isn’t working for me. With new-to-me authors, I finish 50% of what I start, if that. I’m finicky, I guess. But if a book is “important” somehow–a bestseller, a book getting huge buzz, a new book in a genre I’m writing or considering trying–I’ll give it a few more chapters before giving up and maybe skim to the end to figure out what the big deal is, or if there’s anything I can learn about the market from it.

    Reply
  29. Well, I do tend to read fast, but I know I shouldn’t because I don’t always comprehend when I do it. LOL Sure, with fiction or any book that I’m reading for pleasure, you can get away with it, even if I don’t get all out of it that I could. But when I’m reading for class (physics/science by the way), that’s really not something that works, so I might sit there and force myself to read aloud — that way I slow down and I will at least know I read every word, even if I still didn’t pick up all the meaning. LOL 🙂
    When I started reading romances a few years back and I just wasn’t getting into a book, I still finished it because I felt bad not doing so. But I got out of that after a few times doing it, reminding myself that you know, it’s not like I don’t have any other books around me that I could read. 😉 Sometimes I go back and try again, and I finish and liked it. Sometimes I don’t. Or if it’s a particular thing in the book that I didn’t like or I just didn’t like it at the end, I’ll give it away (otherwise I keep all my books. I just don’t like sharing or just not keeping them). But if it’s something I simply know I’m not going to reread ever, then why should I have it sit collecting dust? 🙂 SOmeone else might like it.
    But anyway, nope, I won’t finish a book for whatever reason. But it doesn’t always mean I won’t try it again.
    Lois

    Reply
  30. Well, I do tend to read fast, but I know I shouldn’t because I don’t always comprehend when I do it. LOL Sure, with fiction or any book that I’m reading for pleasure, you can get away with it, even if I don’t get all out of it that I could. But when I’m reading for class (physics/science by the way), that’s really not something that works, so I might sit there and force myself to read aloud — that way I slow down and I will at least know I read every word, even if I still didn’t pick up all the meaning. LOL 🙂
    When I started reading romances a few years back and I just wasn’t getting into a book, I still finished it because I felt bad not doing so. But I got out of that after a few times doing it, reminding myself that you know, it’s not like I don’t have any other books around me that I could read. 😉 Sometimes I go back and try again, and I finish and liked it. Sometimes I don’t. Or if it’s a particular thing in the book that I didn’t like or I just didn’t like it at the end, I’ll give it away (otherwise I keep all my books. I just don’t like sharing or just not keeping them). But if it’s something I simply know I’m not going to reread ever, then why should I have it sit collecting dust? 🙂 SOmeone else might like it.
    But anyway, nope, I won’t finish a book for whatever reason. But it doesn’t always mean I won’t try it again.
    Lois

    Reply
  31. Well, I do tend to read fast, but I know I shouldn’t because I don’t always comprehend when I do it. LOL Sure, with fiction or any book that I’m reading for pleasure, you can get away with it, even if I don’t get all out of it that I could. But when I’m reading for class (physics/science by the way), that’s really not something that works, so I might sit there and force myself to read aloud — that way I slow down and I will at least know I read every word, even if I still didn’t pick up all the meaning. LOL 🙂
    When I started reading romances a few years back and I just wasn’t getting into a book, I still finished it because I felt bad not doing so. But I got out of that after a few times doing it, reminding myself that you know, it’s not like I don’t have any other books around me that I could read. 😉 Sometimes I go back and try again, and I finish and liked it. Sometimes I don’t. Or if it’s a particular thing in the book that I didn’t like or I just didn’t like it at the end, I’ll give it away (otherwise I keep all my books. I just don’t like sharing or just not keeping them). But if it’s something I simply know I’m not going to reread ever, then why should I have it sit collecting dust? 🙂 SOmeone else might like it.
    But anyway, nope, I won’t finish a book for whatever reason. But it doesn’t always mean I won’t try it again.
    Lois

    Reply
  32. Well, I do tend to read fast, but I know I shouldn’t because I don’t always comprehend when I do it. LOL Sure, with fiction or any book that I’m reading for pleasure, you can get away with it, even if I don’t get all out of it that I could. But when I’m reading for class (physics/science by the way), that’s really not something that works, so I might sit there and force myself to read aloud — that way I slow down and I will at least know I read every word, even if I still didn’t pick up all the meaning. LOL 🙂
    When I started reading romances a few years back and I just wasn’t getting into a book, I still finished it because I felt bad not doing so. But I got out of that after a few times doing it, reminding myself that you know, it’s not like I don’t have any other books around me that I could read. 😉 Sometimes I go back and try again, and I finish and liked it. Sometimes I don’t. Or if it’s a particular thing in the book that I didn’t like or I just didn’t like it at the end, I’ll give it away (otherwise I keep all my books. I just don’t like sharing or just not keeping them). But if it’s something I simply know I’m not going to reread ever, then why should I have it sit collecting dust? 🙂 SOmeone else might like it.
    But anyway, nope, I won’t finish a book for whatever reason. But it doesn’t always mean I won’t try it again.
    Lois

    Reply
  33. It was really useful to learn how to quit a book that isn’t working for me. For many years, I did finish everything, but that went by the wayside when I started writing. Life is short and there are too many books out there that I’ll enjoy more.
    A particularly useful bit of good advice I learned from LaVyrle Spencer in a speech at RWA was “God will not strike you dead if you make a mark in a book.” I always treated books with extreme respect. Her words gave me permission to use a book as a tool. My research books are now masses of highlighter and Post-It notes. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  34. It was really useful to learn how to quit a book that isn’t working for me. For many years, I did finish everything, but that went by the wayside when I started writing. Life is short and there are too many books out there that I’ll enjoy more.
    A particularly useful bit of good advice I learned from LaVyrle Spencer in a speech at RWA was “God will not strike you dead if you make a mark in a book.” I always treated books with extreme respect. Her words gave me permission to use a book as a tool. My research books are now masses of highlighter and Post-It notes. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  35. It was really useful to learn how to quit a book that isn’t working for me. For many years, I did finish everything, but that went by the wayside when I started writing. Life is short and there are too many books out there that I’ll enjoy more.
    A particularly useful bit of good advice I learned from LaVyrle Spencer in a speech at RWA was “God will not strike you dead if you make a mark in a book.” I always treated books with extreme respect. Her words gave me permission to use a book as a tool. My research books are now masses of highlighter and Post-It notes. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  36. It was really useful to learn how to quit a book that isn’t working for me. For many years, I did finish everything, but that went by the wayside when I started writing. Life is short and there are too many books out there that I’ll enjoy more.
    A particularly useful bit of good advice I learned from LaVyrle Spencer in a speech at RWA was “God will not strike you dead if you make a mark in a book.” I always treated books with extreme respect. Her words gave me permission to use a book as a tool. My research books are now masses of highlighter and Post-It notes. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  37. I tend to immerse myself in fiction. I read fast, but not because I want to, I just do. I also tend to block out the world, the television, my husband, the dogs… Non fiction (ie scientific papers) I must read slowly and several times so that I understand fully what I’ve read. Somethings are just so obscure I need to make an effort to understand. Biographies I can read like novels.

    Reply
  38. I tend to immerse myself in fiction. I read fast, but not because I want to, I just do. I also tend to block out the world, the television, my husband, the dogs… Non fiction (ie scientific papers) I must read slowly and several times so that I understand fully what I’ve read. Somethings are just so obscure I need to make an effort to understand. Biographies I can read like novels.

    Reply
  39. I tend to immerse myself in fiction. I read fast, but not because I want to, I just do. I also tend to block out the world, the television, my husband, the dogs… Non fiction (ie scientific papers) I must read slowly and several times so that I understand fully what I’ve read. Somethings are just so obscure I need to make an effort to understand. Biographies I can read like novels.

    Reply
  40. I tend to immerse myself in fiction. I read fast, but not because I want to, I just do. I also tend to block out the world, the television, my husband, the dogs… Non fiction (ie scientific papers) I must read slowly and several times so that I understand fully what I’ve read. Somethings are just so obscure I need to make an effort to understand. Biographies I can read like novels.

    Reply
  41. I can also not finish books. I’ve learnt (the hard way) to pick up a book and start reading before I buy it. If I find it hard to put down in the store, it’s a keeper (or at least one I’ll finish). If I can’t make it through the first page or two without saying “what crap” I must leave it behind. I also tend to ignore the cover art as I remember the adage “Don’t judge a book by the cover”, and that still holds true.

    Reply
  42. I can also not finish books. I’ve learnt (the hard way) to pick up a book and start reading before I buy it. If I find it hard to put down in the store, it’s a keeper (or at least one I’ll finish). If I can’t make it through the first page or two without saying “what crap” I must leave it behind. I also tend to ignore the cover art as I remember the adage “Don’t judge a book by the cover”, and that still holds true.

    Reply
  43. I can also not finish books. I’ve learnt (the hard way) to pick up a book and start reading before I buy it. If I find it hard to put down in the store, it’s a keeper (or at least one I’ll finish). If I can’t make it through the first page or two without saying “what crap” I must leave it behind. I also tend to ignore the cover art as I remember the adage “Don’t judge a book by the cover”, and that still holds true.

    Reply
  44. I can also not finish books. I’ve learnt (the hard way) to pick up a book and start reading before I buy it. If I find it hard to put down in the store, it’s a keeper (or at least one I’ll finish). If I can’t make it through the first page or two without saying “what crap” I must leave it behind. I also tend to ignore the cover art as I remember the adage “Don’t judge a book by the cover”, and that still holds true.

    Reply
  45. When I find an author who can create book magic for me, first I savor, savor, savor, and then I rip it apart.
    (Not literally. Sacrilege!!! Although MJP may have now emboldened me enough to write in them.)
    I pick them apart because good writers are my teachers. I will go back and see how this author used deep pov, or this author created sexual tension through dialogue, etc. I never mimic, book magic comes from a writer’s soul, but I do learn from the hard-won skills of others.
    Occasionally I’ll rip apart a book that did not work for me to find out what exactly was going *clunk,* but this is less fun. :-((And does not apply to any Wench books.)
    Oh dear, I hope I haven’t creeped out the Wenches with thoughts of readers performing detailed dissections upon their books.
    I’m not a particularly fast reader. Right now I’m working on letting go of my guilt around ALL the books I have *not* read!

    Reply
  46. When I find an author who can create book magic for me, first I savor, savor, savor, and then I rip it apart.
    (Not literally. Sacrilege!!! Although MJP may have now emboldened me enough to write in them.)
    I pick them apart because good writers are my teachers. I will go back and see how this author used deep pov, or this author created sexual tension through dialogue, etc. I never mimic, book magic comes from a writer’s soul, but I do learn from the hard-won skills of others.
    Occasionally I’ll rip apart a book that did not work for me to find out what exactly was going *clunk,* but this is less fun. :-((And does not apply to any Wench books.)
    Oh dear, I hope I haven’t creeped out the Wenches with thoughts of readers performing detailed dissections upon their books.
    I’m not a particularly fast reader. Right now I’m working on letting go of my guilt around ALL the books I have *not* read!

    Reply
  47. When I find an author who can create book magic for me, first I savor, savor, savor, and then I rip it apart.
    (Not literally. Sacrilege!!! Although MJP may have now emboldened me enough to write in them.)
    I pick them apart because good writers are my teachers. I will go back and see how this author used deep pov, or this author created sexual tension through dialogue, etc. I never mimic, book magic comes from a writer’s soul, but I do learn from the hard-won skills of others.
    Occasionally I’ll rip apart a book that did not work for me to find out what exactly was going *clunk,* but this is less fun. :-((And does not apply to any Wench books.)
    Oh dear, I hope I haven’t creeped out the Wenches with thoughts of readers performing detailed dissections upon their books.
    I’m not a particularly fast reader. Right now I’m working on letting go of my guilt around ALL the books I have *not* read!

    Reply
  48. When I find an author who can create book magic for me, first I savor, savor, savor, and then I rip it apart.
    (Not literally. Sacrilege!!! Although MJP may have now emboldened me enough to write in them.)
    I pick them apart because good writers are my teachers. I will go back and see how this author used deep pov, or this author created sexual tension through dialogue, etc. I never mimic, book magic comes from a writer’s soul, but I do learn from the hard-won skills of others.
    Occasionally I’ll rip apart a book that did not work for me to find out what exactly was going *clunk,* but this is less fun. :-((And does not apply to any Wench books.)
    Oh dear, I hope I haven’t creeped out the Wenches with thoughts of readers performing detailed dissections upon their books.
    I’m not a particularly fast reader. Right now I’m working on letting go of my guilt around ALL the books I have *not* read!

    Reply
  49. lately,I have tried to re-read a book I like and pay attention to how the author is creating this book — pay attention to the writing. I inevitably can’t do it. I keep getting sucked in. And then I, like someone else who posted above, am deaf to the world, to my husband etc— trance reading. I’ve been worrying lately about how much like an addiction it is– and unfortunately it is often accompanied by trance eating– a habit I am now working on breaking.
    I read quickly in general. I often put down a book, particularly if the character development gets boring or is too superficial.
    Merry

    Reply
  50. lately,I have tried to re-read a book I like and pay attention to how the author is creating this book — pay attention to the writing. I inevitably can’t do it. I keep getting sucked in. And then I, like someone else who posted above, am deaf to the world, to my husband etc— trance reading. I’ve been worrying lately about how much like an addiction it is– and unfortunately it is often accompanied by trance eating– a habit I am now working on breaking.
    I read quickly in general. I often put down a book, particularly if the character development gets boring or is too superficial.
    Merry

    Reply
  51. lately,I have tried to re-read a book I like and pay attention to how the author is creating this book — pay attention to the writing. I inevitably can’t do it. I keep getting sucked in. And then I, like someone else who posted above, am deaf to the world, to my husband etc— trance reading. I’ve been worrying lately about how much like an addiction it is– and unfortunately it is often accompanied by trance eating– a habit I am now working on breaking.
    I read quickly in general. I often put down a book, particularly if the character development gets boring or is too superficial.
    Merry

    Reply
  52. lately,I have tried to re-read a book I like and pay attention to how the author is creating this book — pay attention to the writing. I inevitably can’t do it. I keep getting sucked in. And then I, like someone else who posted above, am deaf to the world, to my husband etc— trance reading. I’ve been worrying lately about how much like an addiction it is– and unfortunately it is often accompanied by trance eating– a habit I am now working on breaking.
    I read quickly in general. I often put down a book, particularly if the character development gets boring or is too superficial.
    Merry

    Reply
  53. In regards to your photo reading of non-fiction, how much do you retain after photoreading a book? 1 hour later? 1 week later? 1 month later?
    I’m starting to learn it and want to know how its worked out for others.
    -Oleg

    Reply
  54. In regards to your photo reading of non-fiction, how much do you retain after photoreading a book? 1 hour later? 1 week later? 1 month later?
    I’m starting to learn it and want to know how its worked out for others.
    -Oleg

    Reply
  55. In regards to your photo reading of non-fiction, how much do you retain after photoreading a book? 1 hour later? 1 week later? 1 month later?
    I’m starting to learn it and want to know how its worked out for others.
    -Oleg

    Reply
  56. In regards to your photo reading of non-fiction, how much do you retain after photoreading a book? 1 hour later? 1 week later? 1 month later?
    I’m starting to learn it and want to know how its worked out for others.
    -Oleg

    Reply

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