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22 August 2016

Is It Better To Read Fast Or Slow? {Or, Procrastinate Your To Do List By Testing Your Reading Speed}

Image Source - The Graphics Fairy

Are you looking for a way to procrastinate those boring and unpleasant tasks on your to do list? Are you stuck in a cubicle and need a break from crunching numbers in an Excel spreadsheet or making PowerPoint presentations?

Not to fear, I'm here to help. After all, why wouldn't I? You all are nice folks. I'm always there for you when it comes to procrastination.

This morning, I'm supposed to try to find the lithium grease so that I can take apart our marine toilet and fix the annoying squeak in the pump handle. Sounds like a good plan, except I can't bear the thought of taking everything out of the v-berth (otherwise known as the scary room of chaos and disorder) to find the lithium grease. Which, of course, will be buried in a deep and dark recess somewhere under one of the berths hiding from me behind a family of spiders who have taken up residence there.

Instead of doing what I'm supposed to be doing, I tested how fast I read on this nifty site. Far more interesting than looking for lithium grease. Let's be honest - pretty much anything would be better than looking for lithium grease.

Turns out I'm a fast reader. Which explains how I can plow through so many books each month. Well, that and the fact that I read as a form of procrastination on a regular basis.

The good thing about avoiding work by taking this reading test is that if your boss catches you slacking off and asks you what you're doing, you can tell him or her that you're trying to improve your reading speed so that you can be more productive at work. That should factor favorably into your next performance review.

It got me thinking about whether it's better to read fast or slow. Yes, I know, thinking about this is another form of procrastination. But, hey, you're reading this blog post, which means you're probably procrastinating something too. So, here's my thoughts on the matter. I'd love to hear what you have to think in the comments.

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Image Source - The Graphics Fairy

Reading For Speed

THE ADVANTAGES

1 - You get through a lot of books, which means more wonderful stories and characters to feed your imagination and dream about at night.

2 - You have time to give books a chance, for example something in a genre you don't normally read. If you end up not liking it or if it bores you to tears, at least you haven't wasted too much time on it.

3 - Other patrons at your local library love you because you return books quickly and the next person on the hold list doesn't have to wait as long to get their hands on the latest bestseller.


THE DISADVANTAGES

1 - You might miss some of detail and nuances. As you skip through the pages quickly to find out what's going to happen next, sometimes you can gloss over things.

2 - Your comprehension might not be as deep if you skim and skip up and down over text looking for important words or phrases.

3 - People don't always believe that you finished a book in just one day and they quiz you on the plot to see if you're telling the truth.


Image Source - The Graphics Fairy

Reading Slowly And Steadily

THE ADVANTAGES

1 - You know a book inside and out and savor every word and phrase.

2 - You don't waste your time reading books that bore you and instead carefully pick and choose what to put on your reading list.

3 - Reading can take on a meditative quality as you become deeply engrossed in a book, turning over each page slowly.


THE DISADVANTAGES

1 - Everyone else you know is on book #7 in that fabulous series about werewolves and vampires, while you're still plowing through book #2. You're constantly worried they're going to throw out spoilers when you get together for coffee.

2 - You don't have time to read all of the wonderful books that people recommend to you.

3 - You feel pressured to read faster, just because some annoying person wrote a blog post about it and bragged about their high score on a speed reading test.

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Like most things in life, everything has its good and bad points. Slow reading isn't better than fast reading or vice versa. The important thing is reading, and enjoying reading, not how many books you read each month. At least that's what I think. Now, I'm off to find the lithium grease. Or, read a book instead.

Check out what other people have to say about fast and slow reading here, here, here, here and here.

Are you a fast or slow reader? What do you thinkthe advantages and disadvantages are? What are you  procrastinating today?

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23 comments:

  1. I'm a fast reader. I tend to slow down and savor novels, but skim magazines unless there's an article I'm particularly interested in.

    I always try to return a library book as soon as I can, especially if it's really popular and there are lots of Holds on it. :)

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    1. You're a very thoughtful library patron to return books as soon as you can :-)

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  2. I don't need to to take the test to know I'm a slow reader. (Although that would be a great way to kill time not doing any work.) I just have so many books I want to get to and I just don't have time.
    Hope you don't find any spider.

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    1. I've got a huge backlog of books I want to read too. It doesn't matter how fast or slow you read, there's always many books waiting to be read.

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  3. I am apparently super fast and could read The Hobbit in about 10 hours and War and Peace in 12. At that pace i probably would fail to enjoy them enough. Also the downside to this is that I buy way too many books because I am always afraid I will read all I have and run out. I never have but it's a fear of mine. Also Mike is a very slow reader due to the increased size of his brain. The words take a long time to knock around in there coming together to make sense. This makes reading books together impossible for us. I love what you come up with when you are procrastinating.

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    1. Wow - that is super fast! Scott reads more slowly than I do. Now, I know why. He has a bigger head :-)

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  4. I'm neither. I'm guessing I'm an average reader. Not slow or fast. I go through a lot of books too and that's because I'd rather read than work. I works for me.

    Have a fabulous day procrastinating. ☺

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    1. Reading is always much more fun than working :-)

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  5. I'm a fast reader. I'm quite happy to give up on a book part way through if it's not my cup of tea though!

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    1. I give up on books too if they bore me, except for the Around the World in 80 Books challenge. I'm trying to "stretch" myself and read books I normally wouldn't and force myself to read all the way to the end.

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  6. That was fun! Thanks for the interesting link. I'm a fast reader, but then I always knew that. I love to read fast, and if I liked a book, I have no problem with going back and reading it again. I have one 3-book set I love so much, that when I finished it, I immediately started it over again. I can't tell you how many times I have read it. I have very few books in physical form anymore, most are on my kindle. (Pleasure reading, I mean, not the technical books that we need for the boat, though we mostly have those in electronic form as well as physical.) FYI: Reading and commenting on blogs is a great way to procrastinate from doing chores!

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    1. Curious what the 3-book set is that you reread. Do tell :-)

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    3. I have a couple of 3 book sets that were published all in one huge book. If I have to have a paper book, I want it to be large. I love stories that go on, and on, and on. This one is a science fiction sort of romance, young girl does good. The Crystal Singer Trilogy by Anne Mccaffrey. She is mainly famous for a set of books about dragons, but I like this one better.

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    4. I've read some of her dragon books, but never the Crystal Singer trilogy. May have to check it out at some point.

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  7. I am a slow reader. The only negatives I find about that is that I see all the typos that way (a pet peeve of mine) and, because I don't have enough time to read, there is usually a lot of time in between reading sessions and I have trouble remembering what happened previously. I do have a bad memory, unfortunately.

    The one big thing I keep procrastinating about is actually write my memoir. Instead, I find excuses in the form of writing exercises and blog writing. :-) Same with articles. I like coming up with ideas, but have a hard time sitting down and focusing on the writing of them.

    I' d have more fun trying to find the grease than actually using the grease, I think. I hope you don't have to take that toilet apart any time soon. Don't forget one of the most important rules on a boat: when it is not broken don't take it apart. :-)

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    1. I can relate. I'm procrastinating writing my novel just now by reading and responding to comments. :-)

      Fortunately, from what I read, I only have to take the handle off to put grease on the shaft and o-ring. Hopefully, it shouldn't be too much of a pain.

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  8. I'm as fast as a high-powered executive or something like that. Whatever that means. Anyway, that was five minutes of procrastination so thank you!

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    1. I think that's about where I scored too. Happy to help out with providing procrastination opportunities :-)

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  9. Thanks for this. Very interesting. I will blog about it tomorrow with a mention for you.

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    1. Thanks Denise - I'll keep an eye out for your blog tomorrow.

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  10. Interesting test...
    I tend to read quickly when I am reading for leisure (or procrastination) .... mostly because I just want to escape into the story.

    When I'm reading as a writer, however... I savor every word the author wrote. I know the blood, sweat and tears that went into the story and I want to honor the author's commitment :) Also, I'm reading to learn the craft and I don't want to miss a valuable lesson.

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    1. I know what you mean about reading as a writer. I've been deliberately trying to slow down my reading lately when reading certain books so that I can really explore how they used words and phrases.

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