We read...

To know we are not alone. ~C.S. Lewis~

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

how we read

At a recent book club meeting I was shocked to find that not everyone reads every word. To be fair I think they were equally shocked at me for reading every word of 900+ page book. It's so easy to judge others by our own experience, I somewhat naively, assumed that because that’s the way I read that’s the way everyone reads. I’m so glad bodacious Becca asked about this in Monday musing – how interesting to see all the comments about how we read. Dyslexia driven, I do read every word (sometimes two or three times!) to help me get the order correct, which in turn enables sentences to make sense. I miss a lot anyway no matter how slow I go. Sometimes the words make sense in the wrong order but mean something completely different. It can alter the meaning of whole chapters. When I find myself going... huh? I have to backtrack. Sometimes I just don’t get a story until some bright spark (usually at bookclub) says something revealing and everything clicks into place.

There’s another character trait driving my need to read every word – curiosity. I can’t bear the thought I might miss something if I skim/scan the page. There might be some clever word play or some essential clue and anyway I just like words so I don’t usually skim.

My first real experience with skimming was just last month. I just couldn’t get into Friday Night Knitting Club so I stopped about half-way through, read the last few chapters and skimmed the rest so I could share in the discussion (sort of) at BookFreaks . I didn’t really enjoy the experience so I’m afraid it will continue to be slow steady every word for me.

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