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Fast or slow?

At the moment, my time for reading is much less than it was before.  Mostly I’m limited to a few minutes at bedtime.  I bought a few books at the Edinburgh Book Festival in August.  Normally, I’d have finished them ages ago, but I’ve still got one or two to go.

And that’s made me think about how I read.  I’m usually a fast reader, one of those people that are described as devouring books.  On holiday, I can easily average a book a day – I just get sucked in and keep going.

But because I have less reading time, I think I’ve slowed down.  Of course, it would take me longer to read a book these days because I don’t have my nose in it for very long each day, but I think I’ve slowed down more than that. Reading a novel at one sitting, or over a few consecutive days, is a very different experience from reading a chapter a night or a few pages at a time.  I find myself revisiting pages more often to remind myself of what I’ve already read.  But I also find myself taking more in.  I’m less likely to be tempted to rush to the end and more likely to lie ,back and enjoy the journey, savouring every word.

There’s much to be said for complete immersion in a novel, enjoying the feeling of being transported through the characters’ lives.  But there’s also a lot to be said for nibbling away at the story, bit by bit.  Maybe I don’t get the chance to feel completely full at any one time – but I get to linger over every tasty bite.

What do you prefer?  Fast or slow?


  1. gillarbuthnott
    November 10, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Sometimes it’s great to binge-read, other times, you want to nibble… Also depends on the book, of course.

  2. November 10, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I tend to read fast. I can’t help myself but I do realise I don’t retain content well.

    • November 11, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      But I bet you enjoy it while you’re in the moment. That’s fine in my book – we don’t have to retain everything. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it…)

  3. November 16, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I like that – I’m a nibbler I think. Even when I was very young I’d like to think the story was still there waiting fur me to dip into while I was getting on with ‘real life’ so I’d spend days & week’s knowing I’d be going back into the Magic Faraway Tree…

    • November 16, 2016 at 10:50 am

      PS Predicative text on my phone put those grammar slips into my comment. I’m blushing with shame – it wasn’t me, it was my phone

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