November 4, 2015

The Woes and Rewards of Being a Slow Reader

Recently, the wonderful Cait @ Paper Fury talks about the woes of being a fast reader in her post on the dire agonies of being a fast reader. I want to even the playing field and show that the slow readers are in the same boat of sorrow (and maybe give a few perks about reading slowly too).

1. According to my Kindle, I can run several marathons faster than I can finish one book.

Just for comparison, the current world record for running a marathon is about 2 hours. Obviously, I am not going to do it than that. Let's just say that physical activity is not one of  my talents. So, double (actually more like triple) that time and you would probably get my time for walking running a marathon. 

2. Always having to catch up on all of the new books.

Since I read so slowly, it takes me more time to book one book than it takes others to read three books. So, I am almost always behind on my reading. For example, I have never been able to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge yet. I always have it set at 100 books, but I only ever get to about 70 books. For those of you who are not math-oriented, that is about 6 books a month, and about 1.3 books a week.

Compare that number to how many books are released every month that I want to read (dozens and dozens) and I am always behind. Once I think that I have finally caught up, I realize that I missed so many great books, and I have to backtrack. It is a never-ending cycle of being left behind in the dust.

3. Getting bored of a book.

I will fully admit that I do not have the longest attention span, especially when it comes to books. For me, it is extremely hard to keep my focus on one book, especially for a whole week (as previously mentioned). When I get to a slow part of a book, I tend to just put the book down until I can coerce myself into reading it again. (Now that I think of it, this might also be a reason that it takes me so long to finish a book...) And if I do get bored with a book, my boredom is stretched out as I stubbornly struggle to finish the book. (I may be impatient, but I am not a quitter.) I have spend weeks reading a slow (or dare I say boring) book in the hopes that it will get better *cough* The Cuckoo's Nest *cough*. 

4. Overdue library books.

Since I take forever to read books, I also take forever to return them to the library. Apparently, most libraries do not appreciate that and choose to show their dissatisfaction in the form of a little demon called an overdue fee. Unfortunately, I am more familiar with that devil than most, average-speed readers.

6. Constantly being afraid of reading a "bad" book and accidentally waste a week of your life.

I hate wasting time. That might come as a surprise to some of you, considering how many times I have called myself a procrastinator. (I am not saying that it makes sense, I am just telling you the truth.) In my eyes, reading a bad book is pretty much a waste of my time. There are so many other great books that I could have been reading. And that makes me upset. Since I am slow reader, I really want to make the most out of the books that I read. I want to savor and relish my books, not regret ever reading them. 

7. Never having the time to finish a whole book. 

I cannot tell you when the last time I was able to finish a book in one sitting. That just does not happen anymore considering that most books that I read are upwards of 300 pages. Back in the day, knocking out a Junie B. Jones book, which was about 70 pages with pretty large font, in one sitting was not even a challenge. But now, I feel like marathoning a book is out of the question unless I can set aside a whole day to reading (which I neither have the time or patience for). 

To show you that I am not a complete Debby Downer, I also have some perks about being a slow reader.

1. Being able to make good books last longer.

When reading great books, I normally get to enjoy them for about a week before I have to part with them. I can truly take my good old time and get the most time out of a good book without feeling guiltly.

2. Feeling accomplished when I finish a book.

I know that I spend a lot of time and effort into reading a book, so finishing one feels like crossing the finish line after running three marathons. 

3. Not being overwhelmed by too many plots, characters, and stories in quick succession. 

I normally have a fair amount of time to adjust to new storylines. Slowly reading a book allows me to wrap my head around a story better than when I read quickly. Also, I can remember more about books by reading slowly. I really get to absorb the characters and plot. These things help me stay sane in a world of fiction.

Are you a slow or fast reader? What do you think the perks are to being either one? Are there any negatives that you want to share? Did anyone else have an obsession with Junie B. Jones too? Has anyone actually run a marathon? 

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