Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thoughtful Thursdays: How do you read?

Thursday, August 15, 2013 with 17 comments

So, I'm a pretty fast reader.  I'm not a speed-reader by any means, but I think I read relatively quickly, at least for the average person.  What I mean to say is that when reading over my husband's shoulder, I'm ready to flip the page before he's even half-way done.  He's sort of a non-reader, which is to say, he reads, but I don't think he's finished a book since we've been together, which will be ten years next month.

I suppose I could read even faster.  I have plenty of friends who speed through novels.  But I don't absorb everything I want from the book if I read that quickly.  And I need to immerse myself in a story, to soak up all of the details. Because I'm reading for pleasure, not to simply get through a book and move on to the next one.

I'm also an easily distracted reader.  I have to have headphones in while I read because outside noises annoy and distract me to no end.  I can read just about anywhere, though, if I've got my tunes.  (I've really been enjoying the Explosions in the Sky station on Pandora's pretty and instrumental and not at all disturbing while I read.)  My favorite place to read is on my back patio.  When I get it to myself, meaning my daughter is off in her own world and the hubby's sequestered himself in his man cave, I find that the sounds of nature make for pretty good background noise while I'm reading.  Behold, my favorite reading spot:

Since I've been listening to so many audiobooks lately, I've noticed it's also changed the way I read a physical book.  If I know a character has an accent, that character now has a distinct voice in my head.  I read italicized passages as asides, the way they do in audiobooks.  I take my time reading descriptions of scenery, visualizing what the author was trying to portray with their words.

I don't know if it's my new-and-improved method of reading or just that I have really awesome taste in books, but I've had the best reading experience lately.  Everything I pick up is gold.  And I'm not usually that easy to please, but neither am I high-maintenance when it comes to my reading material.  I just want to read a good story that pulls me in and makes me forget about the world outside the book.  I don't think that's asking too much.  ;0)

So, are you a fast reader, or do you prefer to read at a leisurely pace?  Do you read with funny accents?  Do you require complete silence when reading?  Do you have a favorite reading spot?  How do YOU read?


  1. I'm a fairly fast reader when I want to be and more importantly if the book is interesting enough to keep me sucked in. As for the accents then yup I definitely read in a full voice cast. I've always read books like I watch a movie. Noises don't distract me when reading but if people are talking it does. Ugh what is the last question again? Oh right, not really as long as I'm comfy I can read.

  2. It depends on the book, I suppose. If it's good, I'll take my time 'cause I want to absorb it. If it's decent, I might hurry through "boring" parts I come across. If it's just bad... I'll read it, but it's more skimming than reading.

    LOL I'm like Kristin. I read with a full cast behind me. And I can read anywhere, crowded or not, noisy or not. And my favorite reading spot? My sofa :)

  3. I speed read. Like big time. Unless the book is painstakingly boring...then I usually just skip to the end xD

  4. Hi :)

    I think in general I'm a faster reader than my friends. But like the Miriam said I guess it depends on the book. If its a good book, I sometimes can't help myself and won't put it down. But like you said I want to enjoy the book, so I try to pace myself. If I don't like the book, sometimes I don't even finish it, or it takes me a longer time to get back to it.

    As for my favorite place to read, I loved to read on my bed or sofa. Or outside. :)

  5. Man am I jealous of all of you fast readers. I try and try to find ways to read faster. I've always been a slow reader... which makes running a book review blog very challenging. Any hints?? I've thought about "speed reading", but honestly I can't seem to figure out how to do it. If I force my eyes to go faster, I completely miss what just happened and have to reread it anyway. Ugh, a highly frustrating thing for me... lol

    My favorite place to read... I'd say outside, though I don't get that pleasure very often. I also enjoy reading on the couch, as long as it's quiet. I have trouble focusing with outside noise of almost any kind. Great post, Jen!

    1. Oh! And as far as reading like an audiobook... yep, totally. I actually sometimes prefer the audio because I love all of that stuff. It adds SO much to a book. There are many times that I give a book 5 stars, then see someone else gave a 3-star rating, and I can't help but wonder if they would have enjoyed it more had they listened to the audio instead. I can't help it... after experiencing the glory of an audio, it's hard not to read like that every time you read a book yourself. Accents are a must!! I also add attitude to my characters. Okay, so many this is why I read so slow... lol!

  6. Woo! Congrats on the upcoming ten year anniversary :).

    I only speed read if I really do need to move onto another book or I need to mail that book out. Otherwise I read at the same pace I always do. I could probably read slower to absorb more of the details, but I'm not a hugely visual reader, and sometimes when I do slow down, I get more critical of the sentence structures and rhythm.

    "I have to have headphones in while I read because outside noises annoy and distract me to no end." <-- The only way I can do that is on repeat because otherwise the music will distract me. Nature sounds aren't bad - really loud, blaring noises like the TV though? No way.

    Your back patio looks gorgeous and relaxing.

    "If I know a character has an accent, that character now has a distinct voice in my head." <-- Ever since I started audiobooks, there are a few that I can't get out of my head. Like if I was to reread Grave Mercy, I'd hear the narrator's voice for Ismae especially and some of the other characters. Raven Boys? While I read the Dream Thieves, I remembered the edginess in Will Patton's Ronan.

    The only other time I'd ever read with a weird accent was if my friends and I were joking about the book. Or I was trying to be silly.

  7. I'm so slow, Jen! I wish I could read faster so I could get to more books on my shelf. Seriously, 2 books a week. That's all I can do. I think I'm just too easily distracted.

    1. I'm right there with ya, Sara! Sometimes it's only ONE book a week! :(

  8. For some reason, I love reading books whilst listening to music. :b Any music will do! I've recently been reading a lot to The Great Gatsby CD. I tend to read at a kind of fast pace, though not always... depends on the book. :)

  9. Wow, that's a beautiful spot! I'm envious. I wish I'd have something like that, or one of those beautiful window seats that we see online.

    Anyway, I'm a fairly fast reader too :) I don't listen to audiobooks though, I'm the type who really has to read something for me to fully grasp it.

    I can read anywhere, as long as I'm comfortable. :) My favorite spot is my bed. I can go on for hours!

  10. I love this because I'm pretty much just like you in that way, or at least it seems like it! I love listening to music while I read, especially if there are distractions. I'm a fast reader, but could probably go faster. However, now it's not a pacing thing but a TIME thing. The more I go into audiobooks, the more I'll probably read with an accent :)

  11. I find that my reading style changes with how I feel about the book. I read slower and much more detailed when I love what I'm reading. Of course a lot of times the books is so good that I NEED to know what's going to happen and so I find I rush more than I would like. Books that don't really grab me I find I get distracted a lot. I also like to read multiple books at the same time. Typically I always have at least 2 I'm reading. One physical book and the other an electronic book on my phone or whatnot. Great post!

    My Friends Are Fiction

  12. I am a fairly fast reader, and unlike you after I slip in nothing not even a Zombie Apocalypse will pull me out of the book..the rest of the world slips away but until that happens I need quiet..LOL Great post, I will be sharing this on the Sunday Post 8/18.

  13. I'm a pretty fast reader, but I have other bad habits that keep me from reading as quickly as I'd like.

    1. It takes me forever to actually start a new book. I get attached to characters and I never want to let them go - I almost always have to force myself to sit down and begin a new book. It only ever takes me about a chapter to get sucked into the new world, but it's still a bad habit/

    2. And then distractions! I always have to have some sort of music on while reading. And I can't really read in public because I get distracted by everything going on around me.

    great post!

  14. I'm a pretty quick reader. I don't think I hear different voices while I read, but I do love that aspect of audiobooks. If I listen to a series book and then read later books in the series, I definitely do hear the voices.

  15. I read relatively quickly -- certainly faster than I can read aloud, and sometimes quite a bit faster. Often, I "see" and "hear" the book like a movie inside my head. It can be hard for me to read with a lot of noise distraction, even just instrumental music (especially if it doesn't match the emotional tone of the book). I used to be able to tune out almost anything while I was reading. After becoming a parent, I had to train myself to keep an ear out for my child when I was reading, and now I'm not quite as good at blocking out the world.

    If I slow down, I've always been able to hear accents and voices in my head as I read. I enjoy reading aloud; I did it as a teacher and as a parent, and not just with younger children. I enjoy putting in the voices and accents as best I can, and I'm pretty picky about audiobooks: the narrator needs to be good at voices and accents or they lose me pretty quickly.


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