Posted by: William | January 6, 2008

I’m a Poor Reader

My whole life, I’ve not been much for reading. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been very good at it. It always feels like I’m calculating how much longer I’ll need to read in order to finish the amount of reading I’ve allotted to myself. Or sometimes my eyes keep reading, but my brain checks out and starts to think about other stuff. Then I have to go back and reread what I just read. Well, the past year that has all changed; not my poor skills in reading, but my desire to do so.  Now, for some reason, I find myself almost insatiably excited about reading different things.

Sometime last year my good friend, who I live with, received a book as a gift from his father: 10 Days to Faster Reading. I’m not certain if my friend finished the book or not, but regardless, he’s not reading it now. So last night I decided to pull it off his book shelf and check out the first chapter. To my surprise, it had some good stuff to say. It didn’t make gigantic promises, like some cliché infomercial. It got me thinking that maybe if I developed better reading habits, I would be able to enjoy even more literature.

Namely the book claims that with practice and some new techniques you can increase your reading speed, comprehension and information retention. So, that’s what I’m going to do. My plan is to spend the next nine days finishing this book to see if it really does improve my reading skills. Wish me luck!

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Responses

  1. Sometimes it’s just learning style that makes one form of reading harder than another. As you move to read faster and faster, you move away from a verbal method of reading to a visual method. And there right it’s part technique and a lot of practice. Good luck!

  2. I’ve always been a slow reader. I believe I am just an undiagnosed dyslexic and ADHD to boot. For me, when I read it like an amusement park experience but only if the material is very interesting.

    Dry stuff like Math and Science not so much, which is why I think I gravitated to these subject areas. So unlike many, I can ingest dry material rather quickly because it does not (usually) stimulate my story-lobe. I can stay focused.

    The amusement park syndrome [where a kid cannot begin to focus on any single attraction] kicks in when the book I am reading it is very exciting, interesting, creative, evocative, etc. When I read it, I imagine it. I put myself in it. I begin editing it because I would never say that or do that… people here wouldn’t talk like that… and I would make that point some other way and oh and while we’re on that point… and then I remember some experience similar to this and I relate it and then transplant it along with all the characters I like from this story back to my past experience.

    And then I write a story or poem about it.

    And then of course, I have to re-read the chapter…

    I can read a technical manual at work in a few hours, sometimes minutes. I can spend a week on one of the Narnia books (usually a sitting for most people). I can even spend years on a single bible verse like Galatians 2:20.

    So when the Queen tells Alice, “Why I sometimes believe eight impossible things before breakfast!” I totally get that.

  3. my comment… lost to spam again… sniff, sniff.

  4. […] Reading, by Abby Marks-Beale and the Princeton Language Institute. The original post can be found here. The purpose of the book is pretty well summed up in the title. Yesterday, I finished the […]


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