Monday, December 14, 2009

How Fast Do You Read?

I've never thought of myself as a fast reader. I've read anywhere between 10-25 books a month this year, which includes about 2-5 audiobooks since I'm a multi-tasker when it comes to reading.

But sometimes when I look at blogs and see a list of books someone is planning to read that week or a roundup of what they've read that month, I feel like I don't read fast enough!

I guess I don't feel like I'm a fast reader because I'm the type of reader who wants to savor each word on the page, where my husband reads fast because he has no problem skimming parts.

So if you're a fast reader, are there any tricks you have? And if you're not a fast reader, what do you do to get that huge TBR pile read quickly?

26 comments:

  1. Great Question! With me, it depends on my work week. I tend to read more books on the weekends. I can read up to 3 books on the weekend and these books typically have 300+ pgs. I'm least likely to be bothered (I turn my phone off) LOL!

    I read slower during the week days - by the time I get home from work, I only have enough time to clear 100pgs at the most but if it's a great book, I'm up til 1 til 2am reading that book and can't function the next day at work so I try not to do this by saving my most anticipated reads for the weekends (this is probably why if you follow my blog you will see my currently reading book up for a whole week).

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  2. I read very quickly...just not very often because of the rest of life!

    I have always read at a much faster pace than everyone else I know. I think that is just because I learned so early (I could read at age 4). I also had VERY bad vision then and reading was something I could do up close, so I did it all the time. People joke that I read every other page...but I don't. I do savor what I am reading, I just do it quickly.

    That said...I have been reading the same book for a while because things are so busy!

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  3. Sometimes I read fast(but now I haven't finished a book in a couple of weeks) but I never skip parts of a book.

    I must admit I feel a bit stressed when I see how many books some bloggers read in a week, I have to remind myself that it's no competition and that I'm reading books because I enjoy it :D

    I've read about 5 books a month(including audiobooks).

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  4. For me it depends on if the TV I watch (way too much of) is new that week or not. Summer time is best because I don't go to sleep early (no school) and TV is not as time consuming. But, I started keeping track a few years ago (before I was a librarian. I wanted to get a book a week in and made it over 60 that year. I do read faster than I thought I did.

    My TBR list never gets smaller because I add two or three to it every week!

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  5. FBR-I read more on the weekends too-that's when I really am able to carve out time to read.

    Caitie F-I've been reading the same books for awhile too, because school ate up all my time!

    Ladybug-I know what you mean-it's not a competition! Reading is fun and should stay that way!:)

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  6. I used to be an extemely fast reader, zooming through 10+ books a week! (but that was BEFORE I started my blog). Now it takes me much longer...instead of just reading for fun, I'm also reading from a reviewer's point of view. I'm much more observant of how the book is and its characters, plot, etc. It slows me down but I like it better because I'm savoring the books and committing them to memory. It's not supposed to be a race, it's about enjoying the books! :)

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  7. Jana-That's true, my TBR never seems small!! And I started keeping track this year and I do read faster than I thought.

    Pirate Penguin-I've noticed that I slowed down too with my blog-when you read as a reviewer, you do look at more than just the basic story.

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  8. I inhale books!! It's my drug of choice!!
    I always run out of books!! I am
    always sad when I have finished a
    book..I have tried making a book last..
    savor it...it never works!!

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  9. I read very, very quickly and I credit (or blame) my mother for that. When I was a kid, I spent a good part of my summers doing math and reading and one summer, she bought this speed-reading program. It was actually kind of fun and I definitely got faster. That said, I often don't retain what I read, which is part of the reason why I blog. I need to remember!

    I thought I was a fast reader until I started following blogs :-/

    My tbr pile has turned into 3 tbr bookcases and never dwindles.

    I also read every page of a book and try really hard not to abandon one. I find that if I really like the book, I read it really quickly, while at the same time chastising myself about slowing down and enjoying the book more.

    I am also an avid audiobook fan and usually have 2 going -dogwalking and car. The problem with audiobooks is that I have to listen at the rate at which the author reads the text and know that I could probably read it quicker myself. I usually try books I can't get into on audio and I listen to classics (like Dickens and Wells) on audio.

    Great question. And I really enjoy your blog.

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  10. So far I've read over 160 this year, counting audio books, but not including manga. Audiobooks, staying up late, and not having a huge social life all help. And I'm still behind! I can't keep up either, not with my work schedule.

    I try to at least read reviews and blurbs on the popular titles.

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  11. It really depends on the book for me. If I'm really into a book I can race through it in a few hours, but if I'm just not enjoying the characters or the plot or something, I will skim a lot but it can take me up to a week to just finish it. That being said, I usually finish about 20 books a month or so, and like you, when I see other readers' lists, I'm in awe. For me, it's more about finding the time to read lately than reading fast because compared to a lot of people I know, I am a fast reader.

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  12. I never thought I read really fast until I had a conversation with a few adults about their reading pace--and it was all over the place--from weeks for one book to 8 hours to 3 hours for a book. I thought everyone could pretty much read a book in a few hours, and I thought I was slow. But they asked me if I was a speed-reader! I've never sped-read in my life. I read every, single word and savor it.

    My sister is the insane speed-reader in the family. She can read a 300 page book in about a half hour, and always told me I was slowslowslow.

    Normally, I read a 300 page book in 2-3 hours.

    The way my schedule is, I don't have time AT ALL to read on the weekdays. I only read on one day of the week--so I either read 3-5 books on Friday/Saturday and that's the material I use for book reviews in the following week.

    It's sort of a reading binge, since I don't have time except on the weekends.

    So short answer? 100-150 pages an hour. And I like this pace--I don't consciously try to read faster, or skim or anything.

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  13. If school work did not exist, I would be reading 15-20 books a month (if my sleepy head can handle it). It makes me sad how half the books I return to the library go unread. I can only read about 60-70 pages an hour but reading 50 pages at a time is such a breeze. 50 pages and take a nap. Wake up, read 50 pages, and take another nap. Wait for midnight and read the rest of the book, if it'll spook me. That's how it worked with The Devouring, and I have no idea why I said that.

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  14. Hmm I never really thought about how fast I read. I would probably get through books much faster if homeowrk was abolished, but since we are far away from that happening. I just know I never read a book for more than three days. I am always finished by that third day mark!!!

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  15. This is so totally funny because I saw how many books you finish in a month and thought that was really fast. I read a lot, but I never can get through the numbers of books people do around the blogosphere I probably average about one book a week. That's not very fast! No wonder my TBR pile keeps growing...

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  16. Don't worry, you read really fast! It really depends with me. During this past quarter at school, I was only reading one or two books a week (average 6 a month). During the summer, (June-Aug) I read well over 100 books and it didn't feel like I was reading 24/7.

    In general I'd have to say that I read really fast, it just depends on how much time I'll put into reading. Generally I read about 100 pages an hour. Of course, if I'm enjoying something I'll read it even faster, and if I find it boring I'll keep putting it down and drag it out.

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  17. I only read 2-3 books a week, but that's just time constraints as I can read around 60-70 pages per hour.

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  18. Y'know, I have the same problem: speed envy. Compared to my real-life friends, I am a fast reader. But compared to my bloggity friends, I am one of the slow ones.

    If I seriously put my mind to it, I can read 4-5 books a week, but for me it's a matter of prioritizing and concentrating. Usually I tend to get distracted, so I don't read as much as I wish I did.

    I will very occasionally skim if it's a book that I'm not really that into, but I like it enough to want to know what happens at the end.

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  19. I read very fast as well! I can devour about 2-3 books a day if kids allow me my time! LOL
    I grew up reading all the time! I always had a book in my hand. I would pass up the dances and such just so I could stay in bed and read.

    If you type in google--reading speed test--(I think that is how I typed it) then you can take a free online test to see how fast you read. It also gives you the option to do a comprehension test as well to see how much you remember at that speed.

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  20. I don't consider myself a speed reader, either. Usually I can keep on top of my pile, but I just recently started letting myself return library books without reading them. Less pressure, more pleasure reading.

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  21. Good question :)
    It does depend on school issues...but i usually read about 5-10 books a week.
    Not kidding.
    It's a little odd cause I think of my self as wierd...cause when we get a book for English class i finsih it the first day while others take weeks.
    But I never really skim parts. When I do skim I miss important parts of the book so i dont do that often.
    Thanks for the question. :)

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  22. If absolutely nothing were to get in my way and I wasn't trying to slow down, I could read a 350+ page book in an hour. (I read 1524 words per minute.) If you factor in that I slow down and take breaks and stretch, it takes about 4 hours.

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  23. I'm a fairly slow reader. The only way I can manage my TBR pile is to just make sure it doesn't get any bigger! LOL

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  24. great discussion that you have got going here!

    Am I a fast reader? I guess that generally, yes I am, but in the end it comes down to the style of the book and how much I like it. A good YA book, for example, I can knock over in two to four hours. If, however, I am not enjoying it, I will be much slower to get through it as I will probably only feel inclined to read it in small doses. As much as I love classics, I tend to be slower to read those as well as I work through the writing style.

    One of my main problems at the moment is that I rarely read just one book at time. At the moment I am going back and forth between seven different books! I know that I would finish books and hence be able to post review much more frequently if I could just limit myself to reading only one or two books at a time.

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  25. I'm not a fast reader in general; I think I'm probably average in speed. I'm like you in that I like to savor the words, and sometimes I will just stop to think about something if it really strikes me. So for books with deep thinking involved I will probably read about 30-40 pages an hour, but if the book is a guilty pleasure read with no new vocab or large font then it can be about 80 to 100 pages an hour.

    I get frustrated sometimes because I will take hours to read something that I think of as a deep thinking book, while my husband can read the same book in about an hour (we're talking 250 page books of things like nonfiction, or religious doctrine) and come away remembering more details. He says that it's because of all of the reading he had to do as an English major in college (and then also with his MLS). I know that he skims though, and I just don't think I would enjoy the reading process as much if I was always skimming.

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  26. I'm fast when I'm actually reading but it doesn't take much to get me to put a book down and it takes a while for me to pick it back up. That's why 4 books in 30 days is a banner month for me! I am slow and steady with most everything I do, though; I walk slowly, knit slowly, clean house slowly, etc.

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