Reflections of a slow reader
I have always been a slow reader. The teachers at my elementary school had me tested because they thought I might be stupid; thank God that didn’t pan out. I just read slowly. I’m not sure if it’s my brain’s way of trying to devour and retain every sentence I read, or that I’m easily distracted. Whatever the reason, the result is the same: slow goes the reading.
My husband is the exact opposite. He can read a book at lightning speed. I envy him. He runs through books like a politician (though I heavily doubt that politicians read all the books they say they do…).
I’m often frustrated because there are so many books I’d love to read, but I can never get to them all. I have other things I must get done throughout the day. I have other priorities. And reading often gets forgotten. Books, however, do not. My house might as well open its doors as a library. We have more books than any house should. When the idea of books sharing through the interweb first surfaced, I loved it. What a great idea. No books hanging around making you feel guilty because you haven’t read them. You can keep your favorites and trade the others. In my house, we can’t trade books, we must collect them. And collect we do.
I buy books I want to read, I read a few chapters and they get shelved. It’s sad, but true. If Jon or I find a book we’d like to read in the future, we buy it then. As if a book leaves circulation, never to be read again.
There are, however, advantages to the slow reader. I attain more. I read each sentence carefully, often twice. I memorize the facts, I tell my friends to further embed the information into the corners of my mind. I may not remember the author, but I always remember the details. Details that illuminate the stories we know so well. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodman brought such nuance to Lincoln. I loved it. It is often the details that make the larger story, isn’t it?
So to you quick readers out there: you may be covering more ground, but what are you missing?