Books!, Discussion, Signal Boost

Discussion: Reading Speed

Hey all, Dani here.

I am so tired, and so glad that the week is over with. I’m sincerely hoping to relax this weekend, so I can be ready for another long week of work next week. Anyway, welcome back to my recurring blog series wherein I discuss (or is it more of a rant/essay?) various bookish topics.

Okay, let’s just jump into today’s post.

Generally when we start the year, around the midpoint of the year, and nearing the end of the year, I tend to see more posts and social media commentary where people talk about how to read more books. You know, tips and tricks and the like. Most of the time those tips include limiting social media time, always bringing something to read with you, and DNFing books that don’t catch your interest in the first few chapters.

These points also lead to me seeing numerous Tweets or comments on Facebook posts, and those comments honestly end up making me rather upset. I had thought about writing up a post concerning my thoughts on this topic for several months, but I didn’t because I worried that I wouldn’t be able to phrase it in a calm and collected manner. Honestly, I still don’t know if I’ll be wholly successful in that goal, but I’m going to try. Because I saw another Tweet similar to all of those a couple days ago, and this time I actually responded to it.

This person had posted a Tweet that said: “when someone says they read an entire novel (300+ pages) in ‘one afternoon’ – are they just lying/exaggerating? Or do they just skip huge sections? I can’t comprehend how anyone could read that fast.”

Other comments I’ve seen throughout this year include people who say basically that people who claim to read 100/200/300 books a year clearly live at home with their parents but don’t have a job or go to school. Or something similar to that.

Look, I’m actually tired of seeing these posts. It’s like a weird sub-culture of book shaming, and it’s so annoying. When I was a full-time student with two part-time jobs, I still read at least 100 books a year. Now I work a full-time paid job, plus all the time I spend working on my blog, and yet I’ve had the best reading year since I joined Goodreads. I’m at 112 books read and we’re just over halfway through the calendar year.

I don’t lie about how many books I read. I don’t lie about my reading speed. And clearly I am not some jobless person living with my parents and being a giant mooch.

Yes, some people don’t read as quickly as others. I am part of the percentage of the online bookish community that does read a lot and at a pretty fast speed. My current record for books read in a day is NINE books, and I did that during a 24 Hour Readathon.

I consider myself to pretty much be a professional reader. I’ve always surrounded myself with books. I have been reading what feels like non-stop since I have been a little kid. And yes, I have heard the disbelief from people for most of my life. The maximum number of books that could be checked out on the public library card when I was a kid was 25. I would max out my library card and bring all of the books back about a week later. So many people thought I was just taking the books home, letting them sit around, and then bringing them back.

But I wasn’t. I was reading all of them. Or at least all of them I liked. Because I’m pretty sure back in the day that I DNFd a lot more books than I do now.

So yeah, nowadays I do have some slow reading months, where I’ll only end up reading like 7 books, but most months I read 12+. If I’m into a book then I can read a 400-ish page tome in just a few hours. But I have spent years and years devouring books and improving my reading speed. Not everyone can do that, and that’s still fine.

If you only read one book a month, then that is still amazing, and I will cheer you along in your reading progress. If you read 30 books a month, then you are amazing and I am completely in awe of your skill.

People read at different speeds. Don’t judge them or doubt them when they announce how many books they complete each day/week/month/year.

That is all for today, but I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

7 thoughts on “Discussion: Reading Speed”

  1. Yes yes and Yes!!! I graduated recently from med school and I read 150 books in my last year there! I think everyone of us reads at a different pacing and that’s cool! Shaming is not, it is just a defense mechanism of readers who can’t read more and won’t take the time to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh I so agree with you! I’m currently at 140 books and I swear I read them all fully!
    I mean yes I go to school instead of work, but it still takes a lot of my time, and I do live on my own, so I have to do all the house chores 😬
    I do think that you can increase your reading speed by practise, but only if you want to!
    Just let people do their thing!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! Very well said 😀 I am usually in the 3-5 books a month category and I am in awe of people that can read 12 books a month. I am mind blown by people that can read 30! I usually end up commenting on those posts with a lot of exclamations saying that is a crazy amount of books! but I never doubt them. Why would they lie? And who cares if the books they read are graphic novels or 400 pages, the fact that they picked up so many books is awesome!

    Also, it would take me considerably longer than a couple hours to read 400 + pages, but I could easily read 300 pages in an afternoon. If I started reading at noon and read till 8 I could probably finish a 300 page book, especially if the font is bigger. It isn’t that hard to comprehend. I think I read at a very average speed. Its totally doable even without awesomely fast reading skills.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think 3-5 books a month is great. I know so many people who read 0 books in a whole year, and that just feels sad to me.

      A couple years ago I had a supremely good reading month, one where I was just flying through books, and when I put together my wrap up for the month I had read 31 books, one book a day. Needless to say, I surprised myself with that one, and I don’t imagine being able to accomplish that feat again any time soon.

      But what matters is that we are happy with what we read, right? Reading doesn’t need to be a competition. We all read at different speeds and we all enjoy different genres. And that’s totally great.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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