When I worked at chain bookstores in our job description, we needed to read new releases so we could sell books. Their philosophy,” A bookseller who reads lots of books… sells more books.” One of the perks of working at a bookstore we had the chance to take out two new releases a week. By just leaving only the book covers and signing a paper we will return the books undamaged was all that was needed.I got hooked… I was addicted.
Problem for me at the time, I was going to school and trying to balance my books reading for work and schoolwork. I must admit I was struggling to make it work.
When I heard about a speed-reading course at a community college… I signed up. After taking the class, I later learned there was advantages and disadvantages on knowing how to speed read. You are probably thinking it would be a gift to speed read?
To me it is a gift and a curse. To this day, I cannot really enjoy a book as I once had. Sounds silly doesn’t it? I can go through a stack of books in just a short time scanning pages…reading first paragraphs and last paragraphs of each chapter. The first chapter and the last chapter of any book are the meat and potato of a book. They tell what the author is really trying to relate and what the whole book is all about.
The instructor said the middle of each chapter and the middle of the book is only fluff. You need to scan, look for highlighted works and bold statements and quickly find the meaning for each chapter until you get to the end of the book. Yes, you can do this with fiction too. Fiction scanning and looking for key topics and characters and moving quickly through the book.
The big exam at the end of the speed-reading class, you needed to go through ten books in one hour and answer the questions about each book. It was reading on steroids…I was daydreaming on how many books I could now read the thousands every year. So many books I now would have the gift to read them all in minutes.
Later, I started to regret it. When I pick up a book my speed reading took over. I couldn’t stop myself. I was speed reading through everything. I could not stop myself.In the beginning, it was fun, but it soon drained me. I was losing my love for reading.
It wasn’t until I came across one of my favorite author’s new book. I wanted to read every word. This author had such a poetic way of writing. I wanted to enjoy every morsel of the written word. It was a struggle. I fought with myself by taking off the speed-reading glasses and putting on the slow enjoyable ones instead.
I slowly got back to reading again.…it’s just I now need to stop myself from speed reading and just take the time to really enjoy the one book in front of me…without thinking I have a quota to reach. Quality not quantity. I just need to breathe and enjoy the written word as all authors intended.
If you are thinking about learning to speed read, take my advice and really ask yourself the following questions: what are your intention on learning to speed read? Do you need to read a lot of books in a short time? Would you prefer to just enjoy a book at your own time? Do you want to enjoy each word and description and enjoy what the author is putting across?
I hope this post opens your eyes about speed reading. Until the next post.
Author,Artist and Illustrator. Self Published author of eBooks and videos. Plus I do artwork on assignments and teach classes.