This morning I read a BBC article about how the judges of the Booker Prize are faced with the daunting task of reading 110 books in a little more than four months - which works out at around a book a day. Well, I say I read the article; I actually scanned it and focussed on the important bits.

One of which was Many of us have read a novel in a day. Maybe a Marian Keyes or a Michael Crichton on a long journey. My first thought was Marian Keyes? Her books are way too long to be read in a day! Until I remembered that I read Anybody Out There in one go on a flight to Canada.

The BBC article suggests that, in this age of information, we all need to learn to read quicker. I don't. I read plenty fast enough, thanks. I have to, since I review three books per week for Trashionista. Last year (before starting at Trashi) I set myself a challenge to read 52 books in a year - I ended up reading 129.

When my former co-ed, Diane, wrote about reading as a competitive sport for The Guardian blog, the ever-pompous Guardian blog commenters questioned whether she actually retains much of what she reads. I don't. But I don't care. With books I particularly love, I remember certain details of character and plot and, often, the feeling it gave me when I read it, but books I either didn't enjoy or didn't feel that strongly about? Well who cares if I don't remember them? It just allows more space in my brain for the books I *do* love (I share Homer Simpson's theory that in order to remember something new you need to forget something old).

So what about you? What's the fastest you've read a book? Do you feel the need, the need for speed? Or do you prefer to lounge about in a book?

In other words: speed reading - Yay or Nay and Why?

[Don't forget it's Yay or Nay day at Hippyshopper, Bridalwave, Dollymix, Corrie Blog, Catwalk Queen, Kiss and Makeup, The Bag Lady, Shoewawa and Shiny Shiny, too!]


  • Brian Weston Blamires

    The fastest I read was a 500 page book in 36 hours. Even so, I think it is more important to have reading comprehension than to be a speed reader, but sometimes if I LOVE the story I JUST CAN&#39T HELP MYSELF in wanting to get through the book as fast AS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!

  • Well *I* say Yay ;)

    and i remember stuff too! Nothing useful, mind...

  • Oooh, how I wish, wish, wish I could read faster...then maybe I&#39d have a chance, in this lifetime, to get to all the books on my to-read list!! So many books, so little time, no?

    My sisters have a speed-reading gene that I, sadly, don&#39t appear to have inherited. My baby sister can blast through a book while standing in the bookstore for a few hours. And she remembers stuff--I know, I&#39ve quizzed her!

  • In general, the more I&#39m into a book, the faster I read it. It&#39s not so much the speed of the actual reading as it is the unwillingness to put it down. I know I&#39ve got a problem book when it takes me a long time to read because that means I can just put it down and forget about it for a while instead of having the urge to drop everything else and just read.

    There may be some tearing through a book when I&#39m really into it, so that I have to re-read it later, but that&#39s part of the fun. For instance, I usually have to re-read the last three chapters of any new Harry Potter book immediately because by the time I get to the end I&#39m so anxious I don&#39t really absorb it all.

    If I&#39m not reading quickly, it&#39s a sign that I just don&#39t care.

  • I tend to only read fast if I&#39m absolutely in love with a book - then I&#39ll basically devour it uncontrollably like a plate of chocolate brownies. Some books take forever for me to read because they&#39re either slow, boring, or poorly written. Lately, I&#39ve been giving up on these books about halfway through. The last 2 books I devoured were Philippa Gregory&#39s The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance. But, of course, I can easily read Marian Keyes&#39 books in a matter of days. I also don&#39t retain a lot when I read fast, but then that gives me good reason to read a beloved book again!

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