Being a slow reader can sometimes suck especially when a new book is released and we want to read along with the hype or when we are in a book club and risk falling behind everyone else. But here is why its not all bad being a slow reader…
We are all unique.
First of all I just want to get the point across that as readers we are all different. We enjoy different genres, different settings, different types of character, different.. well everything in fact. we all enjoy different things and that is what makes our glorious world of books so great. The diversity among our interests and opinions has lead to the vast amount of stories available to us. We should celebrate the fact we are all different and that our differences are a catalyst that drive change within our community.
With that being said I would like to share with you that I am a slow reader (I know its hard to believe that a book reviewer/blogger would be a slow reader but I am) and there are several factors that come together to make me a slow reader.
- Internal Dialogue
- Reading Everything
Some of you will already know about internal dialogue but for those that don’t an internal dialogue is the little voice in your head that speaks the words you are reading aloud. Sorry, let me clarify that. When most people read they see the word and move on with the understanding of that word however with an internal dialogue when you read a word the word is actually sounded out in your head. I didn’t realise this was a ‘thing’ until I read it in an article somewhere. I forget where but when I did it all clicked into place for me and I started to understand myself better as a reader.
Going back to the whole everyone is different is the fact that when it comes to reading a book, the actual reading part, we differ again. Some skim the pages, some read the start and end of paragraphs, some will just read the dialogue and not much of anything else but for me I read EVERYTHING. I take in every single glorious word in every single well crafted paragraph. I even read all the prologues and epilogues, the author bios, the publisher info and even the little snippets/sneak peaks of other books they have included. Everything.
This as you can imagine can slow the whole progress of reading down quite a bit but does it actually matter, nope. It doesn’t matter at all. As long as you enjoy what you are doing then it doesn’t matter. You have not hurt anyone and you have not wasted your time.
Reading everything combined with the internal dialogue I average around 26-30 pages an hour. Yeah I know, not very much at all but I have come to terms with this and I hope that others out there that manage the same page count as me realise that they are not alone 😊
Okay, so one big factor of being a slow reader when looking at the big picture is the amount of time you have available to sit down and read. Some people have a lot of time and can easily spend 5+ hours reading everyday. For some, myself included don’t have the same amount of time available in the day. For me I am a father of three fantastic and beautiful children that take up a lot of my day. I love every moment I spend with them but they do fill my day. Then on top of that I have a full time job as an Instrument Engineer in a laboratory. Again this takes up a lot of my time but without it I couldn’t afford the life I live and most importantly the books I buy 😉. So after all is done I might be lucky if I’m left with 2 hours of the day to read in the evening.
What does all this mean?
I’m glad you asked. Taking all the above into account it means that for us slow readers the average book of 350-400 pages is easily a weeks worth of reading. Then you take into account that fantasy books tend to be on average 500ish pages we are now looking at over a week. I recently picked up a 700 page book (Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt. My review available here) and that to be honest is quite intimidating when you think this is now a 11-12 day mission of a read.
Now others out there can easily fire through a 400 page book in a couple of days. They can read 2-3 books in the time I read a single book. As a reviewer and a book blogger this can be bad as I can easily find myself behind on the latest book launch etc.
Right, did you see what I done there? I was comparing myself to other readers and that’s where the whole thing falls apart. Why did I compare myself to others? Comparing oneself to others nearly always ends in upset. So let’s stop comparing ourselves to others and move on from this. Lets move onto the benefits of being a slower reader.
Power be in the hands of a slow reader
Being a slow reader isn’t all doom and gloom and I know that most of what I have just talked about is negative however I would like to share with you the biggest benefit of being a slow reader and that my fellow Vagabonds is the golden £/hr of entertainment. That’s right, being a slow reader means that my £/hr of entertainment ratio is much higher than a faster readers. I can get a lot more enjoyment for less money than a faster reader. Being a slow reader isn’t that bad now hey??
So lets just stop comparing ourselves to others and just sit back relax with a nice coffee and enjoy the book we have in our hands. Let’s not stress no more. We love reading and reading is what we are doing so whats the big fuss about?? Take your internal dialogue by the hand and walk off into the sunset were the story is brought to life for you by the little voice in your head. The little time you have to read, cherish it and enjoy that time. Don’t be tempted to rush though just so you can mark off another book as read on Goodreads. Don’t think twice about your page count. Enjoy your book in the now.
I hope this has helped out a fellow slow reader. It’s not all bad being a slow reader. In fact I make it my superpower.
I am a slow reader and I love it!