Monday Musing | Reading Pace

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It’s not Thursday yet but I’m doing a little throwback because my Monday Musing today is semi-related to my first ever Monday Musing on this blog! Back in March, when Spritz promised to help us read a full book in only 90 minutes, I shared my thoughts. When I was putting together my September summary this weekend, the topic of reading pace came up again. Last month I let myself slow down and not push myself to read a certain number of books and it’s made me wonder: how does my reading pace affect my enjoyment of a book?

I’ve been told by my friends that I’m a quick reader. And it’s true that sometimes, when I’m extremely invested in a book, I’m prone to whipping through the book at a quick pace. While this is great news for my TBR, it also means that I occasionally miss small (but perhaps later significant) details, causing me to have to flip back and re-read paragraphs.

When I let myself really take my time with my reading last month, I found that my enjoyment of whatever I was reading increased. I wasn’t rushing, merely letting my mood guide my reading, and it was refreshing. I think, as with most cases, quality trumps quantity. It’s counter-productive to read 10 books and not get anything meaningful from any of them. With that in mind, I think I’m going to have to try to control my reading pace from now on and not let my speediness get ahead of the book. What’s the point of reading a book if you’re not going to fully enjoy it, right?

Now, it’s time to hear from you! Do you think your reading pace affects your enjoyment of the books you read? Do you read leisurely or are you a speed-reader like me? Do you feel pressured (by yourself or anyone else) to read a certain amount each month?

20 thoughts on “Monday Musing | Reading Pace

  1. LR says:

    I’d also consider myself a fast reader and sometimes that robs me of enjoying the book in a way that it deserves to be read (and enjoyed). When I get hooked though, I read for me and not to zoom through a book. I get lost in the words and need and want more, which is the best kind of experience. GREAT POST!

  2. La La in the LiBrArY says:

    My feature co-host and I were having a conversation on a similar topic a couple of days ago. There was a chapter sampler put up on Netgally for a book we are both coveting, and although I am getting an ARC, they are only being sent out two months before the release date, so I still wanted one. For some reason, not only was the three chapter sampler not “read now”, only two bloggers we know said they were approved. My co-host and I went on a fact finding mission to find out what those bloggers had that we didn’t, and although they have been blogging much longer than we have, and have more followers, my co-host was shocked by something I have seen many many times on Goodreads. Bloggers in their teens and early 20s that have supposedly read and rated multiple thousands of books. Both of those bloggers, when you divide thier ages into book numbers, would have had to have read two to three books a day from the moment of their birth. So do the publishers actually believe those numbers, and if they do why would you want them reading books for you at that skimming rate? Also, why do other blogger/reviewers not call them out about it? Every time I see bloggers posting and blogging about challenges where they try to read as many books as they can in a specified amount if time, I always wonder how the authors feel knowing someone is speed reading a book they have put their heart and soul into.

    • kmn04books says:

      Thanks for this comment! Earlier this year in another Monday Musing post, I thought about this too. (More specifically, I was talking about reading challenges and goals.) At the time of writing, I wasn’t sure how many books I could read in a month because I hadn’t really kept track of it before, so I was reluctant to set a 50 book goal for myself. The reason comes down to what you said: At what point are we reading just to have read a book in that situation? Quality should always trump quantity. That being said, there are genuinely fast readers out there (though, maybe not two books a day fast?) so I can definitely understand how some readers may have already read 100 books this year whereas I’ve “only” read around 60. Time is a huge thing too! If I still had job-less summer vacations maybe I could have read more – who knows? As for how publishers decide who to give ARCs to… I don’t really know the answer to that!

  3. theuntechiediaries says:

    I completely agree! I put pressure on myself to finish a certain amount of books each month, then I will attend my bookclub and completely forget details they are talking about and that they are able to easily recall! It’s SO much more enjoyable to take time with a book, or to be so engrossed in a book that you are able to forget about the other books on your shelf that need to be read.

    • kmn04books says:

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! I definitely feel like I put pressure on myself to read at least 4 books a month when I should just read at the pace that feels natural instead of thinking about numbers so much!

  4. A says:

    I’m told I read quickly, but that’s my my sister who takes a month to read one book. I guess it depends on the book really. Some books are easy to speed through, others need a week or two.

    I don’t feel under too much pressure to read so much during a month, but I do feel down if I read less than four. Then again, I know when in a year I am more likely to read than not. I’ll get through a lot more books Oct-Mar than I will Apr-Sept.

    • kmn04books says:

      You’re definitely right that some books take longer to read than others. That’s really interesting how you’ve figured out your reading high and low times! Why do you think that is?

  5. Darlyn says:

    I completely get what you’re saying here. I tend to read pretty fast, but I won’t be able to remember a single thing about the book after a few months. You’re right. The whole reading experience should be about quality, not quantity.

  6. Charleen says:

    Obviously, some books are just easier to read than others, so 300 pages of literary fiction are going to take longer than 300 pages of chick lit. But, that aside, I don’t feel like my reading speed really varies. When I “speed through” a book it’s because I’m devoting more hours of the day to it, not because I’m actually reading any faster.

    • kmn04books says:

      That’s awesome! And you’re right – some books are easier than others. Sometimes I find that I crave “easier” books like chick lit after reading a long + dense book. Thanks for your comment!

      • Charleen says:

        Absolutely. Actually I’d say my book diet is mostly easier books and I could probably challenge myself more than I do, but I don’t think I could ever go past a 1:1 ratio. You gotta give yourself a buffer, or at least I do.

  7. Leah says:

    I definitely think pace impacts enjoyability. I think I’m a rather slow reader, but it’s because I read at a nice, comfortable pace that feels natural to me. If I try to read faster, I just feel like I’m rushing and missing things. And the point of reading is too enjoy it, not to cross a book off of my list.

  8. Milliebot says:

    My pace changes depending on the book. Sometimes I’m really engrossed and I fly through. Maybe I miss things, but if I enjoy it, I don’t think about it. Other times, I can’t get into a book. Or there’s a book I love, but I just can’t read it quickly. I do put a little pressure on myself to read at least 100 books a year, simply because I buy so many. But if I don’t meet that goal, it’s not the end of the world.

  9. Ariel Price says:

    I’m not the fastest reader—because I actually worry as I’m going that I’m going to miss something. So sometimes I go back and re-read paragraphs after just a few pages! I also keep in mind things I want to make sure to mention in my book review later, so I think looking for those things slows me down a bit. But I’m able to keep up with just making sure I’m reading regularly.

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