My Number

thoughtsI read an average of 40-50 pages per hour.

There, I said it.  THE scary number for any reader.  It has shame associated with it as, for some reason, reading slowly is seen as this terrible thing even though you are spending time doing something you like.  Why would the time it took you to do that thing you like to do in your own personal time be something to be ashamed of?  Then if you happen to be graced with fast reading abilities there is shame because people don’t believe you read that fast, that you are bragging, or think you can’t get as much out of a book then if you read slower (for real I have a friend that had an old white man professor at a university berate her in public in class for reading too fast because somehow that meant she read it contemptuously??).  

My number is longer then a minute per page.  That’ll seem quite slow for most people, but I’d expect it’s actually in the average range for reading speed.  While I know I can, and do on occasion read faster, I don’t in general do.  I like to take my time reading and also read every word.  At this pace I often catch foreshadowing and little important clues to the story.  I have greater recall when I’m reading at this pace then when I’m reading faster.  Also this pace includes me stopping to think about things or to savour a line to to go back to re-read a paragraph (often to make connections) I want to.  It includes a scribble or two for notes for my review.  It does not include phone time or TV time or computer time.  It’s my no technology, butt in a chair with only a book reading rate.  It’s my average number. 

Now my number depends on things like page size, font, story content, how tired or interested I am, etc.  There are times when I read faster and times when I read slower, but on average that is my magic number.  Obviously, I’m also talking about physical book pages as e-readers and reading on phones is a different beast with different screen sizes. 

Everyone has their own number and it’s pointless to compare your number to someone else’s number too much as everyone is different and wants and needs different things out of books.  Some people don’t need to read every word.  I don’t.  Some people like to take the time to sound out new names they encounter.  I most often don’t.  Some people want to take time to write down a quote they really connect with.  I do too. Some people like to take a break to text a loved one in the middle of a gory death scene.  Everyone reads differently so everyone’s number is different. 

My number is my number.  I like my number and it works for me.  I hope you like your number and it works for you.  If you want, you can share your number in comments and pledge with me to not 1) be ashamed of our numbers and 2) not make someone else feel ashamed for their number.    

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One thought on “My Number

  1. Pingback: Fluctuations – Never Seen A Nevergreen

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