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Reading speed

You know, I thought I was a reasonably fast reader until today. Now, as far as I can tell, it took me longer to read the OotP than almost anyone else. It took me a whole 10 and a half hours. cliosfolly seems to have finished in 5 hours, innostrantsa in 6.5, and aliciam made it through in an astonishing 3 hours.

How do any of you get anything out of a book at that speed?


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2003 10:47 pm (UTC)
I did in about eight hours, give or take a half hour here and there. I guess I get into a reading stride, and from there, there's no stopping me! I am the fastest reader of all my friends... you know those cheap Star Trek paperbacks? I used to go through 3 or 4 of those on plane rides. Not to brag or anything, it's just a skill I can't figure out how to get on my resume. ;-)
Jun. 22nd, 2003 02:33 am (UTC)
... an astonishing 3 hours

Gosh! Given that the book is over a quarter of a million words long (which, apparently, is about sixty or seventy thousand more than the New Testament), that gives an average reading speed of about 1400 words per minute.

Jun. 22nd, 2003 09:22 am (UTC)
I like your comparison to the New Testament. Much as the NT is full of good stories, thought, I'm not sure I could read it as quickly as this book, thanks to the writing styles.

At least it seems aliciam doesn't usually read things quite so fast. I asked her about it in her own LJ and she replied, "Yes, and I'm not sure how... :) I felt like my eyes were going to fall out of my head afterwards, too..."
Jun. 22nd, 2003 03:50 am (UTC)

*smiling* i was taught to speed-read when i was six years old... and when it comes to books, i can't remember not having this, i guess, serious power of retaining story, plot, details, etc. repetition only reinforces that, along with interest, of course. i don't know whether this answers your question or not, though. it's kind of like sponges.
Jun. 22nd, 2003 04:47 am (UTC)
I can't do it with anything but genre fiction, because part of it involves being able to predict what's going to happen next and skimming to confirm it, really. And I do miss details; reading at the speed I did mainly got me familiarized with the overall story. Now I can go back, more leisurely, and actually enjoy it without being anxious about what's going to happen next. The more I want to know the ending, the faster I hurry to try to get there.

I've been rereading bits and pieces of it since yesterday, and find myself increasingly dissatisfied with the last few chapters.
Jun. 22nd, 2003 08:10 am (UTC)
I took about 10 hours too. Some breaks for lunch, dinner and coffee but still fairly slow. I blame age more than anything. It's not so much that I read slower (even though I do) but that I'm much less impatient and prefer to savor things. As a result, I have no inclination to reread the book anytime soon. And not because I didn't like the book, I do. It's just that I've milked it for all the pleasure I think I can derive from it. Now my leaky memory needs time to drip away the details enough that I can enjoy it again later.

After reading the book, I ordered the audio version for my grandkids to listen to, since they haven't gotten to this reading level yet. The oldest will be in 5th grade next term and he is reading the first books now.. I think Ms Rowling has been incrementally escalating the target audience age level with each new book.. and this is great. Should make the books classics for more than one generation.

PS - Jim Dale is the best narrator. His voice characterisations are perfect and very entertaining. My hope is that he can stay healthy and do the next two books as well.
Jun. 22nd, 2003 09:13 am (UTC)
That's how I feel. I've read the book thoroughly, and, with the exception of wanting to check a few things early on in the book once I can get my hands on it for a moment (since C. is reading it now), I've read it and won't need to read it again for a while.

I grew up hearing the odd excerpt from Doug Brown reading books on NPR, but I've only listened to one book-on-tape in my life. If I drove more - or even liked driving more - I suspect I would have more reason to be interested in the medium. It is good to hear voices done the right way, it's true!
Jun. 22nd, 2003 05:46 pm (UTC)
Good lord, 3 hours?
I really had to pace myself. I got through the first chunk pretty fast, but after that I could only do 50-100 pages in one sitting. I had to go have a break before Dumbledore's big scene, and then start fresh.
10.5 hours is pretty darn fast too!
Jun. 22nd, 2003 05:50 pm (UTC)
It was fairly exhausting reading so much all at once. My neck and shoulders hurt until I took a nice, long bath this morning.
Jun. 22nd, 2003 06:09 pm (UTC)
Hard to hold back
I am trying to force myself to read OotP slo-o-o-o-o-owly, because I know as soon as I'm done I'll want to read the next one, and it will be forEVer before the next one comes along. I told myself I didn't want to use up all the Potter-y fun in one spot...

But it's really hard to hold back : ) Even forcing myself to put the book down and do things like clean, plot directions for a falcon-watchng run, trim the rosebushes, and explain various kitchen appliances to ye olde husband, I've gotten to page 700-and-something.

I have to stop, or I'll finish the book, and then... it will be FINISHED! Wubba!
Jun. 22nd, 2003 08:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Hard to hold back
Just think... you can't reread the book until you've finished reading it the first time.

I had an extra incentive to read through it in a hurry - Colin was waiting to read it himself.
Jun. 24th, 2003 05:00 am (UTC)
speed readers of the world, unite
around 4 hours, but I was in a bouncing bus in the Irish countryside.
Jun. 27th, 2003 09:47 am (UTC)
I don't think I *do* completely absorb the story when I read that fast (and I managed in five hours, I think). I *like* not retaining it all--I adore re-reading and finding details I missed the first time around. My memory is so fragmentary anyway that even if I read very, very slowly I still remember everything, so there's a special pleasure in re-reading. I'll probably read it more slowly on my next go-round.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )