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Old 02-21-2014, 05:48 PM   #16
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Same. The words are what excites me, I don't think I've ever had a movie play out in my head. Maybe my imagination just stinks.

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I see words, never action or visuals.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:41 PM   #17
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Once I start reading I see nothing. I am oblivious to what is going on around me. I think of my mind as if I am sitting in my own private movie theater without any doors or windows. My wife does get mad at me when she asks me a question and then realizes that I never heard her.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:49 PM   #18
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Often I feel like I don't read enough and feel bad if it takes me too long to finish a book.
Why ?

Unless you read for school or other stuff that makes it mandatory, you should read what you want, when you want, and at the speed you want.

Or it's not a leisure anymore.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Apache View Post
My wife does get mad at me when she asks me a question and then realizes that I never heard her.
Apache
Wow... thanks for the open door. I'll kick it in gladly.

"You don't have to be reading for that. That's the normal behaviour."
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:31 AM   #20
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My natural reading speed is fast, unless I'm reading a reference book, instructions, course material, etc.

When I read for enjoyment I read fast. It tends to make me "feel" the story rather than consciously "read" it. (I think a few folks here have mentioned something similar.) If I want to savor a good read, I read it again.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
Why ?

Unless you read for school or other stuff that makes it mandatory, you should read what you want, when you want, and at the speed you want.

Or it's not a leisure anymore.
So should I feel bad about feeling bad?
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:17 AM   #22
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My reading habits evolved from years of sampling the poetry and prose on my parents' bookshelves. The stylistic characteristics of the writers on those shelves -- Thomas Browne, Hart Crane, Walter Pater, Spenser, Charles Lamb, the metaphysicals -- are why my taste in prose tends to favor the polyphonic (to use De Quincey's term).

Unless a book's style is pedestrian, I tend to want to consume it slowly, like a bottle of Germain-Robin Old Havana or a box of Belgian sweets.

I've seen a lot of threads that seemed especially concerned with finishing books. But if I really like a book, I'm more interested in taking the time to absorb it than finishing it on schedule.

When I first picked up M.D.H. Norton's translation of The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, I was stuck in San Luis Obispo and surrounded by ballet dancer friends who thought I was too cerebral. Rilke's novel was the only thing in the place that connected with me spiritually and intellectually. That book was like medicine to me.

I was sad the day I finished it. Even now, I still return to the translation by Stephen Mitchell and reread it slowly.

Last edited by Prestidigitweeze; 02-25-2014 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:40 PM   #23
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Deliberately altering my reading speed would distract me from the book.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:43 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
Deliberately altering my reading speed would distract me from the book.
How quickly (or slowly) do you read? Does the speed tend to remain constant no matter what you're reading?
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:58 AM   #25
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I usually read fiction and I tend to read them quickly. Even the non-racy ones. Like many others here, once I have picked up a story, I find it difficult to leave it in between. Just can't slow down or spread it over time.

However, recently I picked up some philosophy books (totally a newbie there!). There I felt the need to read slowly, in smaller chunks - to digest the essence. But I am still getting used to this way of reading. I find that after I stop, I often get distracted and pick it up after a long gap. Then I feel the need to go back to what I had read before proceeding further. Still feeling my way around
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:12 AM   #26
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When I read slowly, it's more that I take more numerous and longer breaks rather than actually taking in the words more slowly. I will also re-read phrases and sentences more often. The cadence of the words stays the same, but it takes longer to finish each page.
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:25 AM   #27
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When I read slowly, it's more that I take more numerous and longer breaks rather than actually taking in the words more slowly. I will also re-read phrases and sentences more often.
Do you find that the breaks help you to absorb what you're reading?

Often, when I'm editing, reading or helping to translate a difficult passage (or one with profound implications on multiple levels), I have to take a break to allow the tree of meaning, metaphor, sound and rhythm to take shape.

I used to feel this was a feature of my stupidity or laziness until I read about one of Proust's translators doing the same thing. The poet Robert Lowell also mentioned doing this when writing his Imitations, which are partly original and partly translations of other poets.

And then I think of the science fiction writer, Samuel Delany, who told me that, because he was dyslexic, he had to disassemble the language of books completely in order to read them. When he was studying the modernists, he did something I hadn't heard of before: He actually wrote stories using the techniques of Joyce and Pound to assess how difficult and/or meaningful the exercise really was. You get the feeling that reading is a very active experience for him -- almost as active as writing, which is why he's a such good critic in addition to being a celebrated novelist.

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Old 02-25-2014, 05:52 AM   #28
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Do you find that the breaks help you to absorb what you're reading?
For the intellectually difficult stuff, yes, for sure. I often check to see if I really understood why those exact words were used. For other stuff, I use the breaks to prolong whatever emotion was evoked. Like pausing after each bite to savour a taste, rather than gulping it all as quickly as possible.

Last edited by rkomar; 02-25-2014 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:29 AM   #29
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I see words, never action or visuals.
I feel sorry for you, then. I'm like Apache--I see all of the action in my head, and therefore get lost in the story.

Shari
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:07 AM   #30
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I read very fast, but not deliberately, it's just my natural reading speed. I don't consciously pick up my reader and try to run through a book, I just read at the speed that is comfortable for me.

But, as several have mentioned before me, I'm a re-reader. If I love a book I will read it again and again. If I'm really tired, not feeling well or just not feeling like reading I'll break out one of my childhood favorites that I've read many, many times. They're my book equivalent of comfort food.
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