I don’t really like reading with other people. Whether it was a reading group in elementary school or reading a book over a friend’s shoulder for fun, it just annoyed me. Sure, the social aspect was fun. Sharing a book and reading experience with someone is nice, but I tend to like reading on my own time much better, mostly because I tend to read very, very fast.
For me, it’s the stop and go thing that bothers me. I’ll be reading, then I’ll have to wait for the other person to finish, read again, wait, repeat. Sometimes I’ll try to get myself to read more slowly, but then either it still won’t be slow enough, or it will be too slow. I spend more time focused on moderating my reading speed and end up not remembering anything about the book, then I have to go back and read the thing again anyway. Reading with another person is just a stressful experience.
I’ve always been this way. I love books. Give me a book and I will read it voraciously. This means that any interruptions or slowdowns are extremely unwelcome. I’m also the type of reader who reads almost every word, but admittedly glazes over some of the more boring parts, catching a few words here and there to get the gist of the story without putting the pointless bits in my head.
I admit to being a very impatient reader. Unless it’s something I really enjoy, I just want to get the story in my head. I don’t want to bother with the minor details or the text itself, I want the plot in my head. I’m the type of person that hates watching movies because I have to sit there for an hour and a half. I want the knowledge in my head without having to go through the viewing experience, because that takes time, and I want to spend my time doing something more active. I’m somewhat the same with books, which leads me to read as fast as I possibly can. Surprisingly I don’t miss too much, though occasionally I’ll have to go back and read something again (missing details also bugs the heck out of me).
Some people have said that really detracts from the experience, that they prefer to read more slowly, savor the experience and get involved in the world. Personally, my reading speed has never affected how involved I get with a book; in fact, I have a habit of getting drawn in so far that my day will just slip completely away and I’ll be up too late, behind on work or whatever else.
That said, I know everyone has their preferences. I’m the type who prefers the knowledge over the experience because I can always go back to it once it’s in my head, but others like to savor every moment they have a book in their hands. How do you read?