30 May 2012

Confessions of a Slow Reader

This post is adapted from a comment I posted at Jordan McCollum's blog.

Okay, confession time: I am a snail reader. As in, I seem to crawl slowly through books. I didn’t realise I was a slow reader until I read blogs touting 50-100 or more per year, or I heard people rave about a book, saying they finished it in one sitting. I could never do that. It’s a combination of a lack of time (writing takes priority in my free time) and the actual speed that I read at. When I was a child I was faster than everyone else, but now it seems everyone else has sped up! I do make sure I read every word, and it makes me wonder if everyone else does.

I read on the train during my daily commute: a chapter or two per journey, and then I try to sneak in another few chapters during the weekend. So it takes me about two weeks to read a book, and I generally have around three on loan from the library (with a couple more on reserve). I suppose that’s around 10 hours of solid reading time to finish a book, but I do tend to let my mind drift occasionally (a lot of times to my own WIP!).

I’ll admit I haven’t read an “unputdownable” book in a long time. Even though I’m reading in my genre, I don’t really love most of the books that much. I’m still trying to find more authors I click with. So sometimes reading that chapter on the train is a chore, and I find myself rolling my eyes frequently with parts of the writing that annoy me.

If I was to challenge myself to read a number of books in a year, it’d be about 20! Sad, right?

How many hours of solid time does it take you to read a typical 350-400 page paperback? Am I the only snail reader around here?


  1. I'm quite a fast reader (sorry!) It's come in handy because sometimes I have loads of books people have asked me to read and review!

    1. I hope one day to be in that position! Any tips for speedy reading? ;-)