Sunday, July 08, 2007

Who else do you know who can read 98 pages per hour?

First off, I never attended any speed reading courses nor would I want to. I don't really believe in speed reading because I think that it tends to take away from the enjoyment of a good book. I like to skim for facts when I'm reading my course textbooks but that's normal, but when I read for entertainment, I like to take my time and enjoyit.

I don't know how I learned to read to fast and absorb the information but I just do. It all started at the age of three when I began reading anything and everything. I can recall reading the back of cereal boxes attempting to pronounce big words until I had them. I recall seeing the word "together" used in some silly promotion on the back of a cereal box. I thought the word was pronounced "tah-gether" and I kept saying it over and over till I got it right, it was "too-gether". Ask my parents and my grandmother and my grand aunt, they remember, I couldn't get enough to read.

I don't know if mom and dad know this but by the time I started high school I had read every single young adult fiction in that section of our school library. Mom thought I should spend more time on school books rather than library fiction but I used to check them out anyway, sometimes bringing them home, sometimes reading them at school and keeping them in my locker. She never discouraged me to read mind you, she just wanted me to focus on my STUDIES! For punishment (which I now say THANK YOU!) she would make me read my schoolbooks from cover to cover. And I did, over and over. I think that also helped my vocabulary. Look, parents aren't perfect, so my mother made me read my books? My parents cared....and I thank them for it now!

I went to the Florida State spelling championships two years in a row when I was in sixth and seventh grade. There are few words I cannot spell. I have always been good at pronouncing big words and I have this odd ability to pronounce foreign names immediately upon the first time seeing them. If it's too difficult I read it once, sound it out once and then pronounce it perfectly the second time. My foreign students are amazed at that ability. I don't know where it came from. I can imagine words in my head, I can almost feel them. Sounds silly doesn't it? I'm beginning to wonder if all that is why I enjoy writing so much and why I'm so good at it--when I put my mind to it.

Last night, I read Dan Brown's "Deception Point" (a fabulous thriller by the way!) starting it at 4:30 in the afternoon and finishing at midnight. I didn't rush through it, it was a paperback of 736 pages I believe, but for me it was a quick read. Before I began the book I'd joked to DH that there were times I could open a book that thick on a Friday night and have it finished by Sunday night. He was astonished even more so when I told him this morning I finished the book before going to bed Saturday night.

Of course reading such a book and then going to bed afterwards lends itself to all sorts of really weird dreams. I dreamed that Robert Redford (borrowed from the movie Sneakers), me and another girl were being tracked and we were on the run and we had to keep solving these word puzzles and then I ran to my mom and dad's neighbor's house (Mr. G) and used his phone to call out to get help because our phone was bugged. And I killed a lot of people with machine guns and pistols who were on to us, and I used guns that shot darts to put people to sleep vs. killing them. All in all a very very weird dream. Mom was grocery shopping and not home, where was dad? Oh who knows? The dream was a direct result of the book, no doubt in my mind.

Anyway, the paperback was small, standard paperback size so really the pages are quick reading but I realized that reading a 736 page book over 7.5 hours = 98 pages per hour.


Is that good?


  1. Anonymous7/08/2007

    Wow! Now you have me wondering how quickly I can read. I may have to test myself.

    And can you believe, after all those years in school when Robert wouldn't crack a book I can't get him to stop reading now. He even reads online books. Lauren is just as bad.--ST

  2. I envy you, I don't read as I used to, thanks to the internet, but I do still read everything that sits in front of my on the dining room table! Always have. Gramps and I used to swap the ketchup bottle, cereal boxes, whatever was in front of us, back and forth and read as we ate. I guess I got it from him and you got it from me.
    You were always a remarkable reader and speller. You're a remarkable person as well!

  3. My son learned to read at 3, too. His Montessori teacher told me he was ready, could she teach him? I said well, yeah! Jeez.

    All three of us, my husband, son and me are voracious readers. A favorite thing to do together, my son and me, is to go to the bookstore.