Slow Reading

Posted November 27, 2014 by Hazellie in Books / 4 Comments


In the last three years, I’d been reading about 200 books a year. In the years before that, I’d read more than a 100 books each year. I distinctly remember one year where my New Year’s resolution was actually to read less; I set a limit of 50 books that year, I ended up reading 53 (I also cheated by rereading some of the same books).

Suffice to say that I’m a pretty fast reader. Not the fastest, maybe, but I read a LOT.

In fact, the only reason I read “only” about 100 books in the years before the last three is because I didn’t have access to a good library. I had to buy all the books I read. I spent the majority of my money on books, and I tried setting budgets, but as soon as I see another interesting book, it’s bye-bye hard-earned cash, hello new friends and adventures in the pages of a book. 🙂

However, that’s not really what I want to talk about right now. I don’t really have to spend money on books anymore since I get all my books from the library. Sure, I pay for a library card and membership, but that’s peanuts compared to all the money I used to spend buying books. And the library is amazing! I have all the books I want and more!

In fact, now I have too many books to choose from and not enough time to read them all!

So yes, the last few years I’ve been reading about 200 books a year, but to my chagrin, I can’t remember much of them. Some stood out, sure, some were really amazing, but there were more than a few times I found myself reading the same books again, NOT on purpose, without even realizing I had read them before until I got halfway through them.

I started keeping track of them on Goodreads, so at least I’d know if I had read the book before, but often I read so fast that by the time I get online to log the books in, I’d already finish 5 books and forgotten what I had thought about the first 3.

I realized that reading so much isn’t necessarily a good thing. Putting aside the fact that I wasn’t getting any work done with all the reading I was doing, I was also not enjoying the books I read as much as I did before. I don’t savor them, I don’t remember much about them, I was just going through the motions of reading one book after another.

Hence, today’s topic: Slow Reading.

I want to read less. I want to read slow. I want to enjoy the books I read and savor them and remember them.

I started reading slower this last month, and I’m really enjoying the books I’ve read. There are a few I’d like to share, but I’ll do them in another post. There is a part of me that still feels like I need to read more books to break some kind of record no one cares about, but I’m ignoring that part of me and giving in to the louder voice that demands to savor the books. I’m pretty sure I won’t regret listening to her, I’m already enjoying books more.

Here’s to slow reading! 🙂

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  • La La in the Library

    I for one was shocked when I started book blogging and following more than just my irl friends on Goodreads, and saw bloggers saying they were reading one to two books a day!! First of all, even if you are speed reading how on earth does a person have that much reading time a day???? I sometimes wonder how honest some of these bloggers are especially when they say they are students. Now on to the fast reading bit. When I see bloggers throwing confetti around because they have surpassed their 100 to 200, and somtimes 300, book goals on their Goodreads Challenges, I often wonder what the authors of those books actually think. When they see someone boasting that they have basically speed read the book they put their heart and soul into with blood, sweat and tears. If I was an author I would prefer the reader who was taking the time to savor and fully appreciate my hard work. My Goodreads Challenge goal was set at 48, one book a week, and I will probably hit 70 at the rate I ame going now.

    • Hazel Lee Vaughn

      Hey La La, first of all, sorry for the really late reply! I switched over to the Disqus commenting system before I saw your comment, and then I couldn’t figure out how to import all the previous comments back into my blog. Finally figured it out today though! =)

      I totally understand that you’d wonder about bloggers who say they read so much, especially the students, but seriously, I was most productive with my reading when I was a student! I do speed read, and I am able to enjoy the book while I read, that’s not a problem for me. The problem is that I move on too fast to the next book, and then I forget what I read before.

      When I was younger and didn’t have access to many books, I used to joke that it’s a blessing that I don’t remember details of books I read, so that I can re-read them over and over again and still enjoy them as much. It’s different now that I have access to thousands of books from the library.

      I want to slow down my reading so I can enjoy those books longer, re-read some of the ones I loved. I read about 200 books a year the last 3 years, but I think I’d be happy if I kept the numbers at about 100 a year.

      It’s awesome that you passed your Goodreads goal, and that you’re enjoying and savoring the books you read! I could learn from you! =)

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