Reading More

Pile of Books
Ca. 115 and counting by Horst Gutmann

My goal of 100 books this year is a little daunting.  I know it is going to be difficult because I’ve tried before and failed.   Hannah Sander of the BBC has some tips that might help though in her article How could I read more books.  She discusses speed reading as one possible solution and as a matter of fact I took a speed reading course when I was still in high school.  It was listed at a local junior college and curious I signed up when my parents said they would pay.

I’m glad I took the class it was fun.  And for the first time someone taught me how to read a book.  I mean I already knew how to read of course, but the instructor, I forget his name, taught me how to begin.  He liked to read the book jacket, everything on it.  Then start in on the book, not skipping any introductions or preface.  Before the class I often skipped both.  He then taught us the basics of speed reading, but also stressed that we need to still maintain an understanding of what we had read.

We would read in groups of two to ourselves.  We did this for about 10-15 minutes.  We would then tell our partner how much we had read, lines or pages, then we would tell our partner what we had read.  At first I was going so fast that I didn’t have any idea what had happened in the passage I read.  As we kept at it I got better.  I don’t use everything I learned from that class and I have purposely slowed down my reading speed, because I want to enjoy the books I am reading.

An instructor mentioned in Sander’s article read 150 books last year.  Which I think is doable, but I wonder how much he enjoyed it and what the rest of his life is like.  His suggestion was to become bored as reading is a great way to pass the time.  I find this especially true when flying across country.  Here you find yourself in a seat hurtling trough the air in a tin can.  The seat so small you can barely move and you are discouraged from moving around the plane.  So you are basically a prisoner to this smelly, cramped seat for hours.  This for me is a place I can polish off books no problem.  Even when the book is slow, what else are you going to do?  Watch the horrible little tv?  Some planes still don’t have this, even in cross country flights.

Besides, I find there are very few tv shows or movies as good as a well selected book.  Lastly, the article suggest reading with the time you have.  If you only have 15 minutes, read.  You don’t have to set aside hours at a time to read.  I read while waiting for my daughter to finish in her dance class.  With three dance classes a week I have a lot of time to read.  I see the other parents staring at their phones, but who knows, maybe they are reading too.  After all, I have War and Peace on my phone.