General Question

Mtl_zack's avatar

Why do people read a-book-a-week?

Asked by Mtl_zack (6765points) April 26th, 2008

why dont you sit down and enjoy a book before going to bed? it gives you something to look forward to. many people brag that they read a book a week, but wouldnt it be more enjoyable to save some of the goodness for tommorrow?

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37 Answers

peedub's avatar

Huh? Can’t one do all of the above? I’m lost.
A book a day or a book a week?

Mtl_zack's avatar

re-phrase: why do people rush through books just so they can brag about how much they read and how smart they are?
i personally am reading a book thats taking me a month and a half so far (im halfway through and its 900 pages), but my friend read it in 6 days. i found it amazing, but she thought it was awful. maybe she didnt have time to really appreciate it.

peedub's avatar

Ok, I understand your question. Some people do read extremely fast. As to why some brag, who knows, various reasons. I will even go as far as to say some need to read fast, as there is a lot of great material out there to be read.
The reason your friend disliked the book may have nothing to do with the fact that she read it fast. On the other hand, she might have skimmed through it quickly, or not even finished it.
I will say this, one can learn to speed up their reading pace dramatically by practicing certain techniques, without losing any comprehension, or even enjoyment.

Have you ever read anything on speed reading?

St.George's avatar

I have so many books I want to read that I wish I could read a book a week. Sadly, I spend too much time online reading little snippets of information. I guess that counts for something, but it’s not a book. I love reading a good book and savoring it. I don’t want to read it fast, and I want to have a lot of time to enjoy it, I just need to make the time.

Mtl_zack's avatar

i havent heard of speed reading, and now im curious. can you supply a link please? i hate it when my aunt gives me 4 books at once and i still have 3 left to read when she comes back the next month with 3 more books.

also, i have the time, i just enjoy taking the time to enterpret the text, rather than just read it for the plot.

edmartin101's avatar

Reading a book a week is insane! Not just you don’t get to enjoy it,but that’s all you do. There are so many different things to do than just clutch into a book. I have to admit I’ve done it too, but just once and I don’t think I’ll ever do it again. If ppl do it to brag about it, then it’s just immature ppl who have low self esteem for they have nothing else to show. I could care less what ppl think of me as long as I get along well with ppl I care about. However, this is the freedom we enjoy to do whatever we want to do with what we have.

nocountry2's avatar

Actually it doesn’t have to be all you do – some people naturally read pretty fast, and thus have time to enjoy other things besides enjoy a book or so a week – obviously it can depend on the content and length of book – I’m a pretty fast reader, but would have a slower time with Guns, Germs, and Steel or 1421 – The year China Discovered America rather than a formulaic Dean Koontz novel (which I secretly devour…)

marinelife's avatar

So many books, so little time.

St.George's avatar

@ Marina – Precisely. And they keep making them.

gailcalled's avatar

It helps to be retired. I have several books going at the same time and graze.

scamp's avatar

@Mtl_zack I’m just like you. I like to savor books I read by reading a little each night just before falling asleep. I never rush through them because the end of a good book to me is like saying goodbye to a cherished friend.

lifeflame's avatar

Is a book a week fast?
I mean, if a book has momentum, I can’t put it down.. which can mean staying up late until I finish the damn book.

It so depends on what kind of book it is!

peedub's avatar

@life- wondering the same thing. If I couldn’t read at least a few books a week in college I may not have passed.

shrubbery's avatar

I’m a fast reader naturally, because I’ve always loved to read, it’s my favourite hobby so I have had lots of practice, and I don’t feel like I miss any plot and I have plenty of time for other things. I find that there are good books that I chew through pretty quickly cause that’s just how I read, then there are great books that I do like to savour and read slowly to drag it out for as long as possible, and then there are the awesome books that I can’t help racing through because it’s too good to put down. Those books I go back and read again later a bit slower, but then again some people hate reading books twice. I think it’s silly to brag, it’s a very personal thing, why would someone else care how fast you read? Everyone is different :)

NVOldGuy's avatar

A book a week! The brag I don’t get but if you’re a reader, you read.
Everyone has his/her pace. Save what for tommorow? My list of books to read goes on and on and on. Isn’t the pleasure of reading to end one adventure and start another?

MissAnthrope's avatar

To the folks saying fast readers should slow down because they can’t possibly enjoy the book, I beg to differ. Everyone is different and we all have different reading styles. I am a naturally fast reader (honestly, I’ve been reading since I was about 3, so I’ve had tons of practice) that has some speed reading training, so I can make really quick work of text. I’m one of the fastest readers I know and even using speed reading techniques, I still test at 90+% comprehension.

It is really hard for me to read slowly. I don’t like it, I think maybe because my mind moves faster. I tend to scan the page as I read and I would say I read about 80% – 90% of the text on a page, occasionally re-reading parts that I either particularly enjoy or want to understand better. However, I definitely take in the information and I definitely get a lot of enjoyment out of books.. I’m a huge fan and it’s very easy for me to get so engrossed in one that I don’t even notice chapter markings.

Reading fast is absolutely necessary for me.. I do a lot of it, there’s so much information I want to take in, and ultimately it means I get to read more stuff. If I read slower, I wouldn’t get to all the books in my queue. :) I look back on one time in my life when I was an exchange student, totally miserable and with way too much time on my hands.. I used it to read and I burned through an average of 10 books a month, no exaggeration (I kept track of what I read). I couldn’t slog through Moby Dick, though.. man, what a beast of a book.

As for the bragging.. why does anyone brag? To make themselves seem special, superior in a manner, etc. Basically, insecurity or they’re looking for a pat on the back. Generally, the more you read, the more intelligent you become, so book-braggarts are essentially trying to show off their smarts and/or literary prowess.

gailcalled's avatar

@AlenaD: wait twenty years and try Moby Richard again.

nocountry2's avatar

Good point, Gail – I’ve found that books for whatever reason I couldn’t get into at one point are absolutely fascinating years down the road.

gailcalled's avatar

I just reread all the Thomas Hardy novels, some of Anthony Trollope, Jane Austin and the Bronte sisters. (Loved Jane Eyre, still disliked Wuthering Heights.)

shrubbery's avatar

I read Matthew Flinders’ Cat by Bryce Courtenay when I was ten and even though I was bright for my age, because my life was pretty sheltered and I didn’t watch much TV I couldn’t really comprehend the themes and everything of the book. I went back and read it last year and boy was I amazed. It touched me deeply and is one of my favourite books now.

aidje's avatar

I wish that I could read faster so that I could read more. There are so many books that I want to read.

deaddolly's avatar

As much as I love to read, I just don’t have the time. I can fluther at work, but can hardly pull out a book, when I’m bored.

I do read a lot of magazines.

When I do find a book I love, I’ll read in on one day. If I put it down, who knows when i’ll be able to get back to it. That’s just me tho.

EmpressPixie's avatar

So this answer is going to be totally obnoxious, but lately I’ve been reading this really engaging series. I crawl into bed around 7pm, and start reading. And when I go to sleep the book is usually done. I’m a really fast reader and I get faster when I’m really drawn into a book, but also, um, they’re hard to put down. So. Yes. I’ve been reading a book a day for the past week or so. Why? Because it’s really hard not to.

gailcalled's avatar

@Empress; why do you think that was an “obnoxious answer.”? Usually one lets the readers decide that. It seems extremely reasonable to me (a constant reader.”

ubersiren's avatar

I actually envy those people. I’m such a slow reader. It takes me months to finish a book. I’m slow, and get distracted incredibly easy. I need to get some books on tape.

kevinhardy's avatar

cause they are smart, tv isnt everything

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i’d rather be a slow reader who really gets into what they’re reading than a speed-reader who may grasp the concepts, but is probably missing out on something – even something kind of minor – just for the sake of finishing the book.

i take my time reading, and even so, if i go back to reread a book i always find things i missed. so i can only imagine how much someone who rushes through a book would find when they go back to a book.

mamabeverley's avatar

I don’t dare read a book at night. If it is a good book, I will never get to sleep. I read a lot of “fluff”, historical romance, alpha male stuff. I am reading for entertainment value and to shut off my mind from the everyday crap. The amount of time it would take me to read LotR would kill me. My hubby loved them, but not my personal choice. I am a HEA type of girl. I want a fast paced read. If it is a hard read for me I will put it down and try to get back to it. I might just not be in the right frame of mind to read that particular book.

mamabeverley's avatar

@EmpressPixie I read during the day. I get the kid to school, do my housework and the rest of the afternoon is mine until 2:30. What are you reading that has you so enthralled. I am always looking for a good book. Like you I read at least 1 book a day. Have you tried Lora leigh yet? She has 3 series that I am reading now. Any ebooks? I love them!

bea2345's avatar

I read every day, ever since I was 4 or 5. A book a day? depends on the book and what else I am doing. Right now I am in the middle of A Perfect Spy (John Le Carre) and it is taking longer than a week, partly because the book is the kind to read carefully, but also I am busy. There was a short period when I read Mills & Boon romances; at least 2 a day: their assumptions about men and women were awfully similar to those in hard porn.

benjaminlevi's avatar

I read each Harry Potter book within a day or two of when it was published (except the first), not to brag, but because I couldn’t put them down. With lots of other books I want them to last longer then they do so I can savor them, but I just can’t stop reading. Especially when I have downtime at work during the summer I burn through books faster than one a week. It just happens that way

MissAnthrope's avatar

Good books, I wish they were longer (i.e. more pages) so they would last longer. I love good books that are a thousand pages because it means it’ll take at least a week for me to finish. I’m currently reading the sequel to Pillars of the Earth and am so stoked that it’s just over a thousand pages. :)

Hatsumiko's avatar

I have this weird habit of wanting to read five books at the same time. Funny thing is that I never actually finish any of them, because by the time I start getting to the end I find five other books to read. :P

doxie_chick's avatar

i tend to be a fast reader but only if i find the book enjoyable. if a book is enjoyable i just want to keep reading. books that i enjoy i will read over and over again. sometimes after reading a book all the way through and then rereading it you gain some insight and it may change your perspective.

some people seem amazed at how much i read in a relatively short time frame and i make comments about how it didn’t seem long or how many pages i read in a day. it’s not to brag mind you, because to me reading a lot is the norm because i like it. just because you read slower doesn’t necessarily mean that you are taking more from it than a faster reader. everyone has their own pace

carolinasummers's avatar

Because we love to read…learn…hope…dream.

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