Speed Reading vs. Deep Reading

David Musick (David_Musick@msn.com)
Tue, 17 Dec 96 19:57:08 UT

I understand the theory behind speed reading; that of taking in whole
sentences and paragraphs at a single glance rather than one word at a time.
But to me, speed reading seems little better than using a copy machine. Sure,
you've taken in every word in the book, and if you're really good, you can
remember it all, but to me it seems like a very superficial glancing over of
the material rather than delving into it in any meaningful depth.

I tend to read fairly slowly, basically meditating on the reading material. I
use the text as a guide, and I follow lots of associations and related
thoughts. How slow I read depends on how interesting the material is to me.
I read less interesting stuff faster, since I have little interest in thinking
about the ideas it triggers in me, but I really slow down when something gets
interesting, and I read passages over and over, seeing new meaning every time,
stopping frequently to ponder over the ideas in my mind. Speed reading would
defeat my entire purpose of reading, because I would just skim over all the
interesting stuff instead of thinking it over carefully. I've tried to speed
read, and I can go pretty fast, but the faster I go, the more meaningless the
material seems to me. I'm trying to learn as much as possible when I read; my
main focus is not to get to the end of the book as fast as possible.

Speed reading is about attractive to me as speed sex -- both are fine if all
you want to do is hurry up and get it over with.

- David Musick