Saturday, March 21, 2015

Really Reading vs. Just Skimming

As Elizabeth Bennet warns Colonel Fitzwilliam (at least in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie), "Prepare yourself for something quite dreadful."

I confess that I've gotten into a terrible habit of skimming books. Not all of them, mind you, but it seems the more "for fun" books I acquire, the easier it is to justify skipping through virtual or paper pages. Unless I've agreed to review it or determined from the get-go that I want to read every word, the temptation is there.

Perhaps that's saved me time reading books I wouldn't overly enjoy anyway.

But perhaps it's kept me from fully experiencing some great stories.

By jumping ahead to the fun, exciting, more adventurous parts, I miss the journey of characters growing and blossoming and emerging through fire. I miss meaningful encounters and everyday exchanges.

I get the gist, but I miss the chance to read between the lines.

This confession doesn't mean I'll never skim a book again. Sometimes we have to let things go so we can devote our focus to things better-suited for us.

But I hope to take the time to fully enjoy more of the books I have and to experience all that the stories might hold in store.

Same goes for how I live my life.


Grace M said...

I used to skim books, and it did make my TBR pile slim down faster. But I started fully reading books years back, and now I don't skim. It does mean that it takes me more time to read my books, but I get the full experience. :-) Hope you enjoy soaking in all that the books you read have to offer you, Amber!

Amber Stokes said...


Thank you for the comment! :)

I generally used to read word-for-word...and I still do for the most part. But I think I'm getting overwhelmed by all the new books I keep adding to my TBR! *writes this just as she's planning to buy another Kindle book* So I've gotten into the habit of taking books off my TBR or reading some of the "for-fun" ones by skimming... :\

(However, as a side note, I should add that I generally take "skimmed" books off of my Goodreads and Shelfari shelves. I prefer for any books I've marked as "read" on there to actually have been read, because in my mind, skimming and fully reading are quite different. So if you ever see books I've marked as "to-read" suddenly disappear off my virtual could be I've either given up on it for the present, or I've skimmed it. If I've reviewed a book and/or given it a rating, you can pretty much assume I've read the book all the way through unless otherwise stated. Phew - just thought I should clarify! ;))

Anywho, I think that's awesome that you've given up skimming. It does make a difference to get the full experience, doesn't it? Thank you for the encouragement! :)