Monday, September 15, 2008

Welcome to SRA (Slow Readers of America)

Hello, my name is Alyson King and I am a slow reader.

It started in elementary school when books with no pictures and pages of words terrified me. It wasn’t until eighth grade that my love of reading truly blossomed, but by then it was too late. Although I loved books I would find myself taking each word slowly, forming the sentences and stories in my head, taking three times as long to read something as those around me. I’ve tried throughout the years, I’ve struggled to skim sentences, skip over parts that seemed boring or unnecessary, but I find myself carefully reading each word. Taking days even weeks to read a book that might take only a day or two for others.

I thought I could hide this embarrassment from the world. No one ever needed to know. But I’m here today because I want help…


…OK, let me get the heart of this post. I seriously feel awful that I am such a slow reader and that there are people in book club waiting for my copy of the book that I STILL have not finished. I’m just not a fast reader. I don’t know why. But it really causes problems in my life and I don’t know how to fix it.

For most people, reading slow might not seem like a problem, but the more I’m trying to become a published writer the more I’m learning that to be a writer you need to be a reader. A good reader. A fantastic, fast, amazing, reader. I LOVE reading, but I’m not a fast, in depth reader that can devour four to six books a week in my spare time. I don’t think I could read four book s a week even if I did nothing but read. I’m not fast enough. I think I once did three books in a month, and I felt so cool afterwards. (Oh and they were all YA books that you can gobble up in a day.)

It’s becoming discouraging only because I feel that the harder I try to be a reader the further behind I fall. For ever book I read I discover three more I want to read… I'm creating this group for others out there that may feel that don't read as fast as most people, but still love to read, SRA! (Slow Readers of America) So here is my public announcement so it’s clear for all. I….a..m……a…….s..l..o..w……..r..e..a..d..e..r……

6 comments:

Kami said...

me too. Glad I am not alone.

Juliana said...

I think slow reading is awesome! I like to hear the characters talking in my head, imagine what they sound like and imagine their surroundings. See, I don't like to DEVOUR books.. I like to SAVOR them! I even read the comics extra slow because I want to enjoy them to the fullest. So maybe there is a silver lining?

Tricia said...

It took me like an hour just to read this post. (wink)
There are some books that I read slowly, enjoying each and every word. And yet there are books that I read fast, because I can't wait to find out what happens next. I think, for me, it depends on the book. I think books, in a way, are like music... they each have a tempo (I think that's the right word) and I tend to follow the tempo that the author has set.

Sandra Tayler said...

It is possible that you are still sub-vocalizing while you read. This means that your throat muscles are still forming each word as you read it. It is a common problem because we're all taught to read by reading aloud. If that is the issue, then taking a speed reading course would help you break the habit. Another possibility is a learning disability of some kind. I'm not sure how to go about diagnosing or addressing such a thing for adults. Places such as Sylvan learning center would probably have information.

Good luck.

berlinwritergirl said...

After our recent conversation there are so many things I want to say to you regaurding this, but no one would get them and they would all think I am a horrific friend. Oh well, I will say this, you are a slow reader, but a good reader. I amd a slow writer, but a bad writer (at least for spelling, grammar, pov etc. We are perfect!

Brian Holmes said...

I enjoyed this post and the comments too.