Bookish Discussion: Why Being a Slow Reader is A-OK!

Posted June 6, 2016 by Zeee in Discussions19 Comments



Let’s talk about anything bookish!



Today, I wanted to talk about this issue that I have.  Ehemmm.  Contrary to what many believe, I AM A SLOW READER! Gasp!

As of the time I am writing this, I have read 43 books this year.  43 books is a lot, right?  But NO, some readers actually have read more than half the books I have read and it’s barely the half of the year!  And it makes me soooo envious of it! SOOOO ENVIOUS!

Hence, this topic.  I am a mood reader and more often than not, I do not follow a set TBR pile.  For some, that is daunting, but for me, it works.  Since I get some of my books from the library, I usually have to wait my turn.  For Audible, that means I would have to wait an entire month before I can request another audio.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t have any other books lined up.  I actually have more than I can handle but because I am a mood reader, sometimes the mood isn’t right.

For example, last week, I wanted to read Heartless and Queen of Hearts, both Alice in Wonderland retellings since I had just seen Alice Through the Looking Glass.  But of course, my mood just isn’t doing me any favors.  And sure enough, I haven’t even finished reading Heartless, much less START Queen of Hearts!

At this point, I am re-evaluating myself.  Am I truly a reader?!  Have I been lying to myself the whole time?  This might not be an issue for some but to me, it really is.  I’m getting anxious just thinking about it.


There are only so many hours in the day.


Let’s face it.  there are only 24 hours in a day and I just couldn’t possibly spend all of that time reader.  Because LIFE and because I still have to sleep, work, eat, and watch TV.  Maybe talk to my husband, too.  PRIORITIES!

Slow books result in an uninterested me.

I also have a thing about books that have a slow start.  I admit to being easily distracted and if the first few pages do not catch my attention, I tend to lose focus and start opening my game apps, or check social media.  I want the book I am currently reading to ensnare me at least during the first chapter.  If it fails to do that, then I almost always fall asleep or pick another book on the list resulting in me not finishing a book.

I just read really slow.

I have to confess that the only reason I am at 43 reads is that I listen to audiobooks.  Without it, I probably would only read HALF of this number.  Maybe.

So yeah.  Reading slow.  I think even when I was younger, I still couldn’t finish a book a day.  I still read a good amount of books, though.  Only, I don’t remember reading upwards of 100 books a year!

If you really think about it, I counted those that I DNF’d as read.  That doesn’t mean I technically read the whole book right?

I know there are apps that teach you to read faster but, I’m too lazy to do that!

As much as I want to train myself to read faster, I just CAN’T spare the time to train myself.  So I guess I am stuck with reading at a really slow pace.

I hardly skim or skip parts.


For some reason, I want to read every part of the book for fear of missing something.  Yup.  I hardly skim or skip sections, pages, or chapters!  I feel that my mind can’t process if I skim.  Sure, I have skimmed and skipped a few times but only because the book was just not as interesting to me.

I mostly read ebooks…and it makes me sleepy.

I think one of the things that make my eyes tired is reading via my iPad.  I remember when I used to read a lot more physical books, I wouldn’t fall asleep after a few pages.  When I started reading mostly digitally, I fall asleep just like that!  You can’t count how many times my face got smacked by my heavy iPad!  Ouch!


So now, this is where I am going to talk about why being a slow reader is A-OK!

Reading slowly helps retain those pesky, but important book details

I feel that taking your time to read a book really helps you retain more details about the book.  I remember years ago when I wasn’t reading as much, I tend to remember those books better.  I mean, sure I have gotten older now (no kidding!), but that doesn’t mean I should forget the details of the book I’m reading, right?

Reading should be fun

Just because everyone is really like 500 books a year doesn’t mean you HAVE to read that much.  Sure, it’s pretty awesome that people read that much, but anxiously thinking about how much you have read compared to them is NOT fun.  I mean, for me, it isn’t.  I read for fun and adding anxiety to that mix is not fun in my book.

Reading is not a contest

Reading is not a race.  It isn’t about who can read the most.  So just relax.  There is still time to read these books (ahhh did I just say that?).


How fast do you read?

What do you think about other readers who read really, really fast?

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19 responses to “Bookish Discussion: Why Being a Slow Reader is A-OK!

  1. I feel like when it comes to actually reading, I’m not very fast. I get a fair amount of books read throughout the year mostly because I spend a lot of time reading, not because I read particularly fast. And I’m ok with that. I’d rather read at my pace and take my time with the books, absorb all the details, really get into the stories, etc. That’s how I enjoy them. I wouldn’t enjoy book nearly as much if I were speed reading through them or skimming parts or missing words. But of course the more bored I am with a book, the longer it takes me to get through it because I just keep putting it off and finding other things to do.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Discussion: Why Negative Reviews Can Be a Positive ThingMy Profile

    • I understand what you mean, Kristen! I have a hard time with books that really don’t interest me or at least catch my interest after a few pages! 🙂

  2. I am a fast reader. I fully admit it. I average a book read a day and on the weekends I can read two or three a day. I envy slow readers. Yup, I do. I always worry that I am missing something important in the story, or that I won’t get what everyone loves about it. I would love to sink into a good book and read it over a week or so. But that’s not how I’m built. I love how you said “Reading is not a race.”. That’s so true. I think the important thing about reading is the enjoyment. If you like the book, then it shouldn’t matter how long it took you to read it. Great topic!
    Laura@125Pages recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up – June 11, 2016My Profile

    • OMG! you can read up to 3 a day?! WOOAAAHH I really wish I can do that, which is why I envy fast readers… hahaha

    • I understand. It’s just that I sometimes feel that I’m such a non-reader when I can’t read as fast as others… LOL

    • That’s true, Nicole! I always envy those who read really fast! I’m not one of them and I used to be anxious about it all the time. It’s like I’m not a real bookworm because I only read less than 100 books and other have read 500+++

  3. I don’t follow a set TBR either, as a mood reader I read whatever appeals to me at that moment. So once I finish something who knows what I’ll pick up next? lol I mean sometimes I know because I’m looking forward to this or that, but often it just depends. And I think if I read more than one or two books a week it would be TOO much, at least for me. I’m not sure how much I’ll remember if I’m just jamming the books in. 🙂
    Greg recently posted…Bookcover Spotlight #52My Profile

    • YES! This is what I do, as well! And if I set an actual list, I ALWAYS don’t follow through so I’ve stopped! 🙂

  4. I’d say I’m a fairly slow reader too, especially if it’s a slow starting book, because I lose interest too if I’m not immediately gripped. I’ve read a lot faster since I moved into my current flat because I have no wi-fi and so don’t get distracted by the internet so much, but I’d still say I’m pretty slow!
    Laura recently posted…What’s in a bookworm’s bag?My Profile

    • I think that’s a pretty good way to avoid distractions! hahaha unfortunately, I get distracted A LOT…but all sorts of things..most especially the internet!

      But yeah, I know I hate it when a book is slow.. only because it takes a while for me to get immersed into the world!

  5. Same with me! I’m a really really slow reader. Until now, I only read 23 books (that’s like your half xD), but I’m okay with it because like you said, reading isn’t a contest. And since I’m a mood reader too, I have a hard time deciding which book to read next. Anyway, great post! 🙂
    Tiffany recently posted…Review : The Rose Society by Marie LuMy Profile

    • Yes!! Really, the only reason I read this fast is because I also listen to audiobooks and I commute to work about an hour one way. That’s about 2 hours of “reading” time! 🙂

  6. Ha! Well you’re a fast reader for me because I’ve only read 22 books this year so far! I’m considered a fast reader among my real life friends but those who can read HUNDREDS of books per year blow me away! Like HOW EVEN. I work and have a commute and a boyfriend…and I mean, I’m an introvert so it’s not like a have a huge social life but I feel like a spend every spare minute I can reading…and I still never read 200-300 books in a year! O.O SO thank you! YES it’s ok to be a slow reader *hugs for slow readers everywhere*
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Stacking the Shelves *54*My Profile

    • YAY to slow readers! I have actually read about 120ish books one year, but that was just because I was reading A LOT! But now, I’m trying to slow down and just enjoy my reads!

  7. Harvey

    I love this post! I always see people setting their Goodreads target for 100+ (HOW DO THEY DO IT?), when little old me is sat here with the SAME BOOK THAT I WAS READING YESTERDAY XD I’m always confused when I see people are reading thinner, quicker books JUST so they can catch up with their reading targets? I mean, yeah, they’re nice to have, but I can never understand getting so worried about Goodreads challenges that you’re deliberately choosing books you wouldn’t normally read? I try and make sure I keep reading as fun and enjoyable as possible haha 🙂

    • I totally agree, Harvey! There are reader who “cheat” that way but that IS counted in the challenge. Others also read graphic novels (which is great, by the way) and that is a pretty fast read! But yeah, those who read 500+++ books are just bonkers! I don’t know how they do it, unless they read 24/7! LOL

  8. Ahhh your poor face and that stupid heavy iPad!
    The thing is there’s always going to be someone who reads a lot faster or has more time to read so I guess I try to ignore this? Although – yeah, I get a bit jealous sometimes…
    You’re definitely right – it should be about having fun and anxiety is never a good thing. We should all read as many books as we want to. If that means that sometimes we do things other than reading ( – like binge watching all of Fear the Walking Dead which I might be doing right now), then that’s good too 🙂
    Great discussion, Ezrah!
    Annika @ Hiding Books recently posted…The Sunday Post: in which I’ve been away foreverMy Profile