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September 22nd, 2008, 09:13 PM
Me, I'm with Randy on this. Reading is a pleasure: we drink in words as a gourmet drinks in vintage wine. What is the point of rushing? No one is interested in how fast they can drain the bottle with a fine claret. The old "speed-reading" courses fad used to amuse me profoundly: they always struck me as analogous to courses in "speed eating". (Which, I suppose, might make sense if one's food were as poor in gustatory quality as much of the sludge publishers offer us is in literary quality).

Back in the day, when a typical novel was 160 or 170 pages, I could and occasionally would easily knock off half a dozen in a day (which, mumbling over the calculator, looks like about a thousand pages). Today's doorstop volumes obviously reduce that rate, as does taking time for things like extended forum posting. . . .

(Incidentally, the title line above alludes to a scene in a Marx Brothers movie--Monkey Business?--wherein Chico is playing the piano with a small group behind him; at one point he races along and finishes a beat or two ahead of the backup group. "Ha! Beat'cha that time!" The virtues of speed in the arts.)

September 23rd, 2008, 01:24 AM
Here is an interesting point.


This is the reason for learning the kind of books you like and having an agreed on system among readers of putting them into categories that people can recognize. So everyone can get the maximum benefit from their reading time.

Slightly more than half (54 per cent) of Canadians read books for pleasure regularly (virtually every day), and one third (33 per cent) read occasionally. The large majority (87 per cent) read at least one book per year.

* Only 13 per cent of respondents said they were non-readers, which was the same rate recorded 15 years earlier, but much lower than the rates observed in the United States in 2002 (43 per cent)1.