Reader/Writer Confessions: Skim Reading

Hey guys! Welcome to my new segment “Reader/Writer Confessions”. This is where I confess things about reading or writing — things that I might not be proud of, or things that I know other people do as readers or writers.

Today? Today I talk about skim reading.

My confession this week is about skim reading. Now: Let’s take a quick look at the actual definition of skim reading. [From Wikipedia] “Skimming is a process of speed reading that involves visually searching the sentences of a page for clues to meaning.”

I skim read everything.

My school work, books, internet articles, my own writing (which probably explains the amount of typos in it…).

I can’t help it.

Hey — sometimes there’s a good reason for my skimming. Sometimes the novel is too detailed for my tastes; sometimes it’s just too boring; sometimes I just want to be done with the book quicker. Other times… It’s just a natural part of my brain that wants to skim read, maybe because it gets things done quicker, I don’t know, but I always do it.

All the boooooooooooks!

All the boooooooooooks!

Here’s another thing about me: I re-read books, a lot. And yes, during these re-reads, I notice things that I probably missed the first time around because I skim-read. But here’s how I see it: I only re-read books I love love love, so it’s okay if I miss things the first time around because most likely I’ll read them again. I think a lot of my skim reading comes from the idea that I don’t like looking at things in depth. School ruined that one for me, I’m afraid. I know that some readers/writers take notes, highlighting passages that they enjoy, or bits of prose that really speaks out to them. I do not to this. I do not care whether an author likes a particular simile or metaphor to convey an idea. And besides, do authors really think about this stuff?

I don’t. Sure — I like using writing techniques such as similes and metaphors, but I don’t actively think about all that.

But maybe that’s just me.

giphy (8)

So — do you skim read? Let me know in the comments below.

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3 thoughts on “Reader/Writer Confessions: Skim Reading

  1. You have no idea how ecstatic I am that you wrote this post. I was afraid to make a post like this on my reading blog, but I was afraid that my readership would think I don’t have the credibility to write a review because I didn’t actually read every single word in the story.

    But alas, someone who’s opinion means a great deal to me skim reads. I am so freaking thankful. Not even kidding.

    And all the points you made? So true. Sometimes I’ll take notes if I plan on including that particular something in my review later on, but mostly it’s words that stand out to me when I happen to read them or conversations. No matter what, I always read dialogue. Unless the author has proven to me that they put useless dialogue in their stories that do not pertain to the end result whatsoever, I will not skim dialogue. Anyway, most novels today are told through dialogue, to be honest.

    I tend to skim read fantasies more. I don’t know. Probably the same reason you skim read. Sometimes the book’s description and detail is just too much, and I just want to get the book over and done with. Even if I’m not skim reading, I’m reading really fast, which can be the equivalent to skim reading since I probably only remember 60% of the details within the next five pages of the text.

    And–oh my god I’m going to feel terrible for saying this but–I skim read on Wattpad a lot. Like, a lot. I don’t know. There’s just something about the majority of Wattpad novels that can’t keep my attention long enough to not skim. BUT I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT I DON’T SKIM FANTASIES, BECAUSE FOR SOME REASON I’VE HAD GOOD LUCK WITH WATTPAD FANTASIES AND DETAIL AND IT’S GOOD I DON’T KNOW.

    It really just depends, lol.

    I used to skim a lot, but not so much anymore. I skim boring books though, because I’m just trying to finish it for a review or whatever.

    Longass comment. I apologize. I ramble.

    • Heh, I’m glad that there’s someone out there who actually agrees with me. Yeah, to be honest sometimes I don’t even have a good reason as to WHY I skim read. Maybe it’s kind of just becoming a habit, I don’t know. I don’t read all that often on Wattpad, but sometimes when I do, yeah I’ll skim read. (Unless I’m doing a critique for someone; then I will most likely skim read it once, and then read through it again a second time.)

  2. I certainly skim certain parts–especially if things are happening quickly and I need to know what happens next. If I really like that part, I might go back and reread the page. I, too, am a big re-reader. I’d rather re-read a book than read into it deeply once. Yes, this means I miss stuff sometimes, but at least I get the overall picture!

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