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