Ads about speed reading, ads everywhere….
On the last few weeks I have bumped more than once on advertisements about speed reading. Posted everywhere on social media, I imagine they’re targeted to people who read a lot. So, some of you have also come across such ads.
Promising that “you can, too, read one book every day!” or “how to read all the Great Classics in a month!”, they tend to actually make a lot of people feel bad. Should I be reading like a madman? Should I be reading 300 books a year? Do I need to feel bad that I don’t?
Of course not. And the reasons are very simple.
Not everyone reads at the same pace.
Some people are inherently better than others at reading faster. And, yes, many of them have the ability to retain all that information. Others read at a slower pace, sometimes finding it helpful to revisit some sentences (or even paragraphs. And both reading styles are absolutely fine.
Let’s talk about time.
Ahhh…time. The thing we always chase, the thing we seldom find. It’s very hard to find adequate time for yourself. It’s understandable .Whether it’s school, work, family or any of the above combined, there’s not much free time in your life.
But, for the sake of the argument, let’s say you actually find a couple of hours a day in which you can unwind or do personal chores. Even when you find some little precious time for yourself, you have to be relaxed enough to be able to concentrate on your book. You couldn’t possible read War and Peace after 10 hours of work, an hour on commute and three hours of doing chores, could you? ( If you can, I beg you to show me how you do it). So why on earth would you be so hard on yourself for not reading a book a day?
Reading is meant to bring joy, not stress.
I sometimes feel that us readers forget the most important thing about books: they are there t make us happy. It can be one book a month, or a book a day. Does it matter?
If reading 300 books a year brings you joy, then that is absolutely great. It’s marvelous. To be honest, I’m both happy and jealous for you. But if something like that sounds even remotely stressful, then relax and remember: reading is supposed to bring you joy. It exists to make your life better, not to make you worry about not reading enough books, or not reading fast enough.
What is important is that you do, indeed, read.
No matter the pace, you’re doing it. You’re making time for your book, and that is enough. You have nothing to prove to others, no challenge to complete, no reason to feel anxious about it. After all, it doesn’t matter how slowly you’re going, as long as you don’t stop, right?
So, enjoy yourself at your own, comfortable pace. Books are and always will be royal friends. They will still be there, waiting for you, until you make time for them!