So, you don’t want to learn to speed read for fear it will no longer count as a leisure activity? You’d rather enjoy reading than do it quickly, you say? Well, why not do both at once? “No, thanks – I’d rather not learn to read fast. It’ll ruin all the fun of reading for me!” is a response I sometimes get when I talk about my favorite topic. So below I’ve listed two very good reasons why reading fast and enjoying it are not mutually exclusive.
Speed reading, a useful skill
First, speed reading is a skill, one that is useful for anyone who has lots to read at work – from managers to assistants, from the sales department to research and design. It helps everyone do their jobs more efficiently and, simply put, better. But – think of an Olympic sprinter out “running” errands – even if you have the ability to read fast, you can choose to read slowly if you want! (Unfortunately doesn’t work so well the other way around, as I’ve noticed many times sprinting at the gym.) Fast readers can read the minutes from the last meeting quickly – but choose to savor a Shakespearean sonnet or the latest Dan Brown novel word by word. Reason number two: Reading for pleasure is all well and good, but do you really want to savor every word of each email, each report, each memo? I don’t think so. In these cases, it’s more important for you to understand the overall message, so that you can get back to work as fast as possible, right? Of course.
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