Whether you are a reader or not I can guarantee that you’ve come across a post saying ‘How to Be A Fast Reader‘ or ‘8 tips for Speed Reading‘ or ‘How to Read and Retain What You Read‘. Or at least some version of these titles. Curiosity is my biggest bane so whenever I come across such posts I usually read through them and end up leaving disappointed or angry.
I just want to scream and ask these people why is it necessary to profit from reading?
Bookworms haven’t always been the most represented in media and while that has been changing for the better, we are often portrayed as highly intelligent nerds who read to gain information. We’re not reading for fun or entertainment and while there is no harm in voraciously reading to gain more knowledge, it propogates a harmful stereotype. This is a discussion that I’ll have another day but what I’m trying to say is that people are seeing reading as something one needs to actively benefit from.
I see so many posts and motivational speakers talk about reading every day to make your mind sharper. While there’s nothing wrong with that, posts like the ones I’ve mentioned above really boil my blood.
Many of these writers tell their audience to read by skimming the book, noting down main points and just picking and choosing at what they want to read. Reading is advocated as something to only benefit from. But honestly what’s the joy of reading like this? A lot of readers love to read because of the comfort it offers. We like to sit down and immerse ourselves in the pages and take our time. Posts like these not only make readers feel uncomfortable but they’re also pushing away budding readers. Someone who is trying to get into reading or form a reading habit would much likely benefit from reading a beginners level book at their own pace. But the moment they go online they’ll find themselves pressured to read fast, to take notes and to remember important points. It becomes a list of things to do and to avoid rather than simply picking up a book and reading it.
We are living in a world of capitalism that constantly pushes us to make every hobby productive, to gain something from every single thing we do in life. But why can’t we read books however the hell we like? Why can’t people read just because they enjoy reading? Why does everything need to become a productive and capitalistic venture? I know this isn’t the most structured post but I’m a very passionate hater of anyone who tells people to speed read. Just let others be and let them read whatever they want to at their own pace.
Have you come across any such posts? What are your thoughts on them?
Have you ever tried following the advice such posts give?
Do you think this is a beneficial way of reading? I mean I can see it working out for certain self-help books but that’s about the extent of it.