E-reading #reading #books @mishaherwin @writermels @alysonread @debjbennett @alydenisof

For a variety of reasons (power cuts, insomnia etc) I read two novels yesterday, both on my Kindle.

Yes, I was still reading at 3am, and yes, I have heard a lot of people saying they read a great deal ‘faster’ on an e-reader but two books in a single day is going it even by my standards, so I am beginning to wonder about the whys of this phenomenon.

I’ve always been a fast reader, and do ‘block read’ to some degree, but became increasingly aware that devouring pages at that rate can mean I do occasionally miss things – especially given that I am dyslexic.

It is something I notice with paper books and make myself slow down but with the Kindle it seems less obvious.

Reading last night I found myself having to retrace my steps several times because something did not quite make sense and realised that I had skimmed whole pages.

I get quite cross with myself for doing this. If nothing else it is disrespectful to the skills of the author too hurry, in such a cavalier fashion, past the words that they slaved to perfect.

As a writer I know that when editing onscreen I am far more likely to miss typos. Not just spelling errors but missing words, or words in the wrong order, whereas when printed out I generally spot them fairly quickly. (Though I never rely on me! I always run things past someone else’s eyes!)

What is it about  reading from a screen – be that on a kindle or computer screen – that allows my brain to bypass entire sentences, or even paragraphs, without noticing until I stop and think ‘what the hell? I must have missed something!’

Food for thought.

I shall continue to use my Kindle because it is a very handy way to read a lot of books, but I shall also be making a determined effort to slow down.

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