Speed Reading Not Always Best

Lifehack has an interesting article on the importance of reading more slowly for some types of material. Reading fast is not always best. I liked this quote from novelist Zadie Smith comparing the reader of literature to a musician learning a piece of music:

An amateur musician who sits at the piano has a piece of music which is the work made by somebody they don’t know, who they probably couldn’t comprehend entirely, and they have to use their skills to play this piece of music. The greater the skill, the greater the gift that you give the artist and that the artist gives you. That’s the incredibly unfashionable idea of reading. And yet when you practice reading, and you work at a text, it can only give you what you put into it. It’s an old moral, but it’s completely true.

I am reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Silmarrillion” right now, and it is some of the slowest reading I have ever done. I have to work at this text, and it really does feel like I am trying to master a piece of music. But I am enjoying it!

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