The Book, the Whole Book and Nothing but the Book

The Book, the Whole Book and Nothing but the Book


I read a lot. I also write my share of book reviews, maybe a few more than my share. One of the things I have always prided myself on in addition to giving a conflict free and honest review is that I always read the entire book before I review it. I mean I read every single word.

There are some who brag over the sheer number of books they polish off in a week, like seven to fourteen whole entire books in a week. I say, give me a break. I ingest a ton of content by way of books and I average about one to three books a week. The reason for my competition-lacking number is simple. I actually read the whole damn book. Let’s hear it for my tribe because I know you’re out there wondering who these pseudo-speed readers are.

No, I am not impressed with your self-proclaimed book a day status and hell no on wanting to take you up on your offer to teach me (laughably in some cases, for a fee) how to accomplish this speed reading feat for myself. Let me ask you this, to what end am I consuming these books so quickly? What good has any of the information you consume at breakneck speed done you? Will I be somehow smarter, more enlightened, more successful, a better person if I don’t happen to read at a slower pace yet absorb the entire book in a way you never could? Yes, I am aware that you don’t need to read every single word to get the main idea of whatever you’re are reading but I argue that if you skip over that much of the book then ALL you are getting is a main idea and no context. You will miss both the subtle nuances and the emotional pulse. Forget about reading fiction this way. It would be a complete waste of time no matter how fast you got to the last page.

When I choose to read a book, I actually read the entire thing, word for word. This can be at times a tedious endeavor but if I make the commitment to read something, I almost always see it through and if I don’t, I don’t take credit for having read it.

The more we read, the faster we get. It is a natural progression that comes from practice. I will rarely if ever finish a book in a day while reading every word but I am clear that I get far more out of reading while respecting both the craft and the author’s work. By the way, what author who pours countless hours of work into their craft, culminating in a published book would be OK with you just skimming through and claiming you read it? No one unless they were merely producing books just to sell them. These are not authors and they do not count.

Here’s a thought, let’s stop racing through every single detail of our lives, including ingesting content and take some carved out time to open a book…

And actually read every last word.

Published in That Odd Mom