Monday, June 09, 2008

Good thing #2

Continuing my mini-series on things I like about myself, the second stone on my "happy bracelet"...

I read fast. Very fast. Not in that fake "learn how to read books in five minutes" garbage, but pretty fast. In the second grade, the seventh-grade boy who lived down the street, Sean Puff (who I had a massive crush on), nicknamed me "Speedy Reader". I glommed onto that sobriquet with gusto. "I'm a Speedy Reader" I'd tell everyone who'd ask.

I don't know why I read so fast, I just do. I tore through the fifth (and biggest) Harry Potter book in about six hours - over a hundred pages an hour. I finish a regular paperback in about two hours or so.

Perhaps part of it is simply the great desire to find out how the story ends; I hate not knowing with a passion that surprises even me. I've been known to be late for things more often that I care to admit because I couldn't put a book down. I've been exhausted some mornings because I began a 400-page book at 10:30 PM and "forgot" to turn out the light until about 3 AM. "I'll just finish this chapter," I say, while my husband's disbelieving look gets replaced by his back as he turns away from the light of my bedside lamp. A few hours later, he'll roll over and mumble, "Are you done the chapter yet?"

The small downside of reading fast is that I sometimes gloss over details in a story. But then comes the joy of rereading, again and again, and discovering all the little bits that I missed.

People ask me how I read so fast. I truly don't know. The human brain operates faster than we give it credit for sometimes: I understand faster than my brain can process the words, if that makes any sense; it sort of leaps ahead and tries to figure out what's going to happen ahead of time, and sometimes it's even right.

But anyway, I read fast, and it allows me to read a kid's picture book in about 30 seconds at work. ;-)