I may have discovered another reason. I’m being too thorough. Read this, my darlings, and then come back to me. Because I was talking to a friend the other day who said he had never been able to enjoy anything of Tolkein’s, though he’d read The Hobbit to his children (when they were, they’ve grown up now) and they’d loved it, he’d been bored as a stiff. I kept quiet, I enjoyed the books too – but now I realise that I skipped through a fair lot. When it gets onto overly descriptive bits that interfere with the plot, my eyes go ‘yeah, yeah’ and whizz through until something interesting happens.
When I was a child, I read very quickly. I zipped along, getting the feel and the mood of the book, and the story itself and, if I liked it, it wouldn’t be long before I read it again. In fact, sometimes I read the last page, turned back to the first and read it again straight away, taking in anything I’d missed. I carried on reading quickly for years, until I deliberately slowed down when, buying three or four books a week and reading them in a couple of days, I realised I’d got a habit I couldn’t afford. Yes, I could have gone to the library – actually, I did that too. I couldn’t keep up with myself.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because of all the documents I have to read thoroughly: I pay a novel too much attention and a lot of them don’t merit it. So I’m going to try speeding up again.
By the way, that article – check out pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør‘s comments – so that I don’t have to. I was quite unable to read them, my eyes glazed and my tongue dribbled. This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about.