I am a slow reader

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“C’mon Sanjida, I thought you are a bookworm! With this pace in reading?” I have often been accused of being a slow reader from a young age. Not that I am dyslexic, but yes, I tend to have a speed slower than most of the people around me when it comes to reading a text. I don’t get distracted, nor do I lose focus because the book has too many pages to finish.

Being a person who is fascinated by content, I can assure you all that I do not find reading or learning a boring task; and I’m not a bad-book lover either. The problem with us, slow readers, is that we tend to emphasize a lot on the sentences we go through while understanding its depth. We like to reread sentences considering them as poems or bringing the words to life, imagining the scenarios in our heads. Blame the imaginations that occupy our brain cells, forcing us to picture every detail our eyes capture. While some of these qualities do make us creative, people would still never stop taunting us for being slow to end a page.

Meanwhile, we believe that slow reading allows us a little more time to spend with the characters we are already in love with, and living through them. Yes, we like to dwell in the context of the book we are reading, once again, slowing our speed without losing the focus. I still remember the time I took to finish A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini was so unbearably long for some of my friends who saw me carrying the book, that they preferred laughing at me instead of asking what took me so long. Without a shame, I took some pauses. Why? Because the story got me goosebumps in many sections. I was too weak to continue reading after my heart broke so, I decided to spend some nights crying for Maryam, and other nights, crying for Laila.

While definitely, it might be a matter of pride for the fast readers to process all of these (if you actually do cover that is) in lesser time, but I am really not sorry for being blunt and asking you to stop taunting us for the speed we possess.

We are avid readers and would like our space to finish a book or an article, in our way. We tend to get restless if we miss out understanding asentence before we skip to the next. Yes, we are aware of the art of skimming and we do follow that when required. However, the art of giving life to the sentence is more important for us. *Patrick Kingsley, on The Art of Slow Reading, summarized how John Miedema wrote on his website that slow reading, is now considered a localist idea that connect a reader to his neighborhood.

“Slow reading, is a community event restoring connections between ideas and people. The continuity of relationships through reading is experienced when we borrow books from friends; when we read long stories to our kids until they fall asleep.”- Miedema

While most of you may celebrate ticking off the 20th book from your checklist by the end of the year, we, the slow readers still rejoice our connection with the new world we just traveled through and the new lives we just encountered.

Moral of this story, a quote from my favorite actress, Keira Knightley, “I am a slow reader. I always loved words, which is a strange thing given that I couldn’t actually read them.”

*The source of this reference can be found at: · https://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/jul/15/slow-reading

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