Skim Reading | To Do Or Not To Do

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Paper Bindings | Skim Reading | To Do Or Not To Do

So, as most of you already know, I read a lot. Since January 1st, Goodreads says I have read 110 books. Now most of those, are actually books as opposed to novellas. Each one is at least 250 pages, with a couple coming in at the 600+ range. But mostly, the books I've read averaged 300-400 pages.

Now, personally, I've got a high bar when it comes to closing a book for good. Basically, you have to hit one of my triggers, or completely, COMPLETELY fail to maintain my interest. I read a lot of books that I didn't like just because I HAD to know what/why. A character, a plot thread, even just the question 'why?' kept me going.

Lately, I've found myself skimming more and more.

Now, maybe it's just this recent batch of books weren't up to par, or it could be because I've been trying to clean up my e-reader some. And we all know that the words 'free eBook' brings with it a whole lot of fools gold.

Note: I may have a small addiction to freebie eBooks. I'm always checking, and if it sounds like something I may even remotely enjoy, I'll add it to my cart. (Amazon, you shall be my downfall.) But for me, finding the few hidden gems make the searching worth it. There have been several books that I have just adored and immediately have gone out and purchased the entire series of.

When I first started reading and reviewing on this blog, five stars made frequent appearances. This year, I gave less than five books that coveted rating. Skimming, years ago, was the kiss of death. If I skimmed, 99% of the time I would not finish the book. Now, I'm becoming a frequent skimmer. I'd say, at the time I sat down to write this post, I'd skimmed 4 out of 10 latest books I've read.

That's not to say I haven't read any of those stay-up-all-nighters or must-reread-this-because-I-devoured-it kind of books, because I have. But all this got me thinking.

Is there a point where you've read too much?

They say there is only a hand full of original story plotlines, and everything else is just a reinterpretation or reimagining of it. You take the skeleton, say the hero's journey, and flesh it out with all the details and make it into a unique story. But if you read a lot, when does that fresh idea become just another book comparable to xyz or lmn.

In YA, parents interfere with the storylines because a decent parent would shield their child and certainly wouldn't let them go to war, etc. Very few good parents exist in YA, and only a smattering of really great ones. So either we get rid of one of both of them, turn them into addicts, let them practice absent parenting techniques, or send our heroes off to boarding school. After a while, the 'my mom drinks because my dad cheats' storylines are starting to get a bit old.

Does reading a lot make you more likely to skim a book?

It's not like I lost my passion for reading. Ask my cat how I bounced around my room when placing my preorder for Ruin and Rising simply because the Barnes and Noble edition comes with a bonus Darkling novella. My book club girls could tell you embarrassing stories about animated discussions over some of the series we've read. And lets not even discuss the recent bout of giggling that occurred when I got approved to review a certain book.

Or is it purely a matter of numbers?

Over the years I've ran this blog, I've received more and more recommendations tailored to my tastes. I've become friends with fellow bloggers, and I cannot tell you how many books I've added because they gave them a 4 or 5 rating. I went from a girl who read only required readings to someone who can easily read 250-300 books a year.

Is skimming purely a numbers game? More books read in a year, the higher chance I'd come across something that is not suited for my tastes?

I just don't know the answer.

What about you guys? Do you skim through books? How often? Why?

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