• Fran Stewart

Slow Reading

You know me … or maybe you don’t, but you feel like you do because you know and love the characters in my books — it’s almost the same thing since I put so much of myself into the writing.

So, you’ll know I’m a voracious reader.

You’ll also know I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never seen much sense in them.

But you may also realize that when I make up my mind to do something, I do it.

I’ve made up my mind. I swear I’m NOT going to read as many books this year as I did last year.

GASP ! ! ! ! ! !

Not read as many books? Why ever not?

Here’s a throughly enlightening article about why memory works better when we read more slowly. The idea is that when we race through a book, we retain the plot, characters, and maybe even the name of the book, in our short-term memory queue. As soon as we go on to the next book, that queue erases and another one takes over.

That means that three months from now—or three weeks—I won’t recall much about the book, even though I found myself impelled to stay up late reading it. You know the scenario: "Just one more page. Just one more. Gotta find out what happens."

It turns out that when teachers had us read three pages of a book at a time, they had the right idea, because then we were more likely to be able to recall it later.

So, no more of this racing to finish a book. If I like it well enough to be reading it in the first place, I’m going to limit myself. That way the reading of the book will last longer, and hopefully the memory of it will last as well.

Do you want to join me in my slow-reading campaign?