Words, sounds, pictures

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Tue Nov 13 19:06:06 EST 2001


Depends on the book, for me.  I've read some books where it was the words
that mattered and others where it all played out in my head visually.
Sometimes I ought to be able to immerse myself in a book, but can't because
the words pull me out.  Yuck.  Sometimes I actually see the book playing out
as a film--like, arranging the staging and the filming and so forth.  When
it comes to books that actually do make it to film, sometimes it matters to
me what the characters look like and sometimes it doesn't, and I'm trying to
figure out what makes the difference.  Tolkien and Harry Potter--don't care
unless they do something egregious like turn Sam Gamgee into a woman (I know
they didn't).  Miles Vorkosigan, Vlad Taltos, Raederle of An--it would
really bug me if these characters didn't match up to my internal vision.
Probably related to how intensely I got into the books....

On Tue, 13 Nov 2001 21:43:08 +0000 (GMT), Margaret Elizabeth Parks wrote:

>I have a really strong sense of direction when I read.  I always know in
>my head the general layout of the place, and which way everything faces.

I can't even do this in real life.  It was overcast the whole time we were
in Berlin and I was permanently lost.

>Other than that--I apparently speed read (I've never met anyone who could
>read faster than I could--this is not a challenge, just my experience, and
>I'm sure that someday somebody will outdo me)

Bet I do.  :)  (Not that it matters--see below)

>I read the shapes of the words instead of the words themselves (I was just told the other day that
>not everyone does this, so if I'm wrong, I apologize)

I read more or less this way too, and you're right, not many people do.
Technically it's not the same as speed-reading, which is a specific method;
you just read really fast in a different way.  Jacob knows more about this
than I do; I know only that there's at least one method where you
"photograph" the page and then process it later.  The method of reading
interests me more than the actual speed people read at.  I read in both
directions down the page (left to right and then right to left) and
backwards at a pinch.  It all gets sorted out eventually.  I'm just glad
because I don't have a lot of time to read these days and I can still get
through 3-5 books a week.  (I suppose I'm still bragging.  Bad Melissa, no
biscuit.)

Anyway, I've been curious ever since I figured out I was reading differently
from other people (many of whom did read about as fast as I do) and so far I
know THREE.  (me, my brother-in-law, and now Lizzie)  Anyone else read in a
peculiar way?  And (while we're on the topic) what do you consider fast when
it comes to reading?  It's one of those entirely relative things that is
affected by comparing yourself to other people.  (Ever time yourself?  Or am
I the only obsessive-compulsive person who does this?  Honestly, it was just
the one time, and they made me do it....)

And just to be completely tangential, I was reading an online forum the
other day, people talking about what to do when you can't play
EverQuest--like READ A BOOK--and a couple of people said very proudly that
they just go through books too fast for that to be a viable option.  Excuse
me?  This is something to be proud of?  There are just too many books in the
world for that to ever happen.

Melissa Proffitt
being snobby again
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