Words, sounds, pictures

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Mon Nov 19 16:43:36 EST 2001

Very late on this thread, but hopefully not too late.  Dorian:

>I read fast.  People keep telling me this.  They stare at me in blank
>amazement and say things like "you can't possibly have finished that
>book already!".

I must admit to being one of the people who did this - though I hope 
the amazement wasn't totally "blank".  :)

I think I used to read faster than I do now, and am still faster than 
average, but nothing like the speed demons here.  Now this thread has 
brought up so many interesting ideas, and I'm getting the beginning 
of a half-baked theory about this.  When Bec was at the crawling 
around on the floor stage, her dad and I started reading aloud to 
each other, so one could be down on the floor playing with blocks or 
whatever.  I'd read Carl Sagan's _Contact_ to myself, extremely 
quickly, and really liked it.  (He'd been at Cornell when we were 
there, and we heard him talk a couple of times at political events, 
and liked his views.)  But then when we read it aloud, I was amazed 
at how much I didn't like the dialogue, prose, etc.  I just had 
zipped right past and never heard it.  Possibly it's all the years of 
reading aloud, but I do now hear the words rather than form any kind 
of images.  If a description of surroundings etc. is important, I 
have to force myself really hard to concentrate on it, though I'm 
pretty good with directions in real life - unlike Becca, who said she 
also hears words rather than sees images.  So maybe I've slowed down 
through a change to more auditory reading.

If you'd asked me a few weeks ago whether I'd like to read faster, 
I'd have said yes.  But when you said that about having to be really 
rich to have a large unread books pile, Ven, it gave me pause!  Now I 
think that it's emphatically that I'd want to have more *time* to 
read, not to read faster.  So thanks for the insight, Ven. :)

BTW, I've got a new quote to go on the wall, from P&P (Darcy).  "I 
cannot comprehend the neglect of a family library in such days as 
these."  There was a fascinating discussion on a cassette we had 
about what might have been meant by this, but I'm quite happy for the 
purposes to allow it merely to justify the purchase of lots of books. 

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