Friday, February 12, 2010

Reading Deep and Wide (Part 2)

Can you read a book too fast, or too slow? Further comments form the excellent post by Trevin Wax Further Thoughts on Reading: Going Deep AND Wide :

"2. You cheat yourself when you read some books too slowly.

Having acknowledged that some books deserve reflection and time, I still believe that many books (if not most) can and should be read more quickly. Not every book is Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress or Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship.

In the case of many (if not most) books, the reader can quickly come to grips with the main point, consider the author’s perspective, and then move on. Some books deserve careful attention and reflection. But many are practical and easy-to-comprehend. Get what you need and go on.

If you are in a five-star restaurant with a five-course meal, you are foolish if you devour the meal in ten minutes. On the other hand, if you’re in a Steak and Shake, you don’t want to spend three hours on the Frisco Melt. A steak dinner is digested differently than mashed potatoes. You may find you enjoy both meals, but you (hopefully) enjoy them in different ways."