Sunday, September 26, 2010

To skim or not to skim...

One of my closest friends is a book lover like myself. We discuss books constantly. Some novels we tear to pieces and rant about angrily for weeks. Others we fall head-over-heals in love with and refer to on a daily basis. There's nothing more fun than having a good friend to gush about books with. 

There's just one problem- she's what I call a "skimmer." In other words, my friend rarely reads a book from start to finish. Usually she reads the first few chapters, skips to the climax, and reads the ending (and not always in that order). It drives me insane. As a compulsive book finisher, I HAVE to finish the book unless it's (a) offensive or crude (b) against my beliefs or (c) just too plain horrible to finish. In my year of blogging, there's only one book that I haven't read in its entirety. 

Now, I don't want anyone to be offended if you're one of these so called skimmers. It's just a personal pet peeve of mine. To me, it seems unfair to the authors and the novel, in my opinion. If the author wrote the book with 400 pages in a particular order, than he or she did it for a reason. That's how they wanted the story to be presented. Also, if you skip out on certain parts of the book, then you might be missing some of the best parts. You never know when beautiful quotes or shocking twists are going to pop up.

Well, I've come to the end of my mini-rant. Not only did I want to voice my own opinion, but I want to hear yours. Do you skim through books or read every word? Or is it a combination of both? Why or why not?


~The Book Pixie said...

I always read every word of the book and the only time I've ever left a book unfinished has been when I've had every intention of coming back to it later because sometimes I'll start a book and realize I'm just not in the mood for it. So far I haven't come across one that was so terrible that I refused to finish it though there was one book that came close.
I basically share your opinion exactly. No offense to those who speed-read/skim but it annoys the heck out of me and you are right, people who do that often miss out on really great parts plus it isn't fair to the author. Great post! :D


Unknown said...

I love reading all the book, but there are ocassions where I do skim, but that's only because once I start a book I need to finish it even if I'm not liking it (that's the only time I skim through a book).

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I'm a speed reader, but I have to force myself to slow down so I can read every single word - it's the only way I can absorb the words :)

Amber said...

I read through every book I start, even if it is horrible. There's only been one book that I bought and hated the first chapter so much that I gave it away.

As a writer, I can't condone skimming. I know what it takes to complete a novel and how much thought and effort goes into each sentences. I guess I don't mind people that do but I never would.

I know the only thing I do that comes close to that is about halfway into the novel, I flip to the back and read the last sentence. Nothing before it but just the last sentence. I'm not sure why I do it but I feel compelled to. It usually makes me want to finish the book in that seating so for the most part, it's actually better for the book if I do!

Great topic!