Reading books

  • Thread starter Evo
  • Start date
  • #1
Evo
Mentor
23,104
2,450

Main Question or Discussion Point

I've noticed lately that when I'm reading a book (fiction, sci-fi, fantasy) and get to an exciting part, I get impatient with the author's dragging the scene on for pages of tiny details and just skip ahead several pages to get to the outcome. I seem to be doing this quite a bit more than when I was younger. I wonder if tv and movies have made me too impatient to read 20 pages of what would be a 3 minute movie scene.

I was wondering if anyone else skips ahead when reading.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,482
3
I'm in the same boat. But it's more attributed to losing attention rather than being impatient. When I read, I sometimes flip to the middle and will read a paragraph or two, then come back where I left off. It's not out of curiosity but it's just easier for me to assimilate the book by piecing together various parts.
 
  • #3
George Jones
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,259
790
I wonder if tv and movies have made me too impatient to read 20 pages of what would be a 3 minute movie scene.
It's more likely that now you're used to getting information from the internet. I've heard/read quite a lot about this in the media lately.
 
  • #4
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,887
616
I often read like that...I annoy myself when I do :grumpy: . But so many authors seem to get the pace wrong.

And I can't read thrillers anymore - it seems the author always telegraphs what's going to happen!
 
  • #5
378
2
I think internet, digital clocks(that shows seconds) and microwave are to blame.

I want everything to be done in 500 ms (I am too impatient with 1000 ms waiting time).

That's why I also hate doctors, transportation (it's damn inefficient to drive on those roads), credit cards (it takes me few seconds more to enter the number!) :cry:

Fortunately, I watch calm movies that don't have endings. They are just a snapshot of beautiful lives.
 
  • #6
wolram
Gold Member
4,260
554
Some books are like technical manuals full of detail, detail that you may or may not need, most times you do not, so you can jump to the part where it says button A starts machine, but may be you have to re read some if the machine does not start :redface:
 
  • #7
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
51
I don't skip ahead, but I DO get impatient with some "scenes" getting dragged on and on. I haven't attributed it to TV, just to bad authors. They think they're increasing the suspense, but they haven't adequately edited, and rather than just drawing out the suspense, have gone too far and bored the reader with a bunch of unnecessary details that distract from the suspense.

TV is even worse, but it's become so predictable, I can anticipate it now and avoid the frustration. "And the winner is..." <commercial break> I don't even expect to hear a winner announced on those reality shows or whatever they are until after a commercial break, so am already walking away by then (though, sometimes I miscalculate the length of the break and miss the ending anyway :rolleyes:).
 
  • #8
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
45
My wife skips ahead when she reads, even mysteries! I can't do it. If I'm going to read for pleasure, I'm compulsive about reading things in order.

Even when I was a young kid, and "inherited" a bunch of classic literature that the former owner left in my bedroom (a walk-in closet) I had to read every word on every page. If I fell asleep or wasn't paying good enough attention, when I started reading again, I'd back up a few pages to make sure my comprehension was up to snuff. I've always been somewhat compulsive about books, to the point that I would try to puzzle out the Latin names of the sea-creatures Nemo described in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I read that when I was 10, and again a few years later. I always looked at the leading pages, too, to see when the book was first published, and where, and if there was a forward or other additional materials, I'd read those, too.

I'm even worse about TV than Moonie - I can't watch it unless it is something educational or historical, or the news. I don't know if it's any better on the cable channels, but broadcast TV sucks.
 
  • #9
Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,812
6
I can't read fiction because I'm far too imapatient. Just seems like a lot of hard work reading all those pages of minutiae for not much enjoyment or new information. Thats why we invented TV. Its less work.
 
  • #10
4,464
65
I don't read fiction anymore. It's just fiction, there is so much reality to sort out.
 
  • #11
230
0
No, but I will read a large book (like a Harry Potter book) in a matter of days, putting everything else to the side if I can.

One thing I always do (dunno why) is read the last page of a book first.
 
  • #12
Lisa!
Gold Member
612
90
No matter what sorta book that is, I always do it!:redface:
 
  • #13
695
6
the only time I'll ever skip part of a book is if I've read the book before.
 
  • #14
1
0
I find myself becoming impatient with some authors for dragging out parts of their books, but I just cannot skip pages. I must read every single word.
Also, I find myself losing focus in the middle of books, so in the end I don't know what I've read. Then I have to go back and reread everything!

I think it has something to do with obtaining information from the internet, as George Jones suggests...
 
  • #15
FrancisZ
Sometimes I find it beneficial, actually, to read textbook sections, back to front, and then front to back like normal.

I guess it just forces me to weed out a lot of otherwise totally inferential nonsense in the way. Chem was like this for me.
 
  • #16
695
6
I don't know what inferential nonsense means.
I don't skip ahead in books, but I'll skip really long posts here.
 
  • #17
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
51
I find myself becoming impatient with some authors for dragging out parts of their books, but I just cannot skip pages. I must read every single word.
Also, I find myself losing focus in the middle of books, so in the end I don't know what I've read. Then I have to go back and reread everything!

I think it has something to do with obtaining information from the internet, as George Jones suggests...
Nah, that used to happen to me when reading books for high school English classes, and that was long before I was using the internet. It's just a sign of a boring book. Some authors can include lots of details that you want to keep reading, because you can tell it's helping develop the characters or scene in some way relevant to the story. Others just seem to be trying to fill up the pages, like we all did in high school on those 10 page essays when we only had 3 pages of content that we had to stretch.
 
  • #18
918
16
I just finished a book that took me 6 months to read. I'm quite proud of myself. On the cover it says 2 - 4 years.
 
  • #19
131
0
I just finished a book that took me 6 months to read. I'm quite proud of myself. On the cover it says 2 - 4 years.
hahaha you are officially the man.
I don't know what inferential nonsense means.
I don't skip ahead in books, but I'll skip really long posts here.
Yeah me too. Anything with more than maybe four lines, and I just read the first few words then move on if its not interesting. It makes it really fun when I read responses to posts that I never read to begin with though.
 
  • #20
230
0
Christ what was it?
 
  • #21
I think alot of authors do this to add content. They need to make their manuscripts a certain length or number of words. It might seem that you do this more often now because the standard length of novels has increased. Several of the novels I have read that are even only a couple decades old or only about 300 pages while most newer novels are around about 500 pages. Except for better known authors, they can get away with less (word) content for the same money.
 
  • #22
695
6
Oh I don't think the books are longer now. I just think that books nowadays should be shorter. I feel that if something can be said in 10 pages don't take 15 to say it. too many authors are in love with their own writing and get carried away. Before any author should be allowed to publish a book they should be required to read "The Old Man & the Sea" by Hemingway. That is concise tight writing at its best.
 
  • #23
695
6
I wrote a short story once that was about 1500 words. Then I started editing it. I've mentioned it here before. Here's the finished product.

"I love you," I said, "please, don't ever leave me."
She said, "Sorry. And went home to her husband."

the 1500 word version would have had you skipping ahead to get to the end, the finished one doesn't give you time.
 
  • #24
918
16
I wrote a short story once that was about 1500 words. Then I started editing it. I've mentioned it here before. Here's the finished product.

"I love you," I said, "please, don't ever leave me."
She said, "Sorry. And went home to her husband."

the 1500 word version would have had you skipping ahead to get to the end, the finished one doesn't give you time.
All I got out of it was "I love ... her husband."
 
  • #25
695
6
All I got out of it was "I love ... her husband."
does your wife know?
 

Related Threads for: Reading books

  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Last Post
7
Replies
162
Views
21K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
3K
  • Last Post
5
Replies
109
Views
25K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
9K
Top