Super-Speed Reading

A few weeks ago I saw a woman reading a novel while walking down the street.

I mean, she was completely engrossed in what she was reading. Her body swiftly avoiding light posts, dogs, cars and children with ice cream cones in a supernatural way not seen outside of science-fiction movies.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a photo of my Super-Speed Reader as she was too fast, but ‘edenpictures’ seems to have been able to catch a young one in training here!

I stopped to watch her in awe.  She must have glanced up from time to time as we all do when walking and texting but I wasn’t able to catch her doing that in the time I observed her.

I envy her for a couple of reasons:

  1. I wonder what book she was reading that had her this captivated that she so casually risked her life (her speed prevented me from reading the title of the book).
  2. I so wish I had her supernatural ability to read (and I mean really read – as in fully engage with the text with complete disregard to everything around you) and walk without pausing to your destination.

I’m sure we all have a Super-Skill we dream of having…. it may seem odd, but this one is mine…..

32 thoughts on “Super-Speed Reading

  1. That level of integration with “what we are doing at the moment” is commendable indeed ! We would be super-humans if each one of us did what we love- all the time 🙂

    • I was thinking of that after pondering on Tatsat’s comment for a while, that the pursuits of our passions make us more human. Maybe that’s one way of defining super-human 🙂

      Thanks for the interesting comment!

  2. I saw the same thing the other day, a woman reading while walking from work. I could never do that, don´t even read in cars our busses 😛

    • I can read and walk if I constantly look up to see where I’m going but then I can’t really get into the plot of the book – that’s my biggest problem! Reading in cars is tough too, I admit! Buses and trains are ok though 🙂

  3. I think it is so wonderful to be so captivated by a book…. Few things in life give us so much joy… I was in a subway in Paris and was so into the reading of the Three Mousqueteers that I missed my stop for work….
    Francoise

  4. I think it would be great to be so captivated by a book! But it led to a thought: I am often captivated by movies… like I really get engrossed in them. This goes to the point where people sometimes try to talk to me, and I really can’t hear them or break out of the movie enough to respond with anything more than a “Uh-huh”.

    When you put it in a movie context, suddenly it becomes that I’m rude and maybe I can’t multi-task enough. Do you think that there’s a bit of book/movie bias here?

    • I do agree with you that sometimes someone engaged in a book will seem charming and intellectual (regardless of the book) and someone engaged in a movie can seem withdrawn and grumpy (regardless of the movie). There’s a bias there for sure! Having said that, I’ve noticed that sometimes reading around others can seem like a strong anti-social act; whereas watching a movie, hopefully, can bring others in, as they can watch the movie with you. What I really love is that we all have our passions that we just lose ourselves in 🙂

  5. My housemate does this and I’m totally in awe. Some mornings he manages to walk to work with a book in one hand and a cup of tea in the other. I, on the other hand, am lucky if I don’t trip over a pot-hole while trying to do something as simple as change the volume on my mp3 😦

  6. Well, I just learned how to stand up paddle and one day I hope to master the skill of reading a book while paddling myself along the shore…it will take a lot of balance especially if a few small waves decide to interrupt the calm waters that I am in. Whenever I was paddling for hours on end and seeing some beachgoers under the sun reading books/magazines, all I could think about was what book I could be reading at that moment.

    • Reading and stand up paddling at the same time – that would be amazing! I can’t imagine having such balancing powers 🙂 If you ever succeed, let me know!

  7. Better walking than driving! I used to know a woman in Arizona who drove the interstate from Benson to Tucson for university classes and she said she read while driving, with a book propped on the steering wheel. I don’t know what happened to her but I wouldn’t have wanted to be her insurance agent.

  8. I swear those who can read and walk simultaneously are wizards masquerading as humans. You’re going to laugh, but I spent a good portion of my childhood practicing this (and failing miserably) and trying to fly. Oh, I failed at the flying attempts, too. ; )

  9. Pingback: Paperback Rider | reading interrupted.

  10. I’m having a ball going back through your older posts and just got interested in everything you’ve been writing about, so I’m hanging out here for a bit. By the way, Regarding an earlier post, I’d love to see you dance while you cook. Really! About this post, I do read and comprehend that way. I was almost deaf until the 4th grade when I did get full hearing so I was addicted to words at a very early age. Books were and are my world. My family is used to it but I am lost when in a book and I read fast and for comprehension, didn’t realize it was unusual until high school, then it came in handy. 🙂 Great Post.

    • Thanks for spending part of your evening reading my blog, Penny! I wish I could have kept you company and responded to your comments sooner 🙂

      I can imagine that being almost deaf as a young child drew you into the world of books even more than the average child and encouraged a strong ability to focus that you carry even now.

      I actually find that I need some distractions around me in order to concentrate on my book – I have trouble reading in a library, for example!

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