Reader's Reverie

Reader’s Reverie

We have learned how to read while in a trance-like state in the same manner that we drive our car. I assume everybody drives like I drive; I drive while in reverie (lost in thought).

“Your reading assignment for tomorrow is Chapter II” commands the teacher. “Yes mom, I have done my homework” replies Jimmie to his mother when he requests permission to visit his friend next door.

Jimmie has, quickly and painlessly, completed the assigned 50 pages of reading while his thoughts were focused on the events that happened in school that day.

Our schooling has taught us to sleep-read. Now, what do we do if we want more out of life than is available in day-to-day reality? If we want more we must first teach our self how to read with comprehension. We must first learn that reading can be for the purpose of comprehending important stuff.

While we are learning to read with comprehension we need to learn how to write short essays. The short essay is a means to learn what we know and don’t know. Writing an essay is like the artist painting a landscape. I am not an artist but I suspect the artist does not know what her painting will be until it is. The artist and the essay writer are attempting to communicate what is in the mind for the purpose of ‘seeing’ it for the first time. I occasionally read my completed essay with amazement because I did not know that I knew that.

The Internet discussion forum is an ideal means for practicing these skills. I think we miss a great learning experience when we treat forum discussions as just a ‘verbal video game’ or a good place to post our graffiti.

The essay and the painting are modes of creation and not just the modes of communication.

I have about three reading speeds for serious non fiction; skimming speed is about 300 pages in 30 minutes, the first reading that is about 50 pages per hour, and a second reading that is about 20 pages per hour. After that I go into my essay writing speed that may take many hours to complete a chapter. What are your reading speeds?

Speed one: reading book.

Speed two: reading paragraphs.

Three: sentences.

Four: words.

I measure by how much I comprehend and connect information to other informantion in the book.

When we read something of interest to us, we enter flow state.

When we’re forced to read something, it’s hard to stay focused. That’s not a flow state.

If you haven’t researched flow state I’d recommend it.