After all, it’s about words


I don’t necessarily agree to fast reading. Well others enjoy reading fast and want to finish a book in a day or one sitting. But reading doesn’t have to depend on the number of books one has read. I don’t think just because one has read 20,means he’s more well-read than another who has read 10 or 5. Reading is not supposed to be about numbers. After all, it’s about words.

I don’t read 20 or 30 books a year. I’m not the fast reader type and do not want to. I read in bed before going to sleep but not all the time. I actually would like to buy hardcover books but like what they say, they’re expensive so most that I have are paperback.

I don’t have a specific time to read too, other than before going to sleep. Sometimes, I read with coffee after dinner before I go home from work. But this also depends when I’m not in crunch mode, though my Dunkin Donuts coffee only costs PhP 35-45.

It would be interesting to try and just sit down and read for an hour in a specific time. But we all agree that we can’t read all the time. We have other things to do. Of course, I also want to watch my favorite TV show or watch a movie I missed at the cinemas, do chores and other things. Let’s face it, we always need to go online and be up to date with current events, culture, news, travel, lifestyle, entertainment and chat with friends too.


The thing is, I don’t like to read as fast as I can and read so many because I want the stories to remain in my mind for long. I read this study from The Independent on ‘Brain function ‘boosted for days after reading a novel.’ Here are some excerpts on the article.

Reading a gripping novel causes biological changes in the brain which last for days as the mind is transported into the body of the protagonist.

The new research, carried out at Emory University in the US, found that reading a good book may cause heightened connectivity in the brain and neurological changes that persist in a similar way to muscle memory. Being pulled into the world of a gripping novel can trigger actual, measurable changes in the brain that linger for at least five days after reading, scientists have said.

21 students took part in the study, with all participants reading the same book – Pompeii, a 2003 thriller by Robert Harris, which was chosen for its page turning plot.

Over 19 days the students read a portion of the book in the evening then had fMRI scans the following morning. Once the book was finished, their brains were scanned for five days after.

The neurological changes were found to have continued for all the five days after finishing, proving that the impact was not just an immediate reaction but has a lasting influence.

I’m more after the lasting influence of a book than how many books I’ve read. Say one has read 20 books a month, can one really retain most of it, more so the important parts of the story and characters? I don’t think so. Say, I ask him about this book he has read last month or two months ago, and during this time for example December he already has read 200. I would ask him, who the characters are, what’s the main conflict, why did this and that do this, what’s their intention and others. I’m pretty sure he would make mistakes. He’s gonna be mind boggled.

You were so into this book back in September, but forgot all about in December because you’ve read 500 books. Your thoughts will be cluttered with so many ideas and stories; that you can’t even put your finger on which is from this and that book or whose characters are these names popping out in your head.

My friend Rhea and I who used to watch Harry Potter movies together both read the books. We know who is who and what is what in the movies because we’ve read the books, because we didn’t fast-read and because the stories have been instilled with us. They have remained in our brains. However, this is not to say that we don’t make mistakes about whether this specific scene in the movie was in the book and others. So those who have read 500 or more books would make more mistakes, as memory retention is much harder.

Here’s the link to The Independent article:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s