02 March 2009

Musing Mondays: Skim Anyone?

Here's this week's Musing Mondays hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page. To play along and to see other answers, click the link.

When reading do you read every word? Do you ever skip chapters or skim over parts? (question courtesy of Wendy)

I generally read (or listen to!) every word. Sometimes I even reread passages or pages to savor the phrasing or to make sure I remember the idea.

Do I ever skim? How's this for an answer? Depends! I never, ever skip chapters or pages, but I do sometimes skim. Here are the top three situations in which I find myself moving quickly across the pages:

⇒ When I start to lose interest in a book but I want to know what happens.
⇒ When I'm in a really exciting part of a book and I want to know what happens.
⇒ When there is a long poem or song.

How about you? Do you read every word? Do you skim?


Steve 3/2/09, 8:19 AM  

This is a great question. Most people skim when they read, but there needn't be a stigma attached to it I don't think. I skim when reading text books and (as you said) more boring books that I just want the main idea from. I savor and relish poetry however, never skipping a character.

Nise' 3/2/09, 8:28 AM  

I try so hard not to skim even though it is so exciting. In fact, sometime I go back and re-read because it is leading up to something exciting!

Yvonne 3/2/09, 8:31 AM  

I'm pretty much the same way. I never skip whole chapters, but I do skim and it's usually because I've lost interest or get bored.

Marie Cloutier 3/2/09, 8:47 AM  

I never skim. I don't understand the story if I don't read it :)

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide 3/2/09, 8:53 AM  

Oh you know what, I think I did skim the songs in Lord of the Rings.


Anonymous,  3/2/09, 9:45 AM  

Generally I skim either when a) I'm in a boring part or b) I'm in a really detailed romantic scene and it's gotten all gushy and irritating. But otherwise I don't. :D

Oh wait, except for short story collections-- I tend to skim the ones I've already read (or, um, poems).

Dorte H 3/2/09, 9:45 AM  

I never skim books the first time I read them. Sometimes I re-read books in order to write about characters, themes or so on my blog; e.g. right now I am skimming six Ruth Rendell novels for a certain purpose :)

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 3/2/09, 10:41 AM  

I hardly ever skip but I usually only skim out of desperation- if the book is that bad that I just need to get it done or get it moving.

zetor 3/2/09, 10:57 AM  

Sometimes skim sometimes not. Lovely photo in your header, where is it?

bermudaonion 3/2/09, 10:59 AM  

If I start skimming, it's a sign I just need to give up on that book.

Beth F 3/2/09, 11:25 AM  

Steve: you're right, I don't know why we have to apologize for skimming!

For everyone else: I skim just to see what happens in a book that I really don't care about. Perhaps I should just give up on the book, but I don't always want to go that far.

Bluestocking: That's exactly the sort of poems/songs I tend to skim. But on the reread I'll attend to those parts more closely because I already know what happens.

Zetor: I took the photo in Brugge, Belgium.

Erika Powell 3/2/09, 12:55 PM  

I find I start skimming when I am really excited too. I just need to know what is gonna happen!

Stacy 3/2/09, 2:32 PM  

I think that when I come across a poem or song in a book, that is when I have the strongest urge to skim. A perfect example is Animal Farm...I so wanted to skim 'Beasts of England' but forced myself to read every word which I guess was a good things since it was integral to the story:)

Robin M 3/2/09, 2:39 PM  

I have found myself skimming through the same things - songs, the story is getting exciting and I rush to get to the juicy part. Have to force myself to slow down and savor it. Great question today. My answer is up now.

Anonymous,  3/2/09, 3:07 PM  

No skimming here :)

kayerj 3/2/09, 3:19 PM  

I posted my musings today, as well as some musing about Dr. Suess

When I come to the long poems and songs in a story, I tend to slow down, savor and even re-read. Often they become my favorite part of the story.

Darlene 3/2/09, 6:29 PM  

I never skip chapters or huge sections but I do skim when I'm bored with a part.

Jenners 3/2/09, 10:04 PM  

I pretty much don't skim but then you pointed out some of the reasons why I actually do! I remember skipping that entire "fake book" in the middle of "World According to Garp" and I do have to force myself not to jump ahead when it get exciting. But if I find myself losing interest, I have finally given myself permission to just stop reading.

Ladytink_534 3/2/09, 10:40 PM  

If I did skim those are all very good reasons to!

Kim 3/3/09, 12:08 AM  

Hi Beth! I could have written this post--skimming yes,skipping no! I have also been known to read a head a little bit if it is too exciting--but I never read the last few pages a head of time. ;)

Anonymous,  3/3/09, 5:15 AM  

Actually, I do find myself quickly skimming forward during exciting sections to see what happens. Oh, how many wonderful surprises that nasty habit lost me!

Anonymous,  3/3/09, 2:33 PM  

When I'm in a really exciting part of a book and I want to know what happens.

Like "Gone with the Wind". I want to know what happens to the headbutting romance between Scarlett and Rhett. I skimmed through the parts about his speculating goodies.

When there is a long poem or song.

That's why I have to re-read "The Canterbury Tales."

Literary Feline 3/3/09, 8:08 PM  

I admit that I will skim if I come to an especially descriptive paragraph that doesn't seem to do anything towards moving the story along. I haven't ever skipped entire pages or chapters that I can remember.

Anonymous,  3/4/09, 5:21 PM  

Beth - I commented on another blog that I don't skim, but after reading your post, I realize that I do!

"when there is a long poem or song", yep, I skim then, too. I guess I don't appreciate poetry that much :)

Anonymous,  3/5/09, 10:49 AM  

Are you my book twin?

Beth F 3/5/09, 11:13 AM  

Smash: spooky sometimes!!

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