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What a cool thread--too bad I didn't get around to it sooner; you see, I
was reading voraciously for pleasure during my week off!  I think Gary's
right on with his comments.  Different types of reading require different
speeds.  (Walt's right, too; stuff like Tristram Shandy cannot be read any
other way than slogging through the mire!  Can you tell that type of lit.
is NOT my favorite?)

Students need to know that some things can be skimmed and some can't.  It
all depends on your purpose (a reading test to get a job versus reading
Stephen King's latest just for fun).  My husband and I are considered
"speed readers" because we devour thrillers, action/adventure,
mystery/suspense novels to the tune of several each per week--more when we
don't have to go to work and school, too.

However, it's a whole heap easier reading a contemporary novel for fun
than it is reading a Social Science Research textbook for a grade!
Particularly when math is not your forte! (Guess what I'll be studying
this term?)  I know I'm going to have to read more slowly to get some
parts of the information--the stuff that deals with math--than I will the
parts that deal with theory, because that's the way I'm wired.

Students need to know that people ARE, in fact, wired differently.  I have
friends, whom I envy, who can breeze through math texts in the blink of an
eye where I have to sweat each and every page. However, I have other
skills they don't have!  It all evens out, and, if you're lucky, you can
find a job that lets you use the skills you're best at.  That's what I try
to impress on my students.

I'm all for speed-reading.  It has its place.  But there is also room, I
hope, for dipping leisurely into a book.

Peggy Keller
Lead Learning Assistant for English
Assistance Centers for Education
Department of Adult and Developmental Education
Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute
525 Buena Vista SE
Albuquerque, NM  87106

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