Books · Jottings

Jottings #6 – The Future of Reading

It has been a while since I have jotted here on my blog and I thought I would share a couple of things with you from this week.

Much discussion across blogs, newspapers, readings group and the like is the continual debate over eReader versus ‘real’ book. And I am not debating that here, but in a rather tenuous link I am sharing this link to a eReader interactive programme that measures your speed of reading.

I came out at around 71% faster than the average, it tells you how long it would take to read War and Peace at that speed! Personally I do not want to read for upwards of 22 hours straight! I am also intrigued by the way we use War and Peace as a definition of many things. When an officer comes and asks to photocopy something, I ask ‘As long as it is not War and Peace’, you may use the machine. Colleagues mention having to read briefings, notes or minutes that resemble ‘War and Peace’. Perhaps tomorrow I might say as long as it is not “Five on a Treasure Island” and see what response I get?

This little interactive then goes to show you how many books you could read on your eReader before you needed to recharge the battery.

I found it interesting, mainly because I remember an English Teacher from Secondary School that said I read too much and too quick. She told my mum that I could not possibly be reading so much, that I was just skimming it and would not be taking any of it in. I never seemed to have a problem though. But then this is the same teacher that said my spelling was atrocious, which my mum took her to task on. (How I would love to have been there) Turns out the teacher had muddled me up with someone else. Strangely enough spelling is one of my bug bears and really irritates me after all these years. There is no excuse for poor spelling.

Many years later, I was rather unnerved to see this English Teacher doing a Body Pump class at the same gym as me. It brought back many memories!

Do have a go at the interactive speed reading test and see how you compare.

Talking about teachers and reading at school I am going to lead you to another link. This time to BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words Competition which is a competition open to youngsters. The premise to write a story in 500 words. On Friday 1 June, on Chris Evans Breakfast Show (baby depending) the winners will be announced and some of the stories will be read out by some famous voices at The Hay Festival. You can pop along to the website and read or listen to some of the Top Stories. I have only read a couple so far but do check out My Nanny is a Ninja which I think is very witty.

As part of this wonderful competition which started last year and I think will be continuing (how I wish I was a child again) next, they have teamed up with the Oxford University Press to analyse the words used in the stories (over 74,000 of them)

  • The most common noun is door
  • The exclamation mark is a favourite piece of punctuation. It was used 351, 731 times!
  • There are lots of brilliant similes: as saggy as a baboons bum; as tall as a dozen giraffes standing on top of each other; as soft as a new bought dressing gown from M and S; as puzzled as a baby doing proper fractions

Do check out the report, it makes for very interesting reading.

There is no doubt whoever wins, (your height in books!) there are so many budding authors out there, that no matter how you read your books on paper or new technology; the story is not going anywhere.

5 thoughts on “Jottings #6 – The Future of Reading

  1. I’m not going to do the speed reading test atm as I know I’m a little slow at the moment due to constant tiredness. However, I don’t think I’m a aprticularly fast reader, but I’m not a slow reader either.

    I can’t believe your English teacher said you read too much and too quick. My English teachers only ever encouraged me!

  2. Very interesting post. I did the speed reading test and it turns out that I’m 69% quicker than the average. I don’t think that I’m a particularly fast reader compared with people I know, so it’s all relative really. Sometimes I do try to read more slowly to savour the words. So it also depends on what I’m reading – I read crime fiction for example much quicker than other books. It’s the need to know that urges me on, that page turning effect.

    Actually I did find War and Peace a relatively quick read, although I didn’t time myself and I wouldn’t want to read it non-stop. But it was a surprise to me that it was a pleasure to read.

  3. I agree with all of the above, including about War and Peace. English teachers nowadays often have poor spelling and grammar skills. I think they must be the sort of people who see English as an easy option, but how do they pass the exams? It drives my husband nuts and he’s a Chemistry teacher who happens to write fiction too.

  4. I read W&P when I was working in Cuba – I frequently had time on my hands and there wasn’t always a lot to do, especially during the long power cuts. I liked W&P well enough but it didn’t shine, especially, it certainly wasn’t especially challenging, rather, it was quite an easy read and entertaining enough, just very, very, very long.

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