Speed Reading

As a rule, I am against "speed reading"—you know, the different kind of systems you can learn to read very quickly. Reading should be savored, like a good piece of cheesecake, or a fresh, ripe peach. The words should take you away to another time and place, or inside the mind of the characters.
This morning I heard an interesting tidbit on the radio. There’s a new speed reading program out there—it’s supposed to be the best one ever. While I disagree that you should use speed reading to get as much of your pleasure reading in as possible (what is it a contest? who are you reading against?), I do think several people in the publishing industry should pay attention and perhaps go through the training. Not that I am saying that editors should speed read while they are in the throes of REALLY editing a book, but while they are going through the heaps and mounds of manuscripts and proposals they get, it may serve them well. Same goes for agents. Of course, I have often heard or read that if you don’t catch their attention in the first paragraph,  they send you back your work anyway. Guess that’s another form of speed reading?
Of course, the reason I am so concerned about editors and agents reading quickly through everyone else’s work, is because I want them to get to MINE.  Waiting is the most difficult part of this business for me. And I constantly have to bite my tongue when I hear about how busy they are. I used to work as an editor and I know how true it is—the managing of continual deadlines, dreaded office meetings, the piles on manuscripts and mail….All of that. And yet, yet that seems kind of dreamy to me now as I manage a different kind of life with the same kind of deadlines, but at home, with my kids longing for my attention.  Next week, they will both be in school and I’ll have the luxury of focus—at least for a few hours every day.   

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