1. says

    You must be a fast reader to get through all these books and still turn in thorough, considered reviews. Any tips for a painfully slow reader such as myself? Not that I write reviews, but my Honours reading list seems to keep expanding when I’d prefer it did the opposite …

  2. jeff VanderMeer says

    The minimum number of books I usually *have* to read in a month is only about 6 to 10, re the full reviews. My Realms of Fantasy reviews are for a quarterly magazine. The Washington Post Book World assigns me something every couple of months, tops. In any one month, I might be doing full-on reviews of 2-3 books for Publishers Weekly, 3-6 for Amazon (of which half are graphic novels), and 1-2 for SF Weekly. That’s not really very much. I read about 70 pages an hour, unless it’s something where the prose is very rich.

    Re any tips…I dunno. I’ve never really trained myself to read fast, I just do.


  3. kelly says

    Best fast-reading tip (and I’m not being sarcastic): Read only stuff you like. Nothing slows me down like disinterest.

  4. says

    Naturally fast readers make me seethe with envy … like my wife, who never misses an opportunity to rub it in my face, lol.

    Kelly – good point about reading what you like. My thesis is on fantasy lit, so I guess I’ve got that covered. I’ve also been told to try taking in 3 or more words at a time and building on that. I’ve managed to convince myself I’m not a slow reader, just a thorough one. 6 to 10 books a month would solve all my problems, however …

  5. says

    I’d also say: follow your taste and don’t pigeonhole yourself. Even though you know you like one type of fiction, don’t suppress your urges for other types of fiction (or non-fiction, for that matter).

    That may sound ludicrous, but, as a self-confessed slow reader, I often struggle with what I think I want to read as opposed to what I really want to read. OK, this is starting to sound like psycho-babble, so I’ll stop…

  6. says

    I don’t read all that fast, I just spend a lot of time reading, or so it seems to me — yet I still read 50-60 pages per hour. But Jeff, I gotta tell ya, I’d love to get your mail for just a couple of months. I turn green every time you publish a picture of one of these lovely piles.

  7. says

    Ellen–we’re still determining the 2007 contents for BAF 2. BAF 3 will be edited by someone else. We’ll be making that announcement next week–very exciting news.


  8. Alan says

    Time permitting, I can usually manage 2-3 books a week, but I don’t think I’m a particularly speedy reader. I once tried to train myself to speed read, but it didn’t really take. For me, racing through 3 or 400 hundred pages in a couple of hours defeated the whole purpose; it turned reading into something I felt I had to do – gotta hit my quota! – rather something I do for pleasure.

    I’ve just finished reading the new edition of Kiernan’s Tales of Pain & Wonder pictured above – a beautiful book, and highly recommended.

  9. says

    I should add that once the dust settles, in months with a lower review deadline load, I go back to books from previous months I couldn’t read at the time. It’s not very scientific, my process, but I get a lot of reading done.

    Yeah–I think Kiernan’s underrated.