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|Don't do it Jeffrey!
Written by Rachel G
(10/18/2011 6:21 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Already half-way through; Group-readers: you are amazing..., penned by jeffrey
Stop reading ahead right now! Slow down and take it one chapter at a time.
That is my advice for getting the best from a group read. I think I recall you saying that if a novel catches your interest you can't resist galloping greedily through to the end. If I'm wrong about your reading style then I apologise if the opening to this post sounded rather forceful and peremptory. But if I'm right, then I reckon I needed to shout at you a little to stop you in your tracks.
I certainly read in that galloping manner, gobbling up the chapters in my eagerness to know what happens next. It is part of the pleasure of an immersive reading experience, but I'm well aware that I miss a lot of the nuances along the way. A re-read, if I do it alone, is not effective because it so easily becomes a skim-read. Zooming through a novel is a hard habit to break.
I love Group Reads so much because they force me to slow right down and linger in the 'now' of each chapter as I come to it. This makes the text new for me, almost like reading the novel for the first time. If I had my way I'd enforce a strict rule whereby we tackle one chapter a day, so today (Tuesday) we would only be allowed to discuss as far as chapter 14 and no further. This would help to restrain my speed-reading impulses, and would avoid a situation where people are talking about stuff at the end of this week's chapters while I'm still focused on the early parts of this week's allowance. (I realise that there are perfectly good reasons why this does not work for some people, especially those with busy schedules to work around, so I'm not actually asking for GR's to be done this way - I'd just be glad if they were.)
I'm having a lovely time in this GR. Thank you everybody, for sharing your insights, and for helping to create a welcoming space where we can share our enjoyment of this beautiful novel.
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