The Pros and Cons of Being a Fast Reader

Last night, my husband and I watched Ready Player One for the first time. We’ve both read the book, although it was more than two years ago for me and less than a year ago for him.


We were barely 15 minutes in when he started pointing out all the things that were different from the book. I could only shrug and take his word for it.



As things progressed, I was able to recognize that the story line of the film varies greatly from the novel, though I still wasn’t able to notice smaller differences like my husband could.

His reading retention seems to be a million times better than mine. We often discuss books we’ve both read and occasionally he’ll mention something I have absolutely no memory of.

As I’ve mentioned before, I often have trouble recalling details of the books I’ve read, even when I enjoyed them. If you give me a book title, I can say for sure whether I’ve read it or not, and if I liked it or not. I might not be able tell you more than that.This is an obvious down side to my reading tendencies, which are to read a lot of books, and doing so pretty fast. There’s an upside to this as well, so I decided to break it down for you and I’m curious to see if you can relate!?


The Pros of Being a Fast Reader


  • I get through a lot of books Obvious, I know. Right now I’m on track to finish about 125 books this year. This includes just about every genre and format: middle grade and young adult fiction, poetry, non-fiction, memoir, instruction, spiritual, hardcover, paperback, Kindle, audio books.

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  • I learn a ton Related to above, I get through so many different types of books that I’m literally always learning something new.


  • Making recommendations Because I get through so many books, friends often ask me for recommendations, and advice on whether or not to skip newer trendy releases, and I absolutely love being asked.


The Cons of Being a Fast Reader


  • I don’t retain details I rarely skim when I’m reading, so I don’t necessarily miss out on details, I simply can’t recall them later! This can make discussions challenging, especially in book club meetings. If I’ve finished the book more than a week or two ago, there’s a pretty good chance I may not be able to fully remember it.


  • Carrying around multiple books This isn’t quite as relevant now that I have a Kindle but there is still a fair amount of preparation and strategy involved in traveling. I not only need the book I’m reading but I’ll need one to start after I finish that one and at least one back up. And while I do travel with my Kindle, I need at least one physical book in case there’s a technological issue!



  • My standards are high I guess this is a Pro as well, however it often is a pain in the butt. I’ll read a “bestseller” that people are raving about and find it to be a huge disappointment. A book I consider mediocre will be stunning to someone else because she hasn’t read as many other (better) examples of the genre as I have. Sometimes this makes me feel snobby and prevents me from connecting with other readers.

Do you consider yourself a fast reader? If so, do you relate to my struggles? (and triumphs!)



  1. Saskia van de Riet

    July 29, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    The choice is mine… I can be an extremely fast reader, and I can be a slow reader. I love it that I have a choice !!No struggles there for me… 😉

  2. Jyll Hoyrup

    July 29, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    I sometimes struggle with recall as well (but it could be age!? HA). While I’d like to be a faster reader, I think if I was, I wouldn’t retain much of anything!

  3. Anonymous

    July 29, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Ramona,
    I do consider myself a fast reader (though not voracious!). I have to sandwich books between my writing projects. I am now working full time on my books. Sometimes my reading something totally unrelated slows me down. I have to set goals for myself to keep on track!

  4. Lea

    July 29, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    I carried a hardback and my kindle in my purse all weekend on a family vacation, I actually had to switch purses to accommodate this butttttttt What’s a girl to do if she’s stuck at Mt. Rushmore without reading material?!

  5. Gay Ingram

    July 30, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Never considered whether I am a fast reader – that’s a relative observation, isn’t it? But, I am a constant reader. Right now I’m working my way through four vastly different books, three of which are non-fiction. Having authored and published a dozen books, both fiction and nonfiction, I’m pretty choosy about what I read for entertainment.

  6. Leslie

    July 30, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Yes, yes, yes! For both pros and cons, and unfortunately, I find my retention worsening as I age. I had to really slow down and pay attention when I was in college. Now, I read primarily for entertainment, so much of it is appreciated in the moment and through the duration of the book, but perhaps not past it. I do re-read favorite books/authors because of my fast reading habits. It’s extremely enjoyable the second, third or fourth time, too.

  7. Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA

    July 30, 2018 at 10:18 am

    I read very quickly. (Let’s just say that Evelyn Woods thrice kicked me out of their teaser seminar, where they promised to triple your reading speed, because they knew that would be impossible in my case.) I do remember book details- everything except for the title. Because I choose the book based upon author and review- and rarely look at the cover again while reading it. (I use a book cover that holds my place in the tome.)

  8. Ramona Mead

    July 30, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Taht’s interesting, but good to know taht reading can slow you down on writing. I need to have a pretty equal mix of both to keep things flowing!

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