Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Learning to read slow...

As I was going through my list of "blogs to read" recently, I came across this little post. It's interesting to me, because I've never really had problems speed reading with comprehension. I do "hear" things in my head as I read them. I also "see" things in my head as I hear them (as in, when someone's talking, or when I'm writing, I can sometimes literally see the words being typed out in my head).  But I appreciate his point, and speed reading just isn't meant to be done with Scripture. I love how the Bible is filled with so many different literary genres (as I've written about before). Poetry is meant to be musical thing, meant to be experienced and savored, just like the rest of the Word.

One Advantage of Reading Slowly

December 29, 2009  |  By: John Piper  |  Category: Commentary
The fact that hundreds of the pages of God’s inspired word are devoted to poetry moves me. One of the effects is to make me aware that God thinks the sound of language matters.
God has blessed and humbled me with the inability to speed read. I read about the same speed that I talk. I hear what I read as I read it. For years I tried not to. Speed reading consultants (I took their courses—in vain.) say that pronouncing the words, even in your head, turns a rabbit reader into a turtle. No use. I’m a turtle.
So I take heart that so much of the Bible is poetry. It is self-evident to me that poetry is not meant to be speed-read, but ordinarily read aloud. So I would encourage you to supplement your speed with slow savoring of the way things are written to be heard.
Consider this observation about what happens when poetry is read aloud and read well by a person who understands it.
“Even after almost three millennia of written literature, poetry retains its appeal to the ear as well as to the eye; to hear a poem read aloud by someone who understands it, and who wishes to share that understanding with someone else, can be a crucial experience, instructing the silently reading eye ever thereafter to hear what it is seeing.” (John Hollander, Committed to Memory: 100 Best Poems to Memorize, 1)

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