Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Speed Reading

Some time ago I mentioned I was reading Stephen King's 7-part Dark Tower trilogy (heptology?). I'd got as far as book 4 before Christmas, and have been hunting around for a copy of book 5 ever since. I thought I'd got it last weekend. Found it in a second-hand bookstore. Unfortunately, being an easily-confused idiot who can't count, what I actually bought was a second copy of book 4. Dang.

So we were having dinner at Bill's the other night. He's a King fan and is re-reading the entire series because he was given book 7 for Christmas. He hasn't opened it yet. He's currently working his way through book 4. He said he'd lend me book 5, but I had to read it in 10 days because that's when he expects to finish number 4. Are you confused yet?

Anyway, it's a bit of a challenge because book 5 is 600 pages long, and I'm not a particularly fast reader. The problem is that if I sit down on the sofa and start reading in the evening, I'll be fast asleep before I've read 10 pages. Then I'll lose my page, and start reading the preceding hundred pages before I realise that I've already read them. Completely hopeless.

So I've developed a new technique. It's called 'reading standing up'. I go out on the balcony, put the book on the parapet, and read it while standing. Not even I can go to sleep in this position. The only trouble is that the light is lousy, and I'm constantly hassled by flies, mosquitos and ants. I guess they all want to read it too (no they don't, they want their dinner, and they think I'm it). And the technique is working - I'm just past the halfway point after four days!

Oh, and it is a very very good book.