inspiration / inspiring / reading / writing

Confessions of a slow reader

I will proudly stand up in a room full of people and say ‘I am a slow reader!’ and frankly I don’t think there is anything wrong with that!

I am a slow reader because I LOVE to read out loud, which is just as well having spent the last twenty years working in bookshops and libraries, you tend to do quite a bit of reading aloud there. Give me a copy of The Gruffalo and I am in heaven! And you can’t rush a story when you are reading it aloud to other people – that would be awful!


This does present a bit of a problem though when it comes to editing a book. I’ve just – and I do mean about half an hour ago – finished the recent edits for my second book. I wish I could skim read, but I’m a slow reader and I just can’t help myself! And yes I always do all the voices! 😉

However many years ago, when I was at school and I wasn’t a very CONFIDENT reader I was in a ‘Slow Readers Group’ all because I wasn’t keeping up with the rest of the class with the some reading reading scheme or other.

Anyone remember these. . .

My chief memory of these books is

  1.  ‘The hat shop in that town must have done a roaring trade because nobody went out without a hat on!
  2. Most sorts of reading schemes – I’m sorry to say – are rather boring!

A boring book is never going to turn a reluctant, or ‘slow’ reader into a better reader, or a passionate reader, because you know you can still love something but not be A*+ at it folks!

And so I personally don’t think that this delightful looking selection of books was ever going to get me out of that slow readers group no matter how many hats they wore!

And yet I knew that the library in school was stuffed full of stories that I wanted to get my hands on but ‘No sorry you’re a slow reader so you can’t read anything exciting until you’ve read all 3,000 hat books’

Thankfully one of my Nana’s was a jumble sale fanatic and would occasionally bring me a book that she thought I might enjoy. And one day, she struck absolute GOLD!


The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith captured my imagination at once in the front of the book were a few lines revealing that she had be so inspired to write the book that she had sat up all night writing. I was blown away by that, the thought that someone would want to tell a story so much they would sit up all night long. I knew this book demanded my attention and I was hooked!

I remember the HUGE sense of satisfaction and achievement I got when I finished reading the last page and yes maybe it took me a little longer than it might have done but who knows if that was to do with my ability pr because I didn’t want the story to end?

Other stories were snatched up soon after that, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, A Dinosaur Called Minerva, The Earthsea Quartet being just a few. Those were the books that made me a reader in a way that a reading scheme never ever would.

I believe and hope there is a book out there that will turn just about anyone into a passionate reader and it really doesn’t matter then how fast, or slow you read – so long as you enjoy the trip!

Happy Reading!

James 😀

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