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  1. #1
    Member MBTI Enthusiast's Avatar
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    Default Type & Reading Style

    I have recently discovered an interesting difference in the way my older sister (INFP) and I read novels. I have always read a lot faster than her… but I never thought twice about it. That was until I decided to read a book to her aloud since she needed to multitask and I really wanted her to read this one book. (Don’t ask… lol.) At that point, I realized the difference in our reading styles.

    As I was reading to her, I noticed that she stopped repeatedly to say things like, “I bet that character will end up doing __________ or this or that will happen…” So I kept trying to read more to show her what actually happens but she kept interrupting me to analyze the plot!

    So I eventually concluded: I read as fast as I can because I’m either dying to know what happens in the book or bored with it and want to get it over with. I notice I get bored with the details and try to skim those to get through the plot as fast as possible. However, my sister tends to read slower because she is constantly trying to absorb the details, really imagining being in the various situations, analyzing the plot, predicting the endings, etc. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what COULD happen, I just want to know what DOES happen.

    So, does anyone think this is related to type? Perhaps an S/N difference? Or maybe SJ/NP? Or even just J/P. It’s hard to tell, but I thought it could be related. I'd love to hear your thoughts...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lucas's Avatar
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    I tend to do both if that makes sense. I both read to find out what happens, and at the same time imagine possible outcomes.
    That said, this seems like an S/N difference.

  3. #3
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Like you I read fast. With fiction, I need stories that are fast-moving to hold my interest. However, I do read slowly enough so that I take the time to analyze the plot. I need to make the connections between characters and different plot threads and why people are doing what they're doing. Most of all, I need everything to fit into a logically coherent whole. That's Ti for you. I also like to predict what's going to happen next.

    I often skim over the details when I can get away with it and I know its not important to the story. Although, I can't always do that with mysteries because those seemingly unimportant details often end up being significant later.

    If the book is boring enough, I just give up on it and move on to another book. I don't have to finish every book I start. I think J's are more likely to do that. I've kind of given myself a 50 page rule. If it doesn't hold my interest by 50 pages, its probably not going to be the book for me. If I really want to know what happens even for books I don't intend on finishing I can always 'cheat' by looking up the plot synopsis online or asking someone who's read it.
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  4. #4
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    i read fast if it's boring or i just need to get all the relevant info...it's like speedreading...or getting the big picture outline.

    but if it's something interesting and i'm reading for enjoyment i'm like your sister...i read a bit and them reflect...read some more...reflect haha but this way becomes a part of my experience and i can retain it except i can never be quite sure which bits i filled in or actually read...that can be a problem...but in the other way of reading it seems the information goes into a temporary holding cell and will be erased very very soon...it sucks...my si sucks!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Noon's Avatar
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    When reading for enjoyment, if and when the book starts to get interesting, I usually read slowly in order to experience the story vividly enough in my head. That applies whether it's fantasy, sci-fi, or even memoir. I love it when the writers pack the stories full of even little (seemingly mundane to others) details that as a whole can make the story jump off the pages even more (for instance, spending some time describing the ripple patterns the coffee is making while the person anxiously rocks the cup). I like to actually be there.

    But even though I will read slowly at times, I can finish the overall book much more quickly than some others (many times with better recall as well). I become totally absorbed and won't stop reading until it's done, especially when the suspense starts to build (I speed up then, admittedly). When it does end, I usually spend some extra time going over it (the signs pointing to such an ending, the newly found significance of certain actions or words exchanged between characters, how the story might possibly go on, the highlights, among other things). Most importantly, I like to think I take some part of the story with me forever.

  6. #6
    Aquaria mrcockburn's Avatar
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    I just scan. Literally, when I read your OP, my eyes darted around 4 different places, and with the title, I got the "gist" of the thread. When I read a book, I'm a little more generous. My eyes kind of rove down the page. I still get the message, it's just too tedious to actually READ everything. I don't even proof-read my own posts, because I'm that lazy.

    For some textbooks though, like accounting, you're forced to slow down and actually read the damn words. Either that, or read this: "F-"
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    I read pretty fast most of the time. If a book is fast paced and I'm really into it, I have trouble putting it down or slowing down on the speed I am reading. If a chapter is too wordy or seems to be going into unnecessary details I will resort to just skimming through some of the paragraphs... I usually hold off on any analyzing until I hit a breaking point and I'm done reading for the time being...


  8. #8
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    I read fast but am able to visualise the plot without difficulty.

    To much details and i'm bored .. Couldn't finish 'The Green Mile' because of the mouse.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
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  9. #9
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think big-picture people are far more apt to skim read -- grasping the main point without really basking in and savoing the details. Some types seem more linear in their approach and read word by word and don't grasp the big picture as easily. But it's not confined to type, it depends on one's reading experience and skill as well.

    I constantly have to make myself stop and read word per word when I'm reading fiction, or complicated non-fiction, so that I don't miss important details and/or don't miss enjoying the story to the fullest.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saslou View Post
    I read fast but am able to visualise the plot without difficulty.

    To much details and i'm bored .. Couldn't finish 'The Green Mile' because of the mouse.
    I have that problem with ALL of Stephen King's books.... Seems like he goes into too much detail on everything.


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