Skimming is a problem but a useful problem

There is no denial that skimmy reading has caused us to skip the boring details in our stories and research papers. Skimming reading withdraws us, the readers, from appreciating all the small efforts and information the author has written for the audience in exchange for bigger information. However, in my perspective, skimmy reading is seen and used more often because of how people use their time when reading the text.

Time plays a huge role in reading any type of text a person has. If someone has the time to read a book slowly they’ll take their time to absorb the details. Yet in the terms of skimmy reading, there are two reasons why it’s instantly automatic. They either don’t have the time to read or they have the freedom to skip the “small” details.

Take research papers for instance.  In research papers, there is a whole list of resources and materials I could use to support my subject. But when do I have the time to read the resource material? How can I take the time to read a pile of resources and write a ten-page rough draft in a matter of two weeks? So, I might find passages and quotes I can use for my paper. It doesn’t mean that I’m lazy, it’s just that I’m busy with other activities that I can’t take the time to completely read different texts.

Then there’s the freedom to skip. If people want to skip words then they can skip words, if they want to take their time to read the text then they can. I’m not sure if skipping can be considered a virtue or a sin, it’s just one of those techniques in reading that will remain in gray.

Source: Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say

Posted by kvance   @   10 February 2018

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