Thursday, January 19, 2012


I saw this article the other day that asked, “Are you ashamed of skipping parts of books?” Which, naturally, made me want to ask all of YOU. Do you skip ahead in a book? Do you feel badly about it when you do?

It depends; and about two percent of the time.

You Don't Say! for example, by Barry Phelps, is about world notables and their misquotations listed alphabetically. In this case I wanted to know first what misquotations Margaret Thatcher or Napoleon Bonaparte made rather than reading accounts in order. Parts that are of least relevance or interest to me - I skip without questioning myself.

Conrad Kottak's international edition of Anthropology: the exploration of human diversity once was my bible for a week. I was then preparing a PhD research proposal.  Dissect, synthesize, decide which ideas would be best for an argument on a deadline on top of other university job related readings - I was almost blue in the face as the reading turned mad. And I only needed to nail some historical bit that would help rationalize the proposal. That and a few more words that began with the same letter - you could guess where I went and how thick were the pages I skipped. I know what a mpakafo is but I have to run back to this formidable but very interesting reference if asked to describe arboreal  theory.

Now, do I feel badly about skipping when I do? In most cases, yes. Most books in my hands are too engaging and too useful not to be read in their entirety. At times it is probably this 'I-have-to-read-everything-inside-every-book-I-own' state of mind.  Or that could just be my seasonally neurotic self speaking.

This post is linked with Booking Through Thursday.


  1. I'm a skimmer, I'm a new follower, here is my link in case you wish to follow back

  2. Thank you Tristen. I'm heading over to your blog.

  3. Thanks for visiting my you know from reading my post, I occasionally skim...but not often.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Hi!

    I do some skipping/skimming as well. But then again, it also depends on the type of book I'm reading. :)

    Thanks for dropping by my blog to leave a comment! :)

  5. And thanks for sharing yours.

  6. Most of the reading I do for entertainment, I rarely skip/skim, unless, it is very boring, and usually in that case I never finish reading those books. If I have read half of the book, than I may skip to the last chapter to see how it ends. I am more of a 50-75 page reader, if it hasn't caught my interest by then, I usually never finish it. Study books were different, I only read what was required.

  7. I rarely skip, especially since I love to read mysteries and I just want to get caught up in the story.

  8. Thanks for leaving a comment on my Booking Through Thursday post! I will follow your blog :)



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