Book Review

Reading Rate Shaming



Hey guys, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve done anything besides crank out reviews.

I needed a small break lol.

So here we are, let’s discuss reading rate shaming.

What do I mean by that? [I’m clarifying because I know I make little to no sense lol] I mean how fast or slow we read. I could have used the word speed but, I like alliteration.

Lately, on Twitter, I’ve seen people mention that they’ve been shamed for this exact thing, and not necessarily insulted, but made uncomfortable by being asked awkward questions.

Such as, ‘wow how can you read so fast?’ ‘Do you just read all day?’

And of course, there’s the opposite end of the spectrum, but I haven’t seen so much shaming on reading slow, that doesn’t mean that those comments don’t exist, -though I wish they didn’t-.

So….why do people feel the need to comment on how fast or slow people read?

Does it really affect them? No….so…why feel the need to say anything other than ‘that’s great, good job’ because whether you read 1, or 50 books this month, it’s wonderful.

Having any time or ability to do something you enjoy, such as reading, is great.

Some people have more time to read, such as myself, and let me tell you now, I wish I didn’t.

Why? I wish I had a job, I hate that I feel like I personally don’t contribute to my household in any meaningful way, so if someone remarks with maybe something unintentionally hurtful about how much I read, I feel very self-conscious. However, overall I’m usually pleased when people are like ‘wow, you read so much’ it’s the other comments that can be hurtful like I’ve mentioned ‘do you just read all day?’ and that can sometimes have the wrong tone because well, it’s the internet and we’re left to our own devices to interpret it.

[This goes without saying but I’m sure it’s not just on the internet that people get these comments.]

But how do we get over this stigma? Why do we feel the need to question what people do with their time or to make assumptions? A lot of people work, do so much and still read a lot and/or quickly.

And sometimes people don’t need to be bothered with worrying how people perceive how they spend their time.

Whether you read fast or slow, whether you have a little time or a lot, it doesn’t matter.

What are your thoughts on this? Have people made you feel self-conscious about your reading speed?

By TheCaffeinatedReader

A Caffeinated Reader and Musician, destined to write lacklustre book reviews with the over-ample amount of free time.

7 replies on “Reading Rate Shaming”

A huge downside of social media is the instant ability for people to give their opinions without really thinking or having any thought to the implications of what they are saying. My sister reads amazingly quickly too ~ she was assessed as the fastest reader in her year at school, a great advantage in her job as an interpreter and translator of a multitude of subjects which she has to gen up on. Have a good break from it all, pick yourself up and ‘regroup’ as my husband would say. Take care. Diana Jackson

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I really get what you mean…I read a book a day because I am at home as well, and I feel very self conscious when I publish totals..but funnily enough (or maybe not) I have seen people read more than me and that’s made me feel more okay with being open about my own reading ..i used to preceed any complication list with almost apologizing for my numbers but don’t anymore!


I’m a fast reader, have been since I was little and people always commented on it. Mostly my classmates and mostly I didn’t mind but there were several times where people would say “Do you just not do anything else but read?” or “Are you even reading properly?” Those comments irked me because it’s not even as though they were also readers themselves, yet they felt entitled to pass judgement on my reading speed and even question if I was “properly reading” or just skim reading. (ok yes sometimes I would skim read sections but mostly I was reading it properly). We make time for the things we enjoy doing and now I don’t read as often/as much as I used to during school (which I find ironic since I have more time now than I did back then). I do still make time for it, often I read a book in a day or in a couple days depending on how much I’m enjoying the book.

Loved this discussion post Haley, I think it’s such an important topic to think about, it really doesn’t matter how fast or slow you read in my opinion. What matters is you’re reading and enjoying it!

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This is a great discussion! I haven’t seen much of people shaming others for reading too fast. I am generally a fast reader on average, though I definitely am not up to those who can fit over 100 books in a year! I don’t judge them for it at all though; I’m actually more amazed by it.

If anything I’ve seen (in person) shaming for those who read slow. People tend to renew their books and apologize because they’re slow readers. It might not even be that they’re slow though, it could just be they have other things going on. But what does it matter to us how fast or slow others read? Some people like to know what’s going to happen next and can’t stop reading while others just want to enjoy and savor the story.

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