Friday, November 09, 2012

An Example Of Skimming

In my last Time Management Tuesday post, I talked about strategies for reading more in whatever time we have. Today I've been reading a lot. I've been researching Internet sites to approach for promoting Saving the Planet, and I've been taking notes on a nonfiction book that will be the basis of a post here and maybe have an impact on my work some day.

When I went to The Millions for one of those breaks between 45-minute work binges I do, I didn't feel I had a lot of time. I settled on Elegy for a Grey Cat by Janet Potter because it included an His Dark Materials reference in the sub-title.

The essay is divided into three sections. I skimmed just enough of the first section to determine that it was about a human's relationship with her cat, a subject that doesn't hold a whole lot of interest for me. (Yes, I am an awful person.)  But sections 2 and 3 dealt with books, By the Shores of Silver Lake and The Amber Spyglass, respectively. I've read Silver Lake and a lead-in to Amber Spyglass. Those sections of the essay interested me.

Those sections were, in fact, quite lovely, as far as I'm concerned. Have I not gained something in pleasure and thinking from having "just" skimmed the first part of this essay? Isn't my reading experience valuable, even though I didn't read every word of the whole piece? Because I'll tell you, if I were an all-or-nothing type of reader, I wouldn't have started a cat essay at all. And what would I have gained from that?

No comments: