Does Skimming Mean You Didn’t Read?

Names have been altered.

Names have been altered.

First of all, hi guys! I’m back! I was going through some personal issues, but now I’m back! :)

So, I wanted to start my return from hiatus by introducing this little issue I had. The above picture is a comment thread on one of my 1-star reviews on Amazon. I mentioned in my review how I had to skim entire paragraphs and pages because I didn’t feel like they were pertinent to the story at all.

My question to you is, does skimming a book mean you didn’t read it? Should I have not reviewed the book then?

I personally think that skimming does not mean I didn’t read the book. No one knows every single detail that occurs in a book, so why does ignoring a sentence or two make a difference?

I give all books a fair chance regardless of anything, but if I can’t get through a page without falling asleep, I will most probably skim. I still read the book, I just don’t care about every. single. detail. 

However, to answer the person who commented on my review: skimming does not mean “not reading”. Here’s one definition of “skimming” that I found on Wikipedia:

Skimming is a process of speed reading that involves visually searching the sentences of a page for clues to meaning. For some people, this comes naturally, but is usually acquired by practice. Skimming is usually seen more in adults than in children. It is conducted at a higher rate (700 words per minute and above) than normal reading for comprehension (around 200-230 wpm), and results in lower comprehension rates, especially with information-rich reading material.

The only downside to skimming is the fact that it affects the comprehension rate. But as I said before, I only ever skim in situations where I don’t care what’s happening in the story.

Here’s my verdict:

I don’t think skimming is bad. I don’t think skimming means that you didn’t read the book. I don’t judge you if you tell me you skimmed a book, because it’s something I do as well. Everyone reads in their own way, and if you want to skim, go ahead.

What about you? What do you think? Did skimming not let me truly read the book? Let me know in the comments! 



  1. says

    First of all…WELCOME BACK!!! You were missed and hopefully things are okay. ♥ Who is this NO NAME person?? *rolls eyes* Gotta love that. Anyway, I will skim if the story has lost interest but I still want to finish it. *shrugs* With books like Outlander, you can’t skim or you will miss out on pertinent information and that’s why it’s taken me forever to get through them! And all the power to people that can speed read…I think that’s like a super power! *giggle-snort*

  2. says

    I didn’t even know you were having personal issues, I suck at being a blogger lately! I hope everything’s okay Marianne! I skim read too and I still counts that as reading. The book was still consumed and you still got the story. And the thing is, if the book didn’t engage you enough to skim it, you have every right to voice that out. That’s still on opinion about the book and that still tells readers something. If they don’t agree with your opinion because you skim then that’s their opinion to have but no one has the right to tell someone that she didn’t read the book just because you admit you skimmed out. At least you enough to be clear about that. And why not? There’s nothing wrong with skim reading!

    Great discussion Marianne! <3
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