August 14th 2019

Today I went to bed a bit earlier than normal to read a chapter or two of the book I’m reading. Unfortunately, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy has really inconsistently lengthed chapters so two didn’t seem adequate because the second one was so short, but yet three was too long. And so I read two, as previously intended.

What I did though, to both slow myself down and increase my comprehension of what I was reading, was not read it at all. Instead, I spoke it. Which is like reading but in real life instead of in the imaginary world of inside your head. For some reason, I had the urge to read the words out loud. And it was weirdly enjoyable.

I do have a tendency to speed read books without really taking anything in, but Hitchhiker’s is such a joy to read that that seems like such a waste. I don’t even really like Science Fiction, but Hitchhiker’s is just fun. The playful, poetic, hyper-yet-pseudo-intelligent sentence construction makes it difficult to read out loud, but that only makes you slow down even further. Which prolongs enjoyment.

Speaking it out loud also, somehow, makes the book funnier. When I’m reading it in my head, although it is a very funny book, I rarely find myself laughing out loud. Maybe a brief appreciative nostril exhalation, but never a full on chuckle. Reading it our loud, though? I chuckled. At least twice.

Again, maybe that’s because I’m reading it slower, giving me more time to process the jokes, or maybe my muttered and mumbled delivery (my speak-reading is more under my breath than declarative) somehow makes the jokes funnier to me. It is usually Arthur Dent’s dry, sarcastic quips that make me chuckle, and that tone definitely resonates with me. My hunch though, is it’s the thing about slowing down. Stop rushing. Take your time.

Until tomorrow, time is an illusion, lunch time doubly so.


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