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Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1)
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2013 Reads > OWM: How fast do you read?

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Matthew Anderson | 60 comments Hey everybody, can you guys do me a favor? When you start to read Old Man's War in January, can you please time yourself reading the first chapter? I want to see if I am losing the ability to concentrate when reading. I can't believe it has taken me over a month to read Neuromancer.


Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments I read Old Man's War very quickly a few years ago. Neuromancer took a lot longer. Heck, I'm still working on The Hobbit.

How fast I read a book depends on how much I enjoy it.


Willeyeoney | 20 comments It took me about 6 hours total reading time to finish the book (I couldn't wait and read it early) over a couple of days.
Some books are harder to digest though, maybe Neuromancer was one of those?


James | 17 comments I am what one would call a slow reader. When I read I read like I'm reading the story to someone, so I can only read as fast as I can talk. Most people talk at about 200 words per minute. The audio version of old man's war is 9 hrs and 58 mins. So if you spend an hour a day just reading to yourself you should finish in 10 days. Oh just one more thing, Neuromancer is marked at 10 hours and 30 minutes for the audiobook. I have friends that brag all the time, oh I read such and such in a day! But they have no life and I know they just sit down and read for hours straight. Good Luck and remember it doesnt matter how long you take, just as long as you are enjoying the time you spend with the book!


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Jim (kskryptonian) | 202 comments It takes me about 3 hours to read 400 pages, so depending on the book, an evening or the entire third shift is what it takes to get a book read. Now if you are talking audio, I always go at double speed. It makes @wilw sound normal and most other narrators less breathy.


message 6: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don McDonald (dmmacs) | 114 comments I finished my last book on Christmas day and started Old Man's war since I had purchased it when it was on sale in early December. I finished it today, so it took me about a week. I don't read fast but I've had this week off so I had more time than usual to read. I didn't track the reading time but I would say that I have 6-7 hours invested in reading.


ladymurmur | 148 comments I started OMW last night, and had every intention of timing my read of chapter 1 for you - but before I knew it, I blinked and was in chapter four already. So far it is a quick and easy read for me.

Perhaps this one just isn't your kind of book? I know the feeling, though. Friends keep recommending Jim Butcher's Codex Alera to me, over and over, but no matter how many times I try, I just cannot make it even 100 pages in - and I tend to be a fast reader. The book just doesn't click for me. Not all books speak to all readers. It happens.


Matthew Anderson | 60 comments ladymurmur wrote: "Perhaps this one just isn't your kind of book? I know the feeling, though. Friends keep recommending Jim Butcher's Codex Alera to me, over and over, but no matter how many times I try, I just cannot make it even 100 pages in - and I tend to be a fast reader. The book just doesn't click for me. Not all books speak to all readers. It happens. "

I've never read OMW before now, and tbh I got through chapter 1 faster than I expected. Maybe Neuromancer is just really dense.


message 9: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6784 comments Mod
Matthew wrote: "Maybe Neuromancer is just really dense. "

It is not an easy read. I read it in the 90s when it wasn't horribly dated yet. Most people I know reading it in the last few years for the first time don't seem to like the book at all.

I've always enjoyed/recommended Snow Crash more, but I've usually told people they really should read Neuromancer first to get a better appreciation for it.

I enjoyed it, but it's definitely not for everyone.


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Rick | 2792 comments Scalzi's writing is often compared to Heinlein and for met it's a good comparison in one respect - they both have a style that's easy to sink into and read. The sentence construction, word choice, etc don't get in the way. There's no lit tricks to impress other writers... they just tell a story in straightforward, involving language.

Gibson's prose is gorgeous and I love it... but it does require more attention to appreciate. I don't think it is hard to follow myself, but I've been reading SF for 40 years. For someone less used to SF tropes or who's in a state of mind where they just want to have the story carry them along, I can see it being harder.


Kirsten Bailey (klbailey) | 82 comments I didn't time myself reading this one, but I found it was a very quick read. I think the speed I read definitely changes depending on the subject matter. Some books just flow on easily, while others I really have to slow down and concentrate. This was an easy read as well as being reasonably short, so I got through it very quickly.


Lorenzo (digitaloz) | 12 comments I haven't finished Old Man's War yet, but I found myself in Ch. 5 without noticing. It certainly is a quick read.


message 13: by Nico (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nico (darkybald) | 30 comments If you want to learn how to boost your reading speed I can reccomend: Breakthrough Rapid Reading
I read a lot of books on this topic and I think this is one of the best to learn reading faster, not just by discribing the process, but giving lots of exercises and examples.


Nicholas Paveljack | 4 comments I was able to get throught the first chapter fairly quickly.


message 15: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John (johnbrock) | 33 comments I finished Old man's war in 2-3 days, but I had to sit and wait somewhere for a couple hours so that helped.


message 16: by Jim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jim | 43 comments I can't really say, I started reading it on the first, before I go to bed and I'm already a little over being half way through.


message 17: by Lena (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lena Fickle (unicronq) | 16 comments I've timed my reading before using short stories. I usually end up reading at between 110 and 120 words per minute. Some books I seem to get distracted from a lot easier, so it takes me longer to read them. It took me 2 months to read Dune. This book seems to hold my attention very well. It took me about 4 hours to read the first 6 chapters. The way I'm going, it might be the fastest book I've ever read.


Sandra (sandrabjork) Hey it took me about 15 minutes to read the first chapter.. dunno if that's good or bad though, but I reckon it's alright.


James | 17 comments Nico wrote: "If you want to learn how to boost your reading speed I can reccomend: Breakthrough Rapid Reading
I read a lot of books on this topic and I think this is one of the best to learn reading faster, not..."


I really don't want to speed read. I mean, you dont want to watch a movie at 2x speed do you? sure you will see the plot and get the story fine but you miss out on a lot. I'm sure when an author puts his/her hard work and time into a story they don't want people rushing through it. Fact, speed reading will lower your comprehension of that beautiful novel your reading.. everybody just chill and relax, read and enjoy the story! There will be no one yelling at you when you die that you read too slow! Everyone has a long list of 'I want to read' and you will never read every book in this world, so take your time and if the book isn't good just put it down and find something worthy of your time.


Lindsay | 593 comments I've been a book-a-day person for years. I read most normal-sized novels in 5-6 hours and most days I get 4-5 hours reading done. It's just how I like to unwind from a relatively high-stress job and I prefer reading to almost any other down-time activity.

People say to me that I must miss out on a lot and then I promptly turn around and demonstrate that I have a better memory for books I read a year ago than they have for a book they read last week.

Fast reading is not necessarily skimming. In some cases (like mine) it's simply practice. Also most formal methods of speed reading focus on comprehension rather than skimming techniques.


message 21: by Mapleson (new)

Mapleson | 94 comments I started and finished OMW yesterday. Total reading time was around 9 hours (read Chapter 1 and 2 at work during a smoke break and lunch = ~45 minutes). I wasn't reading especially fast, but I wasn't distracted at all (I even read through supper and until 2am last night). I just couldn't put it down!


message 22: by Josh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Josh Campbell (soupcan58) | 9 comments It took me about three days to finish the book, but it was only a bit each day. I think the grand total was seven or eight hours overall. If I didn't have a job to go to, I probably would've finished it in one day.


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Louise (louiseh87) | 352 comments Took me a couple of weeks (although probably only 4 reading sessions in total), but only because it didn't really grab me. I think I could probably have finished it in a few hours if I'd just sat down and read it.


James | 17 comments Matthew wrote: "Hey everybody, can you guys do me a favor? When you start to read Old Man's War in January, can you please time yourself reading the first chapter? I want to see if I am losing the ability to conce..."

just finished first chapter, my stop watch says i took 25 minutes and 17 seconds...


message 25: by John (new) - rated it 3 stars

John Wiswell | 86 comments Sandi wrote: "I read Old Man's War very quickly a few years ago. Neuromancer took a lot longer. Heck, I'm still working on The Hobbit.

How fast I read a book depends on how much I enjoy it."


My reading speed also varies wildly. One big factor is Fiction Vs. Non-Fiction. Non-fiction I tend to consume with much greater speed, especially on topics like Science or History where I can fill in logical gaps. Often I make the conclusion a writer is building to, whereas that only happens in uninventively plotted fiction.


message 26: by John (last edited Jan 07, 2013 07:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

John (agni4lisva) | 212 comments When I start OMW I will time how long it takes me to read the first chapter.

As a benchmark I have been reading a chapter of the Hobbit everyday, and have found that it takes me about 30 minutes to do so.

I agree that the important aspect is to be enjoying the time you spend reading. I don't have a lot of free time so usually read a chapter a day when I am letting my food go down after a meal. It might not be the best way to read fast, but I get to enjoy each chapter and it gives me something to look forward to. :-)


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Jim (kskryptonian) | 202 comments I audiobook'd this one and at double speed it took 1 night. That's unheard of in my addled brain, to not be distracted all the way to the end.


Willam Nations (tonynations) | 5 comments I finished Old Man's War in about three days. Then I had to start the next two. This is not my normal cup of tea I am more of a sword then a laser.


message 29: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Saul (jjsaul) | 16 comments This is a testament to how riveting the tale is, and to my flexible schedule, not to speed reading... but I started Old Man's War Tuesday afternoon and haven't been able to stop reading since. Just finished The Last Colony and am on my way up to the library to grab Zoe's Tale.

I'm going to have to read that on the elliptical, if I want to have any hope of lasting long enough to sign up for CDF.

Wonderful books, excellently plotted.


message 30: by John (new) - rated it 3 stars

John Wiswell | 86 comments I read the first chapter in about fifteen minutes, but I went back to savor how he discussed his wife.

The book has taken me an even week. I started it on the 3rd, and I'll finish it today on the 10th.


David (kelticdave) I'm two chapters away from finishing the first part of book. I'm on chapter five I've read about 20 pages each night since I bought the book of play books. currently on page 79 looking at the time I posted that I bought the book that's 6 days from when I bought it but if I was to add up the time I've put into reading it probably only been 8 hours at my best guess. I really like it though.


Katina French (thatdarnkat) | 48 comments I finished OMW in about 2 days. Then again, The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer took me almost three weeks to wade through--and I enjoyed it. It was just DENSE and intentionally hard to follow.

I'm with most everyone who says it depends a lot on the writing. Some books are meant to be "fast food" and some will force you to either savor it slowly or walk away.


message 33: by Elliot (last edited Jan 12, 2013 10:20AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elliot Jenner | 2 comments I started reading Old Man's War on Monday. I am now about a quarter of the way into Zoe's Tale, and I only read on the bus and at lunch. I predict I will be through Sagan Diaries and After The Coup by Wednesday.


message 34: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John (agni4lisva) | 212 comments Finally finished The Hobbit and started OMW earlier this week. Boy is it a page turner! First chapter took me 21 minutes.


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