How Do You Read?

Over the weekend I was involved in a fascinating discussion about how our minds process what we read. For years I’ve been obsessed with the concept of how splotches of ink on the page can transform me into a different world. It turns out that journey is not perceived the same way by everyone.

One of my friends shared a link to this article which talks about visualizing what we read.

Reading Brain

Okay everyone, when you read do you picture what is being described? In other words do you see an image in your mind?

I do picture things as I process the words. I think that is part of my issues of reading a book before seeing the movie: I already know what it should look like, and the director’s vision doesn’t always match mine.

Thinking about reading and assumptions that everyone else experiences it the same way made me realize there is another part of reading that everyone else might not encounter. When I read, I have an internal narrator: It is as if I have an audio book running as I turn the pages. In talking to several friends, I’ve learned that my narrator is unique. No one else seems to have one, at least based on my ridiculously small sample size.

About twenty years ago my typing skills had plateaued. I couldn’t seem to get past the 45 word-per-minute speed. It was during one of my practice sessions that I realized my narrator’s speed was slowing me down. After I taught myself to turn off my soundtrack, my speed increased dramatically.

Do you visualize what you are reading? or Am I the only one out there whose brain turns every book into an audiobook?

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