Submitted by rodrigothomas_ t3_10br5xc in books

Hello friends!

How are you?

Yesterday I started to read ‘Project Hail Mary’ and I’m enjoying it, but I didn’t even notice until I ended the reading session in Bookly that I was reading at a slower pace than other books recently. Usually I read to 50-55 pages per hour and with Project Hail Mary I’m reading almost half of that pace, to 30-33 pages per hour.

Consequently, I deduced it was because of the scientific, physic and astronomic terms and explanations. And because English is not my native language.

Have this happened to you?

I know it’s not a competition, and again, I’m really enjoying the book. It just got me curious and wanted to discuss it with you.



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artsanchezg t1_j4c0hbn wrote

Obviously if the book uses complex words and you are not reading on your native language you will read slower than if it's a simpler book on the language you was born into. It kind of baffles me that you wonder if it's normal or not...


Weixbert t1_j4bleik wrote

Depending on your level and how much you are used to it, it is perfectly normal to read at a slower speed in your non-native languages.

I am reading at reduced speed when reading in english (about half).


sept_douleurs t1_j4bolup wrote

I’m super rusty now, but even when I was still actively studying French at the college level, it took me sometimes up to twice as long to read something in French as it would have taken me to read something in my native English. It’s normal and expected that you won’t read as fast in a second language as you will in your native language.


McBugger t1_j4bor89 wrote

It's normal for me


minimalist_coach t1_j4btzah wrote

My reading rate fluctuates between books. If there are a lot of unfamiliar words, scenes, names, or details, my reading slows so my brain can make sense of them. I can read a mystery set in a familiar city in recent years very quickly. It took me forever to get through the first book from the Wheel of Time series.


Jenniferinfl t1_j4bz4uf wrote

I read books at different speeds all the time.

I read Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh in a couple hours yesterday. But, I could only make it through around 30ish pages of War and Peace before my brain was tired.

I also read nonfiction a lot more slowly than regular fiction- though some literary fiction can be just as slow to read.

A lot of it is vocabulary familiarity or situational familiarity. If the characters are in a situation I've been in before or am familiar with, the reading is faster than if it's a completely foreign situation. It takes longer to conjure the image in my head if it's not a familiar image.

I try not to pay attention to page numbers while I'm reading because it takes me out of the book- but, yeah, sometimes I finish an hour of reading and I've knocked out 100 pages, sometimes just 20 pages if it's something really challenging.

All that is reading in my only language. I would imagine there'd be even more variation reading in a second language.


ThreeLivesInOne t1_j4c4mjt wrote

Totally normal. Every language you learn after around your first five years will take your brain longer to process, even though the difference will get smaller over time.


ruin-and-rising t1_j4ce935 wrote

I almost exclusively read in English, but it is not my native language and - same as you - I’m reading on a slightly slower pace than when reading in my native one. I think it’s completely normal to read slower if it’s not your native language. (Also shoutout to you for not seeing reading as a competition. I have to remind myself of that often enough when seeing others, mostly native speakers, flying through mindblowing amount of books.) As long as you have fun, everything is fine 😊


wizzarr t1_j4duogz wrote

Of course, I read in a foreign language and have difficulties, but progress is important every day. Try to mark "6 pages" and after those 6 you feel valid that you have read all the way with your whole brain. That's how you'll progress every month. 🤞


probablywrongbutmeh t1_j4e2bmr wrote

I loved this book but found it to drag at some points, especially relative to "The Martian"


DJYoue t1_j4fwjmi wrote

I read a page every 5 minutes in Chinese so I think you're doing alright!


rakshablack t1_j4h60ud wrote

No it's common it also happens with me when I am reading English or other language books or literature it takes time to understand the lines and content, context and true meaning and so on along with the reading of nonnative language itself takes time and sometimes it reduces overall impact of story/writing on me. But since my native language is what I grew up a reading, talking it's easy for reading and understanding so rate of reading is faster than that of non native language books


Independent_donkey08 t1_j4h81l8 wrote

Tl;dr: I guess it's normal to read a book in a foreign language a bit more slowly than usual, but personally I blame it on the book.

I can read a 500 pages book from cover to cover in, let's say, about 7h. This happens if the book is in my native language and it's overall simple, plain and entertaining. Obviously it takes me a little longer if I'm reading the said book in a foreign language because there's a higher chance to encounter words I need to check and idiomatic expressions I need to read twice to fully understand.

But if the 500 pages book is written in a more complex form, has deeper meanings I need to elaborate, its's about topics I don't really know and need to learn more about, and/or I'm not into it (sometimes it may happen just for a chapter or two, or it can be a book I want to read but I don't really like), obviously I need days or weeks to finish it, doesn't matter the language.


Berret01 t1_j4pi2lk wrote

My native language is Spanish but I'm far more proficient in English and it's Normal! I find myself reading way slower in Spanish. I noticed it when I made a Spanish file in a Pokemon game how much slower I was reading the text.