Monday, September 16, 2013

The Age of the PVR

First of all I have to admit I'm not a huge football fan but last November my family went over to my a friend's house to watch the Canadian version of the Super Bowl. It's called the Grey Cup. Don't laugh, we did have Justin Beiber and Carly Rae Jepsen perform the half time show.

Anyway we got there expecting the game to be on, but instead our friend was PVRing it, so we could fast forward through the commercials. We don't have great commercials for the Grey Cup, so I thought okay, that's not a bad idea, but then we started watching the game. He'd fast forward the commercials, all the commentary, then eventually everything except the actually plays. So if you think about it, we watched the game in about twenty minutes. We went home and decided we didn't really like watching the game that way.

I don't like the commercials, but I like the commentary, I like the set up, the anticipation of the play. That's part of the game.

I have to admit I have skimmed a few books in my day. It's usually badly written books where I'm in a hurry to reach the end. But I've also skimmed popular books, because I'm so anxious to get to the end. I did this with the last Harry Potter book. Big mistake. I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have.  I've learned my lesson. If the book is good, I read every word, enjoy the build up, the anticipation. I've stopped reading my books, like I'm watching a show I've PVR'd.

How about you? Are you guilty of being a skimmer? Did you ever regret it?

8 comments:

Creepy Query Girl said...

Ooh, yes. But I also think there are some books that are so langorous in style, you can't help but drink in every word and others have a style that pushes you along, in a hurry to get to the next page. And then there are those books that you PVR because you aren't drawn in and really only want the highlights. Sad but true.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

LOL I can't imagine the experience is the same when you fast forward the games to just the plays. And yes, we need better commercials. Maybe more people would watch the Grey Cup if they did that. :D

Jolene Perry said...

SO FUNNY! I was just thinking about this the other day. I used to be a horrible skimmer. It was all about finding out what happened in the story next, and now I read almost as slow as I would if I was reading out loud, unless the book isn't that great or I'm in a rush and have a different kind of purpose.

Connie Keller said...

I'm not usually a skimmer. But if I'm reading while running the treadmill and come across a long, long digression about the setting, etc., I skip to the action.

Heidi Willis said...

Sometimes I DVR a Penn State game (about the only ones I watch) and by the time I get to watch it, it's late and I just want to hit the highlights so I know the score before I head to bed.

I hate those games. It's like I'm not really enjoying them at all. The best way to watch is with a table full of great food, hours with nothing but the TV and the family and a lot of our own commentary over theirs. In that way, we are more a part of the game rather than just reading a headline.

I always think about the great quote that we as writers should try not to write the parts that readers skip. :) No matter how good a book is, it's almost like the better it is, the more tempting it is to skip. The last 50 pages of a great book are torture for me to read slowly!

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Robyn Campbell said...

I admit to being a skimmer. Yeah, that's me! Those books that I thought would be great reads but in reality they turn out STINKO!! Ha.

The what cup?? *wink* *wink*

Melissa Marsh said...

The only time I skim is if I can't stand to read the book any longer, but I still want to find out how it ends. Perfect example: The Da Vinci Code. I literally threw that book against the wall, then picked it back up and skimmed through it to see how the plot was resolved.