Forward-reading or Backward-reading?

Suppose you’re reading a book or article and you get to a sentence you don’t understand. Do you tend to keep reading, hoping it’ll be explained in the coming paragraphs, or do you tend to go back and reread the previous paragraphs assuming you’ve missed something?

  • Keep reading ahead
  • Go back and reread
  • Undecided
  • Rip book to shreds/ragequit article

0 voters

It depends on the book and the nature of the sentence. But since I think I’m more likely to either look back for an explanation or search online, I’ll vote “go back”.

Depends on the book and how tired I am. If I’m reading just before I go to sleep, I’ll go back and reread assuming I was too tired to get it the first time. In the beginning of an sf book with a new world, I’ll read ahead since I’ll eventually get more clues about what is going on. If it is a paper I’m reviewing, I’ll reread and knock points off for clarity.

I think it depends on the context. If it’s a person’s name I’m unfamiliar with or an abbreviation for which I don’t know the meaning, I’ll usually go back and check to see if I’ve missed something. But if it’s just something vaguely mysterious in a novel, I’ll keep reading.

I will first go back. If that doesn’t help, I keep going, sometimes context moving forward helps. If that doesn’t work, I will probably chuck it unless I am required to read it for some reason. So… all of the choices?