The Daily Inkling prompt today is ‘skimming it’. Not exactly what the prompt suggested, but a different slant on the idea.


You chose me for the cover, skimmed over the first impressions. Easy, you thought, undemanding, something to pick up for the beach. Just thumbing through, you never noticed someone had been here before, made notes in the margins. You never noticed the scorings and underlinings, the angry red marks. You read the blurb and thought you knew me cover to cover. When the plot twisted in a way you didn’t like, you gave up, posted a one star review and moved on.

I never had to read between the lines, I knew you from the word go, the inattentive and superficial kind, looking out for typos and plot holes, ignoring the poetry. You didn’t understand pathos or tragedy, not even drama. What you looked for was a thrill, a frisson of excitement; you weren’t interested in depth, in savouring nuance. Once the novelty was over you had no intention of revisiting the same pleasures. You think you were the one who ended it, closing the story decisively, putting me back on the shelf. You couldn’t see there was so much that went over your head. It wasn’t that you had lost the plot; you were never in it.

I see you sometimes, flipping idly through magazines, your attention span of the average goldfish tested to the limit, while I am clasped firmly in the hands of someone who has the sensitivity and patience to smooth out the dog ears and mend the tears, someone who doesn’t need a dictionary to get past, hello.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

10 thoughts on “Skip-reading”

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