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Is there an expression or word that describes the action of reading a book very quickly or enthusiastically?

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  • 2
    Well, "speed reading" is the (teachable) skill of reading a text quickly while still maintaining reasonable comprehension.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 28, 2015 at 4:09
  • Yeah but I mean more as if you're extremely into/excited about a book and then read it very quickly because of that rather than as a skill. Dec 28, 2015 at 4:10
  • The reader perhaps "drank in" the book.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 28, 2015 at 4:11
  • sped through the book
    – Lambie
    Oct 17, 2023 at 15:01

6 Answers 6

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Devour could be the word:

devour

/dəˈvou(ə)r/

(verb, gerund or present participle: devouring)

read (something) quickly and eagerly. "she spent her evenings devouring the classics"

Source: Oxford Languages

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I'd suggest, gobble up

: to read rapidly or greedily

M-W

Conceptual Domains and the Acquisition of Metaphor

Table 4 (Continued)

E: The boy gobbled up the book

C: He read it in one whole--he read it--I’m not sure...gobbled up...

E: Do you know what gobbling means? Like when you gobble up food?

C: Yeah--but he couldn’t gobble up (laughs)--I don’t know, he’d have to have an operation (laughs)

E: So what was he doing if he was gobbling up the book?

C: Reading it

Yale

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"I couldn't put it down." This expression covers the "enthusiastically" part, but not necessarily the "quickly" part.

If you cannot put a book down, you are ​unable to ​stop ​reading it until you ​reach the end:

It was so ​exciting from the first ​page I couldn't put it down.

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Tear through (or tear into) might work, as in

He tore through (into) the entire collection of Hardy Boy mysteries.

American Heritage offers this example

To begin to do or eat something with great energy: tore into the meal.

Also lapped up is heard.

(I note that many of the offered answers use food analogies.)

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You could also say "The book was a real page-turner," meaning that it was so fascinating that you continued reading and turning the pages quickly.

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The term for reading a book quickly or skipping through a book reading only the parts that interest you is "skimming." To quickly flip through and read without worrying if you are understanding or grasping everything it is saying would be "skimming" also. If you have an assignment to read a book and you just flip through it randomly reading a sentence here and there to get an idea of what the content looks like you are "skimming" through the book.

The term for becoming so interested in a book to where you don't want to put it down is often said as "cover to cover," although some terms like "ate it up", "flew through it" are common also. So if you had "flew through" reading a book and the next day somebody asked if you read that same book, you might say "I sat down and read it cover to cover." Cover to cover implies the reader had a deep genuine interest in the book.

"Sucked right in to it" is common also, meaning the person is so engaged with the book and kind of off in a little world of their own, that they "got sucked right in to it."

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