I am reading now Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre. It is so difficult to read that though it has been over a month since I began reading it, there still remain 700 pages to go.
Once I was trained to be a clinical psychologist. From the training I learned many things, and one of them is the importance of admission that you cannot understand the client. As a clinical psychologist's job is to listen to and understand their client, it may appear strange to say such a thing. However, as it often turns out, it is better to tell them that they are hard to understand than to leave it unsaid and go on as if there were no misunderstanding. So, I am willing to ask questions when I don't understand people in everyday conversations.
This attitude is the cause of my slow reading. The author, Jean-Paul Sartre, never writes a paragraph without making me wonder what he is talking about. So, when I have read a paragraph, I have to re-read it, only to move backward further to the one above it. This moving forward and backward often leads to successful interpretation (at least it seems so thus far), but it really takes up my time.
It has just been a year since my entrance into the graduate school of philosophy and it dawned on me that the students are much faster readers than I. But they don't seem to be in the habit of asking questions when reading. They are unfortunately accustomed to leaving the questions unasked. So, all they can have is a vague interpretation of the reading material. I, as confident as I am as a slow but ardent reader, often point out that there should be a better way of reading it, but they easily reject my opinion. Every time this happens, I remember that I decided not to be clinical psychologist because I was a bad listener. A bad listener only makes a bad reader. Give me a break. Sometimes I wonder whether I will be able to make a living as a philosopher. In any case, life goes on and Sartre is always there to be read, in a bad way.