turn pages quickly and read superficially and leisurely

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Senior Member

What word can be used to describe someone opening a book, turning pages quickly, reading superficially and leisurely, and soon putting it down, without specific purpose?

Browse a book?
Flip the pages of a book?

Thanks a lot.
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    Senior Member
    American English
    Perhaps "skimming the pages of a book." To do this, you would have to turn the pages quickly, so if you like "skim," I don't think you need "flip."

    You can also say that "he flipped through the book," but that doesn't indicate any reading – he could just be looking at the pictures or the type or the layout and margins and paper quality.


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Usually "browse" means to look through many books (at a library or at a bookstore), spending a minute or less on each book. That's meaning #3 in WR dictionary; to look in an unhurried way at goods for sale.

    But the WR dictionary also lists meaning #2 (to glance at or read parts of a book or magazine) as a meaning different from #3. Their example phrase for this is "browsed through the Sunday newspaper".

    So I think "browse a book" is okay, and "browsed through a book" is better.

    Thesaurus.com lists these synonyms for "browse" that could be used with "a book":

    look through, flip through, leaf through, skim, scan, skip through
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