Reading Habits…And How To Avoid Them

Posted: September 3, 2012 in Anecdotes, Literature/Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

Anyone who knows me is aware of the kind of sexual glee I get from all things literature and book-esque. But I have a wee confession to make: though I am a very passionate reader I have since come to realise that I am not as big a reader as I thought I was.

There is a difference. I am passionate about discourse materials and the stories they tell but my reading habits are a mite fickle. Where I’m lying I can look over at my bookshelf which currently houses somewhere between 150-160 books. There are also a few more dotted at various (perhaps strategic) points in my room.

Starting a new book, for me, is quite exciting. I go through that initial stage of “I am going to read you! I am going to read your dick right off your face!” (those things are related, right?) but for perhaps asinine reasons days swim by before I realise that I’ve only read a couple of chapters of said bizarrely-appendaged book. Said tome can lay dormant at the foot of my bed willing me to pry it open and carry on the story for a good stretch of time. Why am I just leaving it unopened after reading the beginning parts like some sort of tease?

Is the story boring? No! Is the writing trite or uninteresting? No way! Are the words too big or hard to understand? Niggah please! So what is it that’s causing this block whereby I enthusiastically begin the opening chapters before I almost forget about its existence for upwards of several weeks?

To me this isn’t the same as being a slow reader. I like to think I read at a decent pace; a pace that’s comfortable for me which is nice and balanced between taking in all the words steadily but making headway to keep the story going. So my problem isn’t that I struggle to read quick. It’s simply that I read in a sort of truncated fashion; I read in sporadic patterns with yawning gulfs of time between each sitting.

“I know I’m supposed to do something with this. But what?!”

And it causes me a certain amount of guilt. Largely because the world of literature is something I want to make part of my career. Not reading frequently enough while at the same time wanting to be a writer would be like not watching interviews with Chris Brown whilst having aspirations of becoming a frustrated husband. You just need to keep reminding yourself how others are doing it.

I blame technology. No, seriously I do. And this isn’t one of those wistful rants about nostalgia. Technology has done (and continues to do) amazing things and change our lives. Technology is what’s making my desire to be a writer more possible by the day. This very blog is just one example of that. Actually, scratch that! I blame technology and myself!

You see, such distractions like the Internet have given me (and millions of others) a sort of Brave New World style feeling of divorce from world and personal problems. Rent still not paid? Just a few more pictures of funny cats and I’ll be straight on it. Really? You’re already on the Internet…you could just, I don’t know, send the money to your landlord electronically. Seriously, it’ll take, like, five minutes. Those cats aren’t going anywhere.

So the technology may be there but I’m guilty of letting it enter my waking day (sometimes more) and consume all aspects of my home life. And now I inexplicably want to look at pictures of funny animals instead of reading. I have failed again!

What are your reading habits? Do you zoom through books like your eyes have a hidden agenda to make me look bad? Do tell!

Leave a comment

  1. Zen says:

    Technology does have a bad effect to some extent, but as you said, it’s pretty useful in different aspects! I don’t really have much time these days, so it usually takes me at least a week to read a book. Sometimes it may take me a month depending on how busy I am.

    • Andrew says:

      I would love to be able to read a book in a week. There was a time when a week or even a few days was average for me. If my internet ever did go down it would teach me a valuable lesson 🙂

  2. I try to read a book a week. It’s a habit I started 2 years ago. This works best if i read multiple books at the same time. I have written posts about my reading habits and my book selection process if you’d like more information about either go check it out, (sorry for the self-promotion, but I didn’t want to copy and paste the information).

    • Andrew says:

      Reading multiple books is worse for me. I have a copy of Dostoyevsky’s “Brother’s Karamazov” down the side of my bed that I’m only about three chapters into. Meanwhile I’m working my way through one or two other titles. My love of books is somehow off balanced by my sporadic reading pattern 🙂

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