Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Reading, Movies and Self-Acceptance

So the past month or so with all of my television troubles, I've been in a bit of a funk.

Part of it was just the PITA factor of having a big unresolved problem to deal with, but there's also another nagging issue that's been eating at me.

When the television broke, I was sorta thinking that it would be a good opportunity for me to "simplify" a bit. Not that I wasn't planning on either fixing or replacing it, but I thought perhaps it would be a good opportunity to explore simpler kinds of entertainment like reading and listening to the radio.

Listening to the radio I actually found to be quite enjoyable, the problem is that other than music and mumbo-jumbo talk shows, there just isn't a lot of good programming out there on the radio these days! I did discover that I really liked listening to Monday Night Football, but that was about it.

Reading, on the other hand... Oy!

Now I know that this sorta falls into the category of simple living blasphemy, but the truth is that I just HATE to read.

OK... perhaps "hate" is a strong word, but reading is something that has been a life long struggle for me. I spent years in summer school and special reading classes, and honestly, none of it really helped. The basic conclusion of all of my teachers was that I was just lazy and not concentrating.

And, since anything other than academic excellence was really not an option in my family, that meant that I just had to push myself harder. Which I did.

But by the time I was in college the misery factor was getting pretty darned high.

I can recall many late nights when I had to lock myself into a closet-sized study room, and walk in small circles reading out loud to myself, just to have some hope of comprehending anything.

And don't EVEN get me started on those horrific microfilm machines! I'm sure some of you are too young to remember that particular form of torture, but basically, anything that was published in a journal was only available on microfilm.

And to find the right article you had to fast forward through the pages which would zip along from right to left causing a nausea disaster for anyone like me who happens to be sensitive to those sorts of issues.

More than once I had to stop and go puke in the bathroom because it was like motion sickness on steroids!

Over the years I've tried many times to get to a place where I could enjoy reading, and on occasion, when there's something that I really, really want to read, I have found that I can enjoy it, even though it still takes great effort. Still, it's more of a case of enjoying the information despite the fact that I had to suffer through the reading in order to get it, if that makes any sense.

I almost wonder if I might not have a mild case of dyslexia, or some sort of an eye-tracking problem, since I have terrible trouble keeping my place and almost always have to read with a piece of paper covering the lines below the one I'm reading, so that I don't skip lines or inadvertently end up back on the one that I just read.

This is why I prefer blogs where people separate their writing into paragraphs that are no more than 5-6 lines long, because otherwise, I just have a really hard time following it.

And this whole idea that good readers always talk about how they can somehow look at a page and magically divine the information without ever having to think about the words... well, I'm not saying that they're lying, but seriously, I can't even conceive of how that could be possible!

Honestly, even on my best days, reading is basically a process of reading aloud to myself in my head, and the comprehension simply does not occur until I can hear the words in my head.

Anyhow, here's the deal. I've spent nearly 5 decades on this planet so far, and I'm just getting really, REALLY tired of beating myself up over this issue. So I have decided to make peace with myself.

I'm not saying that I'm NEVER going to try to read another book, but I think I just need to drop the whole judgmental idea that people who read are somehow good and noble, and people who prefer to watch movies are just lazy good-for-nothin's!

And I'm also starting to think that perhaps instead of seeing my reading difficulties as some sort of a curse, or as evidence that something's wrong with me, perhaps I need to start to honor it as one of the things that allowed me to become the person that I am today.

After all, if I'd been a good reader, I might never have discovered other things that I dearly love, like music and sports.

And if I hadn't been so utterly miserable in college, I might not have ever had the guts to reject a more conventional life and to choose a simpler path.

OK! So there you have it. I think I may go lay on the couch and watch something on Netflix now... with No Shame!

So tell me, are you a book person or a movie person? Does any of this resonate for anybody else out there?


  1. Have you tried audio books? That might make all the difference. If you're not wired for reading, doesn't mean you have to forego books altogether. Ya writes just fine for a nonreader.

    1. I might try audio books. I have listened to a few and did really enjoy the experience - plus, sometimes CatMan reads to me, and I totally LOVE that. Perhaps next time there's something that sounds vaguely interesting I'll try to find an audio version.

    2. I second that. However there are good narrators that make the book good to listen to and others who don't. I don't know if there are places where readers are reviewed, but I'd check into it. However, a good story will overcome a mediocre reader. I just don't want you to try a recorded book and dismiss all of them because your first experiences weren't that good.

    3. You know... my mother did some volunteering at Books for the Blind for a while. She had a beautiful speaking voice and I'm sure she was quite good. But honestly, there's a tiny part of me that's terrified that I might accidentally run into her voice on an audio book, and that it would cause me to have some sort of an emotional meltdown! :-) Probably not likely... especially if they list who the reader is somewhere! :-)

    4. My friends who listen to these say that the best ones are read by multiple actors.

      Some are read by good readers or even the author (who is usually, but not always, fun to listen to).

      Some are read by computers, which most people find horrible (except one friend likes those for falling asleep to!), but you might like them better than reading them yourself.

      Libraries often have these. And there are various online book companies that sell these.

    5. Holy Moly! I think the computerized voice would be worse than reading it myself, but multiple actors could be great. I'll have to see what the library has. My bet is the selection would be limited, but you never know!

  2. I'm not really a movie person- I think I am put off by the time commitment involved- though I can easily spend that amount of time watching a few TV programmes back to back!

    I used to read a lot- trying to get back into the habit again now. I've found that my tastes have changed from fiction to non-fiction.

    I'm fairly sure I read aloud to myself in my head too- is there another way?!

    1. I'm chuckling about the time commitment comment since I've been trying to plow my way through Naomi Klein's Book "This Changes Everything" for about a year now! Of course, I'm not very consistent, and, to be honest, I've pretty much given up at this point.

      But that's the great thing about Netflix, you can just watch it in small chunks whenever you feel like it and it always remembers your place.

      And I'm delighted to know that I'm not the only person who reads aloud to themselves in their head. CatMan swears that when he reads he doesn't think about words - that he just absorbs entire sentences and sort of creates a movie in his head without being conscious of the words.

      That's what I was always told in reading class that I should be doing. They even had these crazy exercises where we were supposed to scan down the page in a cris-cross pattern. They said we should not pick out words, but that somehow the ideas would just make their way into your consciousness.

      For me it was sorta like listening to a conversation where you only catch about one out of every dozen words! I could usually figure out what general topic was being discussed, but that was about it!

    2. I suppose I do sometimes read in the scanning way, if I am looking for a particular bit of information...but if I want to actually absorb what the text is saying I need to read it aloud.

      Maybe I do the scanning thing when I read fiction/easier stuff too, as getting the general idea and making images in my head is ok for that stuff.

      I've always considered myself a fast and good reader (used to get through my library book allowance every week) so I don't think reading aloud to yourself is bad!

    3. I mean read it aloud in my head!

      Although I read somewhere that reading in your head wasn't a thing until a particular point in history- everyone used to read out loud..

      Having googled it, it might be a myth.. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/jul/29/featuresreviews.guardianreview27

    4. I suppose that's a good point... I'm sure people read differently for different situations. If I'm reading something technical I do have to literally say it out loud to be sure I'm actually getting it.

    5. Yes, I read different ways. I took a class in speed reading and mostly I hate it, but occasionally I remember to do it for newspapers and other mostly boring things that I don't have to absorb perfectly. Plus this one romance which had really horrible writing but an exciting plot.

      Mostly I read like you've heard where the words mostly disappear and I go right to the action--until there's a typo or something!

      But sometimes when the writing is amazing, what I call read-aloud quality, I will deliberately slow down to hear every word in my head, or if no one's around for me to bother, actually read it aloud to get every drop of enjoyment from it.

    6. Wow... that's fascinating - I mean that you find slowing down and getting every word a way to "get every drop of enjoyment out of it." I always sort of see that as a sign of failure... of course I'm usually doing it because if I don't, then I get the words all in the wrong order and it doesn't make any sense!

  3. Hi CatLady, thank you for this post - as a teacher, I'm so interested to hear of your experience and how frustrating reading has been for you.

    The teacher in me wishes I could go back and see how you were taught.

    I'm intrigued now to know about your writing process. Is that easier?

    I sometimes feel like I must be ADHD as I struggle to maintain the attention span to watch lots of movies. I read fast so I enjoy that. I can only handle movies if I've done everything else and got my head in the right place to sit still long enough.

    1. Wow... now that is fascinating. It never occurred to me that it would take effort to pay attention to a movie. I mean, on occasion I have trouble, especially if there are people speaking with difficult accents or something, or if the movie is subtitled, OY! But usually when I'm watching a movie it's like I sorta disappear, and I just become part of the story or something like that.

    2. Oh... and in terms of writing - well, I think it depends on what part of the process you're referring to. I actually enjoy writing because I think in words, so it's really just a process of writing down what's already in my head. But when it comes to spelling... well, thank GOD for spell checkers is all I have to say!

      I actually wrote a tongue and cheek post about my travails with spelling if you're curious:

  4. Have you tried listening to NPR? There are a wide variety of shows on there from serious (The BBC News Hour) to really fun (Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me). There are music shows, cooking shows, science shows, etc. And I'm sure there is a whole set of local ones for your area. This is pretty much all I listen to in the car and I also go on the computer and listen to pod casts which can also be downloaded.

    As far as reading, I am lucky that it is not a problem for me. However, I had an interesting discussion with my son once of which the conclusion was that hears sounds when he reads and doesn't form many pictures. He said he is very much an auditory person. That explained why I got so frustrated when I was trying to help him with an English assignment. I was seeing things I read and he was hearing them.

    1. Ooooo NPR, that's a great idea! Why didn't I think of that? I'll have to see if I can find it on my radio.

      And I think I am very much like your son... forming pictures in my head... not so much, but I always hear the words. I have a friend who's a good speller and she says she can see the words as they're supposed to be spelled in her head... this is mind boggling to me. For me, spelling is literally a process of saying the letters aloud in my head.

    2. If I glance at text, a misplaced apostrophe screams at me...stands out like a sore thumb! (Proof reading is definitely a situation where I skim stuff with minimal comprehension of the meaning).
      I find spelling by speaking the letters really hard, I have to write the word and it will either look right or wrong. I think this is because I learnt a lot of what I know about grammar, punctuation, spelling etc just by reading a lot, rather than learning the formal rules, so now I know what looks right, rather than always understanding why it is right!

      Wow, mega long sentence there...

    3. Besides public radio, you could also look into college stations.

    4. Ha! I'm a terrible proof reader. In fact, after I write a blog post or something I have to practically read it out loud one word at a time to make sure I wrote everything right... because otherwise I'll just see what I meant to write, which isn't always what I actually did write!

      And Debbie... college stations are also an interesting idea. I'm sure there must be some around here though I'm not familiar with any.

  5. I love reading - I was a torch-under-the-bedclothes kind of child (and that was after my parents installed an override switch on my bedroom light, so I couldn't turn it on again after I was supposed to be asleep). I find it sad that you missed out on this but hey, we're all different.

    I also hear the words in my head. I've tried to learn that speed-read scanning thing, but on the rare occasions when I think I've achieved it, I feel like I've missed out on something. 'Hearing' the words is part of the experience.

    I also love movies, but don't get to watch them as often as I'd like because my husband isn't really that into them. I also like hearing stories read aloud or, even better, told from memory (story telling is an old and almost-forgotten art. I'm delighted to find that it's alive and well in Wales. Now I just have to learn Welsh...) Basically, I love stories.

    1. Well, that is quite comforting that even a very good reader still hears the words in her head.

      You know, it's funny - as a small child I loved reading. It wasn't until about 5th or 6th grade when I started having trouble. It was like they just kept expecting you to read more and more at faster and faster paces, and I just couldn't keep up. It does make me wonder if part of my aversion to reading is an emotional reaction to all those years of being told that I wasn't good enough.

    2. Wow. Now you're reminding my of my first grad school roommate. She got a master's degree in English and couldn't stand reading at all after that. Finally she found that she could read children's books. Eventually she worked her way back up to grown-up books.

      There's also a thing called "learned helplessness" that I've often heard applied to math learning. This might have happened to you. I don't know much about out, but you could do research on it.

      I'm wondering if you would still like reading books at the 4th or 5th grade level. Some of them are awesome.

      Of course it's also okay to not be good at everything and to focus one what you're good at. You have so many options that you really don't have to make yourself read books. There are so many fabulous things to do and so many other ways to enjoy stories.

      I like the one where CatMan reads to you. I once had a boyfriend where we read aloud to each other, taking turns on the different chapters. It was great!

    3. Ha! I remember studying all about "learned helplessness" when I was a psychology major. I'm not sure that was my exact situation, but school certainly taught me to hate reading, not to love it.

      And don't EVEN get me started on Russian literature. I could never keep any of the characters straight because I couldn't pronounce the names. So it was sort of like reading a story where all the characters were named the same thing - "Long Unpronounceable Russian Word."

      CatMan and I did read the Harry Potter books, and I totally LOVED them. Of course, we read them in Spanish, so I'm not sure it's entirely the same thing. Actually, he did the reading and I looked up the words we didn't know. When we saw the movies I was quite disappointed to learn that the real name of those bad creatures was "Death Eaters." I thought the Spanish "Mortifagos" was much better!

  6. I'm a reader, and have been pretty much since the second grade (though as a I get older I'm liking TV and movies too). I read fast, and I usually remember most of it. It just works for me.

    I think different things make sense to different people.

    Numbers are my undoing. I can't do math in my head, and I have a terrible time remembering phone numbers.

    I also have to read things in order to retain them. If I just hear something it literally seems to go in one ear and out the other.

    I think everyone is wired just a little differently, so we all learn and process just a little differently. One way probably isn't better or worse than another, just different.

    At least you're good at sports and music! I got kicked out of piano lessons as a child, and I have the coordination of a train wreck, so sports are a special kind of hell for me. Reading was about ALL I did as a child.

    1. Ha! I think you and I must have completely opposite learning styles. I always felt like things just went in one eyeball and out the other. In fact, I did much better in class if I didn't take notes, because having to write everything down sorta distracted from being able to just listen and absorb it.

      And with math... well... I'm good at basic arithmetic, but once things got into the higher more complicated stuff I had trouble. But there again, I sorta think a bunch of my problem was reading the equations. It was like they expected you to just recognize these long complicated equations and know how to solve them... but for me it was just a jumble of numbers and parentheses. I was fine once I could break it down, but not being able to see those patterns made it hard to know where to start.

    2. You needed better math teachers. A good teacher will break long equations down in a systematic way with lots of repetition so it becomes obvious what to do. My experiences in upper level math classes was that many people had the problem that you're talking about and most of it came from the lack of training they got in lower level classes.

    3. Hmmmm... very interesting. I'm quite sure I had terrible math teachers. I only got as far as Algebra II/Trig before the emotional meltdowns every night just weren't worth it. But what I remember is that the teacher would say things like "Of course this is a bla, bla, bla, and you all remember how to solve that." And I'd be sitting there panicking thinking "wait... what? I don't remember any bla bla bla!"

  7. I think it comes down to different ways of learning. I learn visually, so reading is more natural for me. Even so, if I don't read fiction for a while, I do have to get back into the groove so to speak. At first, I have to make myself read slowly and I swear I feel like I'm just reading aloud to myself in my head, too! However, once I get going, it's a very much like Catman's experience. I love visually things in my head, especially characters.

    At the same time, It's very hard for me to process information in an auditory way. In college lectures, I had to take a lot of notes and I learned by re-reading my own notes. I can't pay attention at all to audio books! I always drift off.

    1. Ha! Like I was just saying to Danielle in the comment above, I'm the complete opposite. I can't understand things until I can hear them.

      So when you think, do you use words or is it just amorphous thoughts and pictures? I'm very tied to words... it's like there's a constant audio track in my head or something. Every once in a while I try to "think without language" and honestly, I find it nearly impossible. I do sometimes get a glimpse of "thoughts without words" but it's usually when I'm switching between languages or something... I'll be like "wait... what's the English word for those big dogs with yellow fur - I can see one in my head." But most of the time I've got a constant dialogue in my head.

    2. Ooh interesting...I definitely see pictures/remember images but I also have my inner monologue going at the same time...

      When I am writing something (like now!) my brain-voice reads it to me and I add punctuation to express the tone brain- voice is using...

      so, just now as I was writing, a random image of a mountain popped into my head- brain voice told me 'mount Snowden'...when the image first popped up I didn't know what it was..

      Must stop thinking about thinking now!

    3. Ha! Too much thinking about thinking will get you in real trouble! Seriously though, I do wonder how animals think... I mean, they can't use language... do you suppose they think sounds or pictures or what?

      I very seldom get images in my brain. I mean I can conjure them up if I need or want to, but it's not my normal state of being.

  8. I can't watch films and drama series without doing something else at the same time these days, even if it's something I really want to see. I get terribly restless just sitting still in front of the TV.

    But - give me a book that grabs me and I can sit as still as you like for as long as you like.

    I have no idea whether I read the words aloud in my head or not - I just tried to tell and I can't.

    If I really like a book I will read it fast right through, to learn how it turns out, then I will read it again more slowly to get the nuances. I would have gone completely mad decades ago if not for books, but I could easily get rid of my TV if I lived alone.

    Isn't it strange how very different from each other we all are?

    1. It is strange, and it really makes me wonder if the differences go beyond reading. Like there are fundamental differences in how we experience the world or something.

      You're now the second person to say that you have trouble focusing while watching TV or movies... hard for me to imagine. I suppose I sometimes get fidgety if it's a stupid show or if I'm trying to multi-task (like if I'm keeping an eye on the clock to check something in the oven) But usually I just melt into the story when I'm watching a film.

      Of course if it isn't well-made it makes me totally crazy! If there are continuity errors or something... like if there's a scene where they're cutting from one character to another and suddenly the dude's glass goes from being full to half empty - that will totally ruin it for me because I instantly become aware of the fact that I'm watching a movie and the illusion is destroyed.

  9. Thank you for admitting to some simple living blasphemy!

    I seem to be the opposite of you on this regard, I love to read and it always came easily to me. HOWEVER, and here comes my simple living blasphemy which I think may be hard for you to understand: I hate riding a bicycle. Hate it. My thighs get tired soooooooo quickly, if there's a climb higher than a speed bump I pretty much just have to get off the bike. Even when I've been in great shape otherwise (which I'm not at the moment), I really don't like it at all.

    I remember riding my bike to a job I had, it was ok getting there since it was mostly downhill. Going home though... I started dreading the end of the work day, since I knew I had to ride my bike home. :S

    It's too bad because it's a green and efficient mode of transportation, but it makes me so miserable that I've just decided I I'll make do without. And I really don't see the harm in you not reading much and I not riding a bike much.

    But I looove watching TV and Netflix (if there's something I want to watch) so we do have that in common! :D


    1. Wow... dreading the end of the work day because it means you have to get on your bike! I remember many days looking longingly outside at people walking or biking while I was stuck inside at a desk...

      Anyhow, I can sorta relate though, because I've never been very good at running. Not sure why, but it never came naturally to me.

      OK... I have more thoughts on this topic, but I've gotta run because CatMan just called and wants to go for a bike ride!!! And I'm not gonna turn down an opportunity to ride! :-)

    2. OK... so what I wanted to say before I had to interrupt myself to go for a bike ride, is that riding a bike uphill is NOT easy, and it's WAY more complicated than just gritting your teeth and pedaling harder. So much of it depends on what kind of bike you have, how heavy it is, what kind of gears & pedals, your position on the bike, you have to learn to manage your momentum, how fast to pedal at what speeds, yadda, yadda, yadda. Since we have so many hills here, lots of people have those electric assist bikes that have a motor to help you up the hills!

      Anyhow, my point is not to try to convince you to ride your bike, because I totally think we're all better off if we accept who we are and what we do and don't like. I just don't think you should feel bad about it, because even for people who make it look easy, it isn't!

  10. I am a book person *and* a movie person.

    I am saddened that reading sucks for you. You are such an amazing writer that I never would have guessed. And now I have to doubly thank you for reading and commenting on my blog posts! So double thanks to you!

    I think I make my paragraphs shorter than the average person does, so, whew! I only have trouble with really long paragraphs, but it makes sense that some people would find short paragraphs significantly easier to deal with than medium-sized ones.

    I learn best visually, so reading is good for me. And I prefer to learn independently rather than asking people questions, so again, reading is good for me. (My dad is a social learner all the way--he'd much, much rather learn by talking to someone than by reading something.)

    1. Ha! I think I'm like your dad. I drive CatMan crazy because I'm always asking him what the newspaper said about such and such (usually about the Broncos.) He's always like "what am I? Some sort of newspaper interpreter?" But if I whine long enough I can get him to give me a synopsis so I don't have to read it myself and sometimes he'll even read it to me, which I LOVE.

      But I do much better learning from a person than from a book because I need to ask questions along the way and make sure that I really understand, which you just can't do with a book.

  11. Argh! I hate it when I lost a comment! Trying Google Chrome now ...

    I think it is possible you may have a visual perceptual disorder--if you are curious, here's a link: http://www.advancedvisiontherapycenter.com/services/assessments/binocular_vision_assessment/visual_perception/

    You have long since aged out of the K-12 education system, so you wouldn't be eligible for OT services, but there are some optometrists who specialize in visual perception. The fact that you don't handle visual "clutter" well (i.e. long paragraphs), read with a piece of paper as a marker, and have difficulty remembering content are all indicators of this. Dyslexia is but one way in which the visual system can go awry.

    This is NOT my clinical area of expertise--I know just enough to be dangerous--but I thought I'd throw the thought out there for you.

    BTW--how did you pull off getting your degree??? I can't imagine how difficult that must have been. Instead of feeling like there is something "wrong" with you, I think you should applaud yourself for all that you have accomplished!

    Is reading music difficult for you?

    1. I have often wondered if I do have some sort of a visual "issue." Of course, it's also quite possible that it's largely emotional, since there was a HUGE amount of family pressure surrounding academic achievement.

      Interestingly enough, reading music is really easy for me. I learned to read music several years before I could read words, and it always just made complete intuitive sense to me because it's like a chart. Plus, the whole idea is that it's a visual representation of sounds not of thoughts, and you never had to worry about reading it fast, because you can't possibly need to read it faster than you can hear it, if that makes any sense!

      In terms of school, I was actually a very good student... like straight A's, high school class valedictorian - I graduated college summa cum laude (though I still can't spell it) & Phi Beta Kappa, yadda, yadda, yadda. But it was through sheer force of willpower, and steering clear of classes that involved a lot of reading.

      I also was really good at taking tests - I'd memorize things the night before the test, but I didn't really retain the information... probably why I was so bad at subjects that built on each other like math. CatMan and I joke about it all the time because he nearly flunked out of school, but everything he learned, he still knows. Me, on the other hand, I'd be hard pressed to tell you ANYTHING that I learned in school - especially if I "learned" it through reading.

      Don't know if you've read my "How I escaped from the Rat Race" series, but there are some posts there about my college experience. The short answer is that it all got a LOT easier when I became a music major, and started taking classes in art and photography! Spending hours in rehearsal, or in the ear training lab or darkroom was great fun, even though on some level I felt like it didn't really "count."

    2. Like I mentioned, this isn't really my area of clinical practice, but if I had a kid with problems similar to yours, I would send them to an experienced OT or optometrist to try to help them avoid some of the frustration you have experienced. Interesting about reading music being easy for you. As others have mentioned, we all have learning preferences--I am mainly a kinesthetic learner, followed by visual (I learn best by "doing") but I dabbled in band and choir and I like to hear music when I am trying to sight-read (so sometimes I am an auditory learner?).

      I am fascinated by how people's brains work differently. I did read your Rat Race posts and I think they make a lot of sense--you just needed to play to your strengths to be happy in your studies.

    3. Thanks Kris, At this point in life I think I'm just ready to accept that reading is not my thing. But I think having the visual issues straightened out would have been a godsend back when I was in school!

  12. No guilt! It's not worth it :) Enjoy those movies!

    My husband also hates to read. He struggled with it in school and has to really work at it, unlike me who has been reading effortlessly since I can remember. He didn't read any books the first few years we were together (which was bizarre to someone like me who is almost always reading something) but once he tried audiobooks, it became a whole new ballgame. Our library has an okay physical selection, but the best thing is that you can get the mp3 file sent right to your smartphone, or access other libraries that they "share" materials with. Janssen has a great list to get your wheels turning . . Bartimeaus was my favorite by far from this list.

    You might also like podcasts? Lots of suggestions in the comments here:

    1. Ooooo... interesting about the library sending MP3 files to your smartphone. To be perfectly honest I have no earthly idea how to listen to an MP3 file, but it can't be that hard, can it? Of course, I can't stand earbuds either... I consider them to be torture devices straight out of the Spanish Inquisition. But maybe I could play the files through the speakers on my computer...

      Anyhow, thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into it!

  13. I wouldn't beat myself up about not being a reader. Some of us are and some of us aren't. I read, a lot, but I also find myself watching programs based on books instead because it breaks things up. As for glancing at a page and being able to read the material without saying the words in my head, basically speed reading, yes I can do that and do on some occasions such as reading manuals but for pleasure I prefer to hear myself reading the words silently in my head.

    I'm curious didn't you say you read the Harry Potter books in Spanish, no less? Is it easier for you to comprehend the material in Spanish?

    Btw, I hated microfilm! Drove my eyes batty.

    1. Well... when I say that I read the Harry Potter books in Spanish, what I mean is that CatMan read them out loud in Spanish and I listened and looked up the words we didn't know. But that is an interesting point... I don't beat myself up when reading in Spanish because I would never expect myself to be able to do it quickly.

      And you're the second or third person to comment on the difference between speed reading and "normal" reading - I didn't realize there was a difference. I guess I just thought that you were supposed to do the speed reading thing. Hmmm...

      Maybe part of my problem is just that I associate reading with the pressure cooker of school... I always feel like I should be going faster. Hmmm....


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On older posts I've had to enable comment moderation to prevent spammers, so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up right away - unless you're just commenting for the sake of embedding a link, in which case I really wish you wouldn't waste your time or mine because I'll just delete it.

Thanks, and have a fabulous day!