May 12, 2009

Writer's block?

Reader's block!
Sure, you may be able to read a paragraph or two, or maybe even a page, but you don't retain anything of what you just read or have the attention span and/or will to go on. This is common for those who have ADD, are in possession of garbage literature, or are just so exhausted from having to read so many books during school/college that reading anything else, even for pleasure, has become impossible. To those who love to read, this is worse than heart disease and cancer combined.

The cure for reader's block? Just read blogs, and you won't notice.

18 comments:

TosaGuy said...

Grad school did trip my reading circuit then my job lowered that circuit's amperage.

former law student said...

are in possession of garbage literature,I have a suggestion: I despaired as my bedside reading pile was getting higher and higher, but I just couldn't get into any of it. Then I stole the copy of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel that my wife had borrowed. Ali's event-filled life makes it a page turner 90% of the way -- it does drag a bit when she dwells on her political awakening in Holland -- but then it picks up again.

Bissage said...

I could barely force myself to skim that quote. Did I miss anything important?

former law student said...

Did I miss anything important?

Dunno.

"Reader's block" and "garbage literature" caught my eye.

rhhardin said...

I copy out into a notebook, word for word, difficult things I want to follow, just as a speed control.

The notebook itself is of no use.

Real notes go into the original book.

knox said...

This is how I feel if I try to read literary fiction nowadays. Don't get me wrong, I'm no snob--I read plenty of "genre" fiction.

But the Important crap that regularly wins the National Book Award and and like, is, well, crap. "House of Sand and Fog," I'm talking to you.

Beth said...

Once I stopped resisting the fact that I suddenly - really, almost overnight - needed glasses, I got over reader's block. I slowed down reading for two years because I actually couldn't read. On the computer, I could bump up the type, but not on the page, and I love the page.

Just get the damn glasses. It's all in the plan.

Beth said...

knox, good and interesting things happen in "genre" fiction. I love it.

MadisonMan said...

Beth, I need the bifocals, and just take my glasses off to read. I went so far as to have an eye exam, even, but still haven't gone glasses shopping.

Reader's Block seems to me code for I'm reading the wrong genre. But they don't want to admit it, so blame something else.

ElcubanitoKC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ElcubanitoKC said...

Maybe is not just the wrong genre per se, or the wrong book,but the wrong book at the wrong time. In the past two weeks, I was able to finish The Enchantress of Florence and Gods Behaving Badly, two completely different books from two completely different genres. However, I haven been having issues reading The Professor and the Madman, and yet, even as I have struggled a bit with it, I have been able to read dozens of pages at once, depending on the day. So, timing is also important, in some subconscious way, I guess.

ElcubanitoKC said...

I must also add, that for years, I read mostly non-fiction.

Frodo Potter said...

ElcubanitoKC, I recently read "The Professor and the Madman" and I urge you to dig back into it. You won’t regret it. There are some slow parts, but it is a fascinating and poignant story. The story of the OED is one that more people need to know about. If you like language and etymology, I might also suggest "The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-so-common Words" by Anu Garg. It’s a relatively short book, though it will take you a little longer to finish it if you do all the quizzes along the way.

I am stuck on about three books right now; I just can’t seem to finish any of them off. Like Knox, I don’t seem to have any problem with genre fiction. I also agree with Beth; vision problems can be a huge impediment.

Of course, I also spend too much time reading blogs. :-).

former law student said...

I just can’t seem to finish any of them off.

It's probably the books and not you. Unless it's fiction and you want to see how it comes out, why not cut your losses now? If you're reading for pleasure, and it's not pleasurable, why go on?

Divorce your books if your relationship is unsatisfactory.

John Lynch said...

It's OK to not finish books, or to put them down for a while. I often buy books and finish them years later. The time has to be right...

Books work for you. Feeling an obligation to an object is odd, if you think about it. If books make you feel guilty, like the eyes on the money in the Geico commercials, put them in storage or give them away. It's not worth it.

There's billions of books out there and you're never going to read any more than the tiniest fraction. Whether they're in your room or in a warehouse somewhere makes no difference.

Unless there's some sentimental reason to be attached to a particular book, it's just words on paper that can be replaced by another copy.

I tend to get rid of books once I've read them or have decided I'm never going to read them. It's a waste of scarce storage space. I need to get a Kindle or something similar.

TMink said...

I have ADD, but I never get reader's block. But then I love to read so I can pay attention when I do.

Trey

Synova said...

ADD? Since it's associated with hyper-focus (wherein a nuclear bomb could go off and you'd not notice if your nose was in a book) I doubt that it makes "reader's block" more common.

Not being able to read things that require attention is due to exhaustion or stress... but "garbage" literature is often the cure, because it's light and quick paced... unless by "garbage" the author means "Literature" as in "this is *good* for you" in which case I don't disagree.

Speaking of the ADD thing... my favorite author tells about her favorite bit of fan-mail... she got a letter that explained that the lady was in possession of her latest book and reading it while standing in line at the bank on lunch hour. When it got to be her turn she was informed that the bank had been robbed... and she hadn't noticed.

;-)

That wasn't me. But it could have been!

ElcubanitoKC said...

Frodo, I definitely plan on getting back to it as soon as possible. And thanks for the recommendation. I am getting "The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-so-common Words" this week. :D