Friday, February 24, 2017

Thinking about reading

I have been thinking about my reading habits lately.  This is probably all the fault of a friend who has an interesting series on his blog about reading habits.

A few years ago I started recording books I completed (in whatever format-- traditional books, e-books, audio books) in the side-bar here just to get a sense of how much and what I read. I had a vague sense I was too scattered in my reading, left much unfinished, etc.  So recording it lets me notice things like, "Aha.  Too much children's literature lately.  Read something to stretch your vocabulary."  or, "History!  No history books lately.  That is exactly what I have been wanting!"

I am a multi-tasker, in life and in reading.  Perhaps that is my perfectionistic excuse for not focusing well enough, and when I don't remember content well, I can say, "Well, I did that on audio book while I pieced three quilts." Or, "I read it a chapter at a time over two years while I was finishing 17 other books, so I don't exactly remember how the author dealt with that theme."  Whatever the reason, this pattern of many and varied reading going all at once has stuck for all my adult life, to one extent or the other. Just as an example, here is what I'm in the middle of at the moment, placed in five categories for this Friday morning:

  1. Traditional books (with paper pages):  The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers; Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl by N. D. Wilson (And a whole stack on my bedside table waiting...)
  2. E-books on my kindle app: Power in Prayer by Andrew Murray; Morocco by Edith Wharton
  3. Audio books: When I sew or do housework, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  With the hubby in the car or in the evenings: The Grey King by Susan Cooper. When I am resting: Good Poems collected by Garrison Keillor.
  4. Read-alouds with the hubby: Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon; Dandelion Fire by N. D. Wilson
  5. Read-alouds with the eldest granddaughter: Little House in the Big Woods (for the second time).
On the face of it, that seems a bit ridiculous. Perhaps this is the fate of a TV-generation child who no longer has an attention span.  Or perhaps I was just built this way.  I guess the world and the kingdom need some of us who have noisy, cacophonous brains that go in a million directions all at once.  

How do you read, Gentle Reader?  


jlt said...

The same way you do. I have books of all types going at any one time. :). It helps me to have various types of books since I'm not home much and can listen to audio and read on my kindle app elsewhere. I usually have a devotional book or two that I read in the mornings, a paper fiction and non-fiction title, one or two eBooks, and an audiobook. My biggest difficulty are the popular library books that have to be returned before I can finish them. I either have to put them back on hold and read the rest at a later date, which is frustrating and fragmenting or, sometimes, never get back to them at all.

I need to be better disciplined in my reading life.


MagistraCarminum said...

I always feel the need for more discipline, too, Joy! But I am glad to know I am in good company!😀

Carolyn said...

Lately I've been mostly reading e-mails, spreadsheets, and Googled instructions. I tend toward the monogamous in my hobbies ... one project at a time in knitting, one book at a time in reading. I am listening to Two Years Before the Mast while knitting, and have just finished The Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales for a real, actual, printed book. Next up is River Ganseys, in the same genre. (Historical knitting non-fiction, anyone?) I am sloooowly working through C. S. Lewis' Poems, when I remember that I am doing so. And I abandoned Livy when the weather got good enough to ride my bike outdoors, say, April 2016?

How are we doing on our end of January resolutions? I have deleted Facebook from my tablet, which has done marvelously well for the 'less time on social media'.

MagistraCarminum said...

I suspect your focus is why you are so very accomplished in both your knitting and reading, Carolyn!

And I must say that I have have stuck with pretty pictures and posts about quilting and grandchildren, and also cut down my social media time. My reading has increased, as has my quilting productivity. :-)