Tag Archives: reading


My Books
by Jenn Calder

I have to admit that I am a terrible reader.  When I was a kid, I read a lot more.  These days, if I get through three or four books a year, that’s sort of a lot.  I’m pretty embarrassed to say so, and it makes me feel guilty on multiple levels.

First, as someone who claims to “write,” reading a lot of words sort of goes hand-in-hand with that activity.  When you are digesting a lot of words off the page, your brain works better when forming your own.  Someone like me, consequently, should probably be reading a lot more.

It also feels like a slight betrayal of the kid I used to be that had loads of books and nearly always carried one around in school.  I don’t think 13-year-old me would have predicted such a precipitous drop in reading.

One of the things that I’ve noticed about myself and reading, relative to others in my social circles, is that I am an EXTREMELY slow reader.  I can’t really explain it.  The way that I read, there is a performance of the material going on my head — different characters have different voices, the settings and conditions are completely fleshed out in my mind’s eye, and I pore over each word very carefully.  I’ve tried to speed myself up at times, but it doesn’t seem to work.  I don’t really know how to read faster.

Another issue that I’ve run into, particularly in the last 5-10 years, is that reading for any length of time seems to work like a sleeping pill on me.  The best chance I have to stay completely conscious while reading is to walk at the same time.  Every now and then, I do just that during lunch breaks at work.  But sit me down in a chair, even in the middle of a sunny day after I’ve had my regular compliment of coffee, and I will doze off within 20 or 30 minutes.  It’s hard to make a lot of progress in a book that way.

Is there some way that I can force myself to at least read more, if not better?  I sure do succomb to distraction easily, so I’d have to severely cut back on other available stimuli in order to make books the most appealing activity at my disposal.  Maybe audiobooks are the answer.  Some people feel like listening to books is not the same thing as reading them, but I figure if you’re absorbing the information, it’s all the same.

How long did it take you to read this?


The last couple nights I’ve had trouble getting right to sleep really early, so that I can get ‘plenty of rest.’ On Sunday night, I didn’t go to sleep until shortly after midnight, and last night I sat awake in bed until about 12:30. Last night I was going to archive some old emails over to the server, but I wound up reading them instead. I’ve said it before, but I’m repeating because it’s true: I was funnier in 2003. I started to lose it in 2004, and by 05, I was the dense, festering lump of flesh you see before you today. Not sure what happened there.

But I digress.

Point was that in spite of not getting what one could call a desirable amount of sleep, I was up before the alarm both days, ready to get moving at about 5:40. Yesterday, I didn’t even hit a wall later in the day or whatever.

But, I did notice this morning that I was a little groggy when I got off the bus, and I think it’s because I was reading. I don’t know about you, but any time it’s late and I can’t fall asleep, I just open a book, and unless it’s remarkably compelling, I will be out in under 10 pages. I’m pretty sure I was dealing with the same effect here.

So, no more reading on the bus on the way into work. Unless it’s just the paper (i.e., Internet). That’s still OK. Newspapers are short, relatively speaking.

Also, listening to Streaming soundtracks this morning, and the main title from E.T. is waaaaaaay too long.

I really don’t like that movie.

Home Base

I have a rare Saturday at home going on here… It’s going to let me catch up on “round the house”-type stuff. I did some modest cleaning downstairs this morning, and I’m going to move up after that.

Also, finally got a few decent pics from Opening Day and the Indians game up here. There’s only a couple handfuls, but they’re there.

I’ve been making a list of crap I need to shop for soon, too, and BASS ’06 is in there, but I don’t know when the hell I’ll have enough time to read it. I should really get rid of my TV. But at the same time, I was recently contemplating whether or not it would be worth the extra per-month charge to pick up some extra channels for watching baseball this summer.

Sigh. Who the hell knows? Either way, take care and have a productive weekend…