March 21st, 2011

breaking bad

Making time to read

darkemerald (on dreamwidth) posts about loss of reading attention. I am very conscious that during the past couple of months, when I have been very stressed with leaving my job, my reading capacity has shriveled away. When I am stressed I can't concentrate, and story books and serious non-fiction are what disappear first. I still read poetry, and I also still read lots of online stuff, daft or serious, and watch television. When I am at my lowest ebb I play stupid computer games. I have been unhappy and stressed the past couple of weeks, though I am hoping it will ease up now, and my reading has kind of pipped off, and my writing too. I am hoping it comes back now.

emerald's questions in italic

Do you read books? In what formats?

I read books in paper, on Kindle, and listen to them on my i-pod.

How would you describe your relationship to reading?

It's all unsettled at the moment because the rhythm and pattern of my life has changed a lot recently, and I haven't adjusted to it. For example I used to listen to a lot of novels while I was walking to work and back. Working from home gives me opportunities to read but I haven't properly adjusted to them yet.

In the past reading has been my big thing, my solace and retreat. I read all through bringing up my kids. When I see people now that I used to know then they are all 'I remember how you would always be reading'.

When I was off sick with appendicitis and other stuff I found I couldn't read much then. It came back that time so I am confident it will come back this time.

How much do you read--hours per week, books per month, however you measure it?

It's just fallen off so much in the last couple of months that I can't even say any more. I read some of something every day.

When? Under what circumstances?

I read in the living room on the sofa. I read in the Supermarket waiting in the queue. I read in the bath. I read while I am doing the washing up with a book propped up. I read in a cafe. That kind of thing.

Is there something you specifically don't do to make time for reading?

No. I am weak and I just do what I feel like each moment. I do feel like reading quite a lot, generally.

Have you noticed a decline in attention--in the ability to sit and read? And if so, how do you deal with it?

I think the Kindle has exacerbated my magpie tendencies. Because I don't have to commit to taking a particular book with me when I go out, I have like a dozen on the go at once, which isn't very satisfactory. I think I may settle a bit with it when I get used to it.
breaking bad


Just watched University Challenge. My daughter met Jeremy Paxman the other day, with the producer of University Challenge. He talked to her about his daughter, who is studying Arabic. She asked for an autograph but all she had on her was the ticket to see True Grit. Because it was kind of small he signed it 'Paxo'. Cute, eh?