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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > When Do You Not Read?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments The esteemed moderator Sally mentioned something a couple days back that stuck in my head and marinated like a fancy steak. She said something like she hasn't read much this summer because she's been doing other healthy things like yoga, gardening, and riding her bike. That got me thinking...when do you not read? When does reading just not do "it" for you and you engage in some other activity rather than force the issue?

Those stretches are pretty rare for me, honestly, but I can see their value. When circumstances (e.g. very busy traveling, like to a wedding, God help me) take me away from books for a couple days I return to reading with a renewed sense of gratitude. I find myself thanking the universe for books. However, I know some nights (and I imagine all dedicated readers know this feeling) that the words on the page and me are not clicking, so I respect the process enough to put down the book and do something else. I would say historically I've read less and less intensely in the summer but this hasn't been the case the last couple of summers in large part to the fact, I believe, that my kids are getting older and affording me more time to read.

What about you?

message 2: by Nuri (last edited Jul 20, 2009 01:55AM) (new)

Nuri (nools) | 538 comments I was thinking "finals season," but then I realized recreational reading actually goes up when I most need to be working for classes. I procrastinate. : /

I go to books for comfort/company a lot, so I guess I don't read when I'm most surrounded by people? For example, I never get a chance to read on retreats or when extracurricular activities peak. But those stints never last long. Introvert I am, I need a lot of me time, and much of me time is spent reading.

I don't think I've got a consistent seasonal pattern for less-intense reading, but if there is one, it's probably early fall, with welcome week preparations and all the busy running around in those impossibly densely-scheduled first weeks of the semester. And maybe I read more intensely in the spring and summer. Thinking about it now, the majority of the heaviest and most depressing books I've read fall around those seasons. I wonder why that is.

message 3: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments Um, when do I not read? Uh... when I'm sleeping? Oh, and of course when I'm diddling around on the puter, or having to spend time with the darn ol' family. Sheesh, if it weren't for them I'd just be a reading fool.

message 4: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) There are times that I devote solely for a marathon veg - back-to-back movies or tv series. Or I might go out to meet friends, shop, do errands. Other times, I'm often found playing an online text game - lots of writing and interaction of characters.

But since I bought my Kindle, I tote it everywhere with me. I read during commerical breaks, lulls at work, at lunch and especially during my commute. But if I'm not in the mood for reading, it's nap time. That's when I process what I've read or simply give my brain a break.

message 5: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17346 comments Mod
It's not that I don't want to read. I'd love to read and escape and feel good about finishing a book. But part of my misery right now is that I can't read for pleasure without huge heaps of guilt on my conscience. Be done, thesis!

message 6: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Oh, I get that. You know, though, reading out of your professional area may generate energy for when you do.

I remember talking like I wrote, too...all in academic talk. That sucked. I couldn't write a sentence without "the data suggest" in it.

message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (luvrdn) | 501 comments When having sex...

message 8: by Lori (new)

Lori I know alot of people do, but I don't read in the bathroom.

There. I've brought our discussion down back to poop. My job here is done.

message 9: by Randy (new)

Randy I'm a ciclical reader...when the mood hits me I can read 3-7 books in a couple of months but then on a dry period I may not read books for 2 months depending on job, gardening, canoeing, etc...

Don't think I read that often having sex though? Maybe right before or right after...

message 10: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17346 comments Mod
Lori, we've discussed that before, right? I don't read in the bathroom either - except the tub - because I don't spend enough time in there for it to be worthwhile.

That's 'cause we're girls, right?

message 11: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17346 comments Mod
Because it takes you a while to produce a poo, Sherri? or just because you like the privacy?

message 12: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Lori wrote: "I know alot of people do, but I don't read in the bathroom.

There. I've brought our discussion down back to poop. My job here is done."

Lori did her duty.

message 13: by Lori (new)

Lori Heh.

But you have to admit, that it is usually the guys who spend hours pooping. What IS that? Even Jake at a very young age starting dragging books in the bathroom, finding Waldo for an hour.

Either shit or get off the pot, eh?

message 14: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 347 comments I shit, get off the pot, then sit in the empty bathtub reading my book until I'm fit for human companionship again. It's a good happy place.

As for when I don't read? Primarily when I sleep. I have yet to find a way to retrieve the data that I upload during the nocturnal hours. I've also found that I read more when I have more obligations/responsibilities- I cram in a page here or there and my overall reading rate soars. It's when I have nothing to do that I can't seem to make my eyes focus on a page.

message 15: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 347 comments I used to read on my way home from school. I never ran into any poles or fences, but kids liked to toss sticks across my path to see if they could trip me up.

message 16: by Lori (last edited Jul 20, 2009 11:40AM) (new)

Lori Ewwwww, Larry, since you're hanging in the tub, I guess your poops smell like roses?

message 17: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments As kids, we read in the bathroom and everywhere else. Breakfast and lunch table were allowed, but I think the dinner table wasn't? But we all had our books in the room, waiting for the moment we could read them again.
I read and watch TV simultaneously. If my sister is over, we read, watch TV, and play Scrabble all at once. I have grown out of bringing a book into social situations...mostly...

I don't read when I'm hiking or skating or riding a horse or playing music or at work... so basically I don't navigate and read at the same time. Even books on tape can be a little distracting as far as I'm concerned...but I've missed exits because of music too, so I can't entirely blame books.

message 18: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17346 comments Mod
I used to read while walking to/from school too. I walked the same route from kindergarten until 11th grade, so I didn't need to see where the curbs were.

message 19: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Lori wrote: "Ewwwww, Larry, since you're hanging in the tub, I guess your poops smell like roses?"

That was Logan, Lori.

message 20: by Lori (new)

Lori Aw SHIT! :D

Sorry, Larry.

There are periods that others have mentioned that I don't seem to read hardly at all. I've never been able to figure out why, but I no longer worry about it, I now know it's just a stage and when I'm ready I'll be reading again.

I wish I could say it's because I'm just so busy with other things, and while that might be true in some cases especially in the summer, I'm usually just frittering away my time with nothing very productive!

Unless we count spending hours on the internet as productive? Well, speaking with other intelligent people is prodcutive methinks. But I also find that I can get off alot sooner than I do when it's quiet here, I just keep hitting refresh refresh, going to news thinking maybe SOMETHING happened in the last minute?

message 21: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 158 comments I used to read on the bus home from school and then still read walking up the hill to my friends house...her dad used to make fun of us all the time when he picked us up @ the bus stop.

message 22: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments I also used to read walking to & from school, and it got so bad that even when I didn't have a book I walked with my head down as if I did.

I remember very clearly one day my Mom actually teaching me how to walk with my head up so I could see where I was going, and it was sorta amazing that suddenly I could see the world. Pretty cool when you find yourself opening up your own little world to the bigger one. ;)

message 23: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I carry a book with me always in case I have to stand in line or something b/c standing in line without something to hide behind and focus on makes the social anxiety really unpleasant. And I've always got at least two books going (try to have one nonfiction and one fiction), but some days I won't read at all if I just feel like vegging visually w/dvds and stuff. I have a hard time reading w/any level of retention if there is noise around, including other people talking b/c I can't not listen. I definitely can't watch TV or listen to music while I read.

message 24: by Angie (new)

Angie (angabel) Sometimes I can listen to music while I read, if it's white music, or if the reading material isn't too rough.

I'm starting to enjoy reading the bathtub. I read in front of the computer, which is basically my way of multi-tasking. I don't read while on the road, because I get atrociously car-sick (although this has apparently gone away after being subjected to switch-backs for a year; still can't read, though). I haven't been able to read on a train or a plane, either, but I don't know why. I think I like people-watching too much. I have a hard time reading in public, but I'd like to break this once I move somewhere.

I also only read 18 books last year, primarily because I was teaching English.

message 25: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments It's funny you mention carrying a book with you tonight, Mindy. I was in a theater twenty minutes early and all I could think was "Fuck! I forgot my book!"

I entertained myself by sending texts instead.

message 26: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Sometimes, if I am feeling anxious and don't have a book, I will pretend to be texting someone so I look like I'm occupied and not freaking out about all the people I believe are staring at me and thinking how weird I am.


message 27: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherjoy) | 384 comments There are times, when despite the vast array of book choices, I feel as though there is nothing out there worth reading. The slump usually lasts about a day, then I get over it.

message 28: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (luvrdn) | 501 comments I have to admit this to some other adults.
I have been reading my teens books when I can't find anyhting to read. Dr Sigmundus, and Twilight were some interesting finds.

message 29: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherjoy) | 384 comments Michelle, I'm 24 and I love YA! So many judge the genre by series like Gossip Girl or something as equally hooky, but there are some jewels in the genre. You can't judge every genre by the ridiculous books that fall within it. If I did that, I wouldn't read adult fiction in attempt to avoid the Shopaholics and Nicholas Sparks of the group.

message 30: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments My wife and her friends reads YA books pretty much exclusively. I think she feels kind of weird about it, too.

message 31: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherjoy) | 384 comments :) Well, I'll read anything if it’s good. But more times than not, I prefer YA. The books tend to be well plotted, have excellent use of language, and brilliant character development. I hate pretentiousness, and enjoy the conciseness that the YA genre offers.

message 32: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (luvrdn) | 501 comments There is something to say for the creative plots and characters. Some of them do feel like they are missing depth,as with all genres, but there are some gems in there.

message 33: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherjoy) | 384 comments I think that Goosebumps is classified as children's fiction, Grade 3. Sorry, I used to work for a book store when I was in college, so I'm wierd about book classifications. Tough habit to break...

message 34: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17346 comments Mod
Do you teach ESL/EFL Angabel?

message 35: by smetchie (new)

smetchie | 4034 comments My best friend in grade school used to read while walking but I could never do it. She would read Archie comics on the way to my house, which was just across a courtyard. I would watch her coming, reading all the way. I thought she was so cool to be such a bookworm. I didn't get into reading until I was older...high school. Since then there has been only period of my life where I haven't read. That was for a few years when I smoked too much weed. During that time reading put me to sleep instantly :)

message 36: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (luvrdn) | 501 comments Are you sure it wasn't the weed? I could never smoke it because I would fall asleep and miss all the fun.

message 37: by smetchie (new)

smetchie | 4034 comments ummm yeah! it WAS the weed. That's why I couldn't read. (or watch tv or knit or write or really anything without falling asleep)

message 38: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments For all my attraction to intoxication, I never really liked pot. I was already paranoid, and being stoned just made it unbearable.

message 39: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) It's a much different kind of intoxication, Mindy (as I recall). Senses are heightened rather than dulled as they are with alcohol. And yeah -- pre-exisitng paranoia tends to get much worse (as I recall).

It's been very long since those days for me. I don't miss it at all.

message 40: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Lol, I remember the sensations, I just didn't like them! (Except with my best friend in high school (and only with her, and just in high school) b/c I was madly in love with her and felt safe with her and we would LAUGH so much when we were high.)

message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

We usually skipped the pot and went to the hash pipe instead. Didn't much care for it, so stuck with the alcohol.

message 42: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (luvrdn) | 501 comments My husband and I were feeling old, so he got some weed from a friend and we got high,trying to remember what it was like to be young I guess, this was about ten years ago because Chelsea was maybe six. I laugh to myself now because I turned into a crying, paranoid, mommy. I was like what if Chelsea neede me right now, I couldn't be of any use to her...boohoo.
I felt even older.

message 43: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Does anyone even use hash anymore? I never hear about it. But then I don't travel in those circles now.

message 44: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (luvrdn) | 501 comments What is hash? I thought it was made with cornbeef.

message 45: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Yup. That's right, Michelle. Uh huh.

message 47: by Angie (new)

Angie (angabel) Hash was pretty prevalent in India when I was there. It was crazy to listen to friends go, "see that hill over there? yeah that's where I get my stuff from, man... I know the dude who farms it."

message 48: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (luvrdn) | 501 comments Thanks Larry, reminds me of shrooms, I believe..I heard somewhere...maybe.

message 49: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Sauteed shrooms are the best.

I envy your time in India, Ang.

message 50: by Angie (new)

Angie (angabel) I can give you some of my scabies, if you want to recreate part of my experience. :P

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