Independent Writing from an Independent Mind

Open discussion about writing and reading

Tag Archives: reading

Do you feel the need to read anymore?

I have always loved to read. As a child I read books, magazines, encyclopaedias and even catalogues. And as I grow older I find that I still love to read as much as ever – if not more. But I have been noticing a disturbing trend. My attention span is waning.

This is an especially disturbing trend to me because I find that it is disrupting on of the most positive activities in my life. The hours and hours that I spent in rapt pleasure leisurely reading my way to slumber has given way to hours and hours in front of a computer screen only to go to bed unable to sleep and leave bed in the morning with a headache (which I refer to as “cyberburnout”). I never felt time was wasted with a book but I often feel guiltily uneasy about my time on the internet.

I have a theory that this is down to the amount of time I spent at the computer. There are so many interesting and compelling pages on the internet that I find myself skimming from page to page to page. I get lost surfing.

In the past when reading books my mind would wander as well but the meandering was stimulated by the information laid out or the story being told in the book. My imagination would get a work out. Now though when I read books I am feeling a disturbing trend. My mind wanders to other things often related to the book only as a starting point.

My feeling is that web surfing is having a negative impact on my attention span.

Or could this be from something else?

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How do you read?

Me?  A voracious reader? 

Some call me that but the truth of the matter is I read when I am at home, which is not often due to my social life and business activities.  But I have been working recently to become more efficient in my reading.  Of course, I am read up on the latest in speed reading courses and I do use the principles outlined in these courses to help me get even more reading done than normal.  But I think besides the amount of time available for reading I have a problem with the reading material itself.

For instance, I read for many reasons.  One important reason is research for my writing projects.  I also am a reviewer for so it is very important to get through this workload as well.  And just as important is the reading that I do for my own pleasure.  So damn!  I have one hell of a stack of books next to my bed.

I suppose if you were to take them out and count them you’d find 25% of the books are for research, 25% for my own pleasure and 50% for review.  But don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy them all!

So I have been asking myself if there is a system I can create so that I can spend more time with the books I read for my own curiosity.  If you know of one or if you think of one, let me know!