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Reading habits?

cjnolet profile image

I just found this article [1] and found it very interesting. First off, reading hasn’t always come easy for me. When I was a kid, even throughout grade school, I could only read things if I was interested enough to hyperfocus on it. Generally that was non fiction and computer programming books. Nowadays it’s still nonfiction but more about biographies, world history, philosophy, physics/mathematics, and computer tech books.

Anyways, I will say that even in the age of computers I have found that when I can hyperfocus so hard in a book that my mind gets in a flow not much different than that described by Tibetan monks, I not only retain what I’ve read, but it changes my whole world.

When I was a teen, I could never keep up readings for class and I often did bad in English only because of that. To me, the fact that I’ve always loved books so much even though I wasn’t good at reading until I went to college seems like more proof that when you try hard enough at something, you eventually persevere.

One thing I will say is that I’ve always been an inspirer and an energizer. I’ve been told by peers throughout my life that I carry with me an energy that spreads to others (usually in very positive ways). I attribute this to my hyperactivity and impulsivity. I also think these two traits, coupled with the failures I had throughout grade school, have turned me into a supreme learner- I get interested in something and I can learn quickly and hyperfocus until I’ve succeeded. Currently my hyperfocus is on fitness and health foods, something I knew nothing about before 6 months ago. Anyways, I digress. This article really stuck out to me and I wanted to share it with you all.

What reading habits do you guys have? Do you get lost in a great piece of fiction? Do you love nonfiction and tech manuals like me?


9 Replies

I enjoy reading more if I’m on my medication. I wish I could read just as well not on my medication. I’ve always was interested in non fiction. But recently my mom lent me a book called looking for me and I’m really enjoying it. She has lent me books a couple times before and them to I enjoyed them. It isn’t a hard read and I feel like it’s brake from life when reading fiction

cjnolet profile image
cjnolet in reply to Lovinit

Though I'm finding that my medication is certainly helping me with conversations with others, reducing my anxiety (from being scatterbrained with worry), and sitting down at work for longer periods before getting distracted, I will honestly say I think my ability to read is about the same whether I'm on or off the meds.

I’ve always been a terrible reader but as an adult, I have started to enjoy reading things I’m interested in. Even when I’m not interested in a subject, I’ve figured out a way to help me stay focused....highlighters! If I’m reading anything and I NEED to comprehend it, I always highlight things that stick out to me. If I haven’t highlighted anything for a few pages, I realize my mind has wondered elsewhere and I haven’t been paying attention, and I know exactly where to pick back up.

cjnolet profile image
cjnolet in reply to Halem1982

For me it's underlining, but I'm very similar in that I'll go a few paragraphs or even pages before I realize that, even though my eyes were reading letters and words on the page, my mind started wandering and I have absolutely no clue what I just read. It's the most frustrating when I'm being pressured to read something. If I truly love something that I'm reading, I'll go into a flow- but if I have to read a paper for school or work that I find boring, forget it.

I get engrossed or I fall asleep. Virtually no middle ground.

I lucked out in my education because my curiosity kept the material interesting; but even there, I had to find ways to work around the drowsiness that would hit the moment an equation got too complex to keep in my head. (Engineering and physics texts give no respect to the “rule of seven plus or minus two”.)

Most of the years since, it's been difficult to find time for concentrated reading: the best I seem to manage are fragmentary trips down the “Picky Weedia” rabbit hole.

cjnolet profile image
cjnolet in reply to HadEnuf

Oh gosh- I totally agree. If I'm engrossed in a book that's dense with proofs, algorithms, or pseudocode, I'll fall asleep before too long. I attribute my newfound love of math to the minds of people like Gilbert Strang, who work hard to demonstrate the visual aspects and solid understanding of concepts.

I’ve always liked books and reading. I attribute this to the fact that my mom used to read to me a lot when I was little. My mom said that my only complaint when they adopted my little sister was that she didn’t read to me anymore.

I mostly enjoy fantasy and sci-fi books. A couple of my favorite series are Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (if you don’t know what it’s about a) you must be a hermit and b) it’s about a boy who finds out he’s a wizard and goes to school to learn wizardry while repeatedly defeating the most evil wizard of all time until he finally defeats him for goodin the last book) and Maximum Ride by James Patterson (about a group of kids who have wings, thanks to a group of evil scientists, and flies around trying to survive while the main character grapples with her supposed destiny to save the world.)

Growing up I always liked books about sentient animals, that is animals with human level intelligence. My two favorite series in middle school were Warriors by an author whose name I can’t remember (about a wild band of house cats), and The Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Katheryn Lasky (About owls who get kidnapped as chicks, escape, find the legendary Guardians of Ga’Hoole, and save the world from an evil racist threat.)

cjnolet profile image
cjnolet in reply to happy_kitty

Funny enough, being a non-fiction guy, I've not read any of those, however I can say that I read with my 2 (and soon to be 3) children every single night. My oldest is 9 and now him and I go back and forth page for page. It's fun because we get to read some of the classics (mostly fiction) like Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, James in the Giant Peach, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Lemony Snicket's series, and Coraline.

It's nice to hear that you were read to a lot as a child. I was not. I picked up reading solely because I got addicted to problem-solving as a child and my curious mind could only find interest in tech manuals (since the internet wasn't around at that time).

Have you ever considered the Audible app? It's great and I've finished a few books already by listening to them while doing something else; exercising, shopping, driving, etc. I've never been one to sit down an read. I can only do that if I'm superduper interested, and 110% comfortable(which is hard being I can't sit still for very long without some part of my body getting numb or uncomfortable) 🙄 but the app is great and costs like $15 a month; 1 free book credit every 30 days too.

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