Books and concentration

Hi all, hope it has been a positive weekend for you. Been lovely here in Sussex, except for the tragic events a few miles away in Shoreham. I am just curious to know if your reading habits have changed since your BI. I always had my head in a book before but cant honestly remember the last time I read a book, which is really sad. Not sure if it is fatigue, concentration or what but it just saddens me a bit. Hi to all newbies who joined us this week.

14 Replies

  • Just like you abi, I always had at least one book on the go, often two !

    Since the SAH though I've tried & failed so many times to get into reading that I've all-but given up trying. It seems to be a combination of failing eyesight, (cataracts), lack of concentration and fatigue. I have a good bar magnifier but it always feels too contrived compared to the old simplicity of picking up a book wherever/whenever.

    Yes, I'm aware of the 'Kindle' option but it simply doesn't have the appeal of the Waterstone's bookshelves or the organic feel of a paper book.

    Maybe this all adds up to simple laziness ! :x xx

  • Hi Abi

    Pre bi I always was reading. Still try to but can only read for a short time plus end up back reading to jog my memory.

    I have a kobo and find this is less self concious as no obe knows I am back reading. Plus my kobo has a suduko which although I find numbers a challenge I also find it can help concentration.

    I also tend to choose short books but still varied subjects.

    Pax x

  • Hi Abi

    Selective attention including blocking out all other distractions could be a problem so try reading in a quite place with no other distractions to see if that helps you.

    I have also had good reports from fellow BI sufferers about audio books. As well as hearing the book they can be very relaxing.

    Take care

  • Hi abi.

    Likewise I have always been a big reader and have problems since my BI. Initially I couldn't read anything because of double vision. Then after time when that settled it was fatigue that got in the way. Now 4 yrs on I can only read when there are absolutely no distractions or activity around me. I tend to do my reading in bed before I settle to try and sleep. However the memory is problematic as I don't tend to remember the story so far!! Yes also have to do some back tracking. Have also found myself re reading a book I have already read because I don't remember reading it at all! I know that I will have done because I always put read books in a different place to those yet to devour!

  • Abi-

    I always had at least one book on the go, last summer holiday, I read 27 books on my Kindle, and I don't know how many 'paper' books. Even before the aneurysm ruptured, I had the attention span of a squirrel with ADHD, but I was able to 'absorb' myself in a book. Now, not so much.

    I had my eyes tested last week, and they're fine, slight change from last time, but functionally fine. I think, for me, it's the 'overload'. I tried reading a few weeks after I came home from hospital, and the plot wouldn't 'stick' at first, I was having to go back and re-read. That seems to have resolved, and, as a chronic book-worm, I tried not to give up, but I'm profoundly distractable, and live with a musician with tinnitus, he ALWAYS has to have some 'background noise', we're like Jack Spratt and his wife in that regard, he can't stand 'silence', and, sitting here in what he would term 'silence', I can hear at least four different electrical appliances, and the drip of the rain from outside.

    I adore books, and the suspension of reality that can come with immersing myself in a really good story, but there isn't a 'quiet' room in the house, especially when the husband is here. I tried reading on my Kindle, with my earphones in, but the husband would invariably try to talk to the side of my head, despite the rather obvious "I'm doing something" signal of the headphones.

    I've been off work for five weeks now, and I've read one book. I've bagged up nearly all of my paper books, and taken them to the charity shop. The husband is away this week, so I don't have as much of the overload to deal with. I might have a go later, and see if I can curl up in a chair with a book, without waiting for "Have I got any clean socks?" interrupting me.

  • Hi Abi

    I read, but have gone from being a speed reader who read diagonally to having to read everything least!

    With fiction I have come to see this as a bonus in a way, since it means I can read the same book several times without getting bored before I understand I might have read it before. Cheap book club date am I! Sometimes it is a bit of an issue as I can't get past the first chapyer if the book is a hard read, simply becauseI can't assimilate enough info to make head ortail of chapter 2.

    I am also hoping to begin training after my op and I know that will be a challenge because stuff doesn't stick like it used to. Also reading, particuularly when trying to absorb stuff, is as you say very tiring. I think I might have to wing it at times....

  • Hi Abi

    I had the same problem too. I was half way through the final Game of Thrones book before my accident. I thought I could finish it in hospital, boy was I wrong.

    My OT suggested starting again with kids books, I wasn't keen on that idea. Then I went to a small comic convention and picked up a £1 my little pony comic (they aren't totally kiddie), I really enjoyed it. I then ended up reading the whole story arc (some 25 comics). I then moved to Harvey Quinn, Wolverine, Spiderman, Deadpool because they all appealed to me. Deadpool is great because his stories are between 4 and 7 comics which makes it easier to keep up. I now have 200 comics, lol.

    I told my OT about my new hobby and reading habits and she thought it was a great idea, because comics are visual and there is minimal writing it makes it easier to follow a story.

    That's not to say I remember them all, I often forget what I have read so have to flick through them again to jog my memory. But as someone else said I never get bored and I can read them again and again and not get bored.

    I am sure that reading comics helped me to read again, I can follow the stories and each one is short. I did end up finishing the Game of Thrones book, a year after the BI. I have also read the final Terry Pratchett adult disc world novel and am looking forward to reading his final Tiffany Aching book. At the moment I am reading another George RR Martin book (I just wish he would hurry up an finish the next GOT book).

  • PS: I'm 41 and now an avid comic geek, I love it ;)

  • Yes. I used to read lots of books, and I would always read before going to sleep. Now, it takes me months to read a book, and quite honestly, I haven't got the passion for it any more!

  • Ditto, 3 months in hospital and friends and family brought in so many books that I never got past the first chapters with.

    The newspaper is fine as the articles are bite sized but a book seems beyond me. On holiday I would take a book for each day I was away but now I take only one.

    I put it down to low concentration

  • hi I wouldn,t or couldn't of read a book due to concentration and pain but iv become a huge fan of audio books I still have to re play bits sometimes. and often if iv had a couple of seizures. but iv always loved books and its an old pastime that I can still do even though now I listen instead of actualy reading it still makes me happy.

  • I am still an avid reader of books but they take much longer to get through, back paging is a problem, as said by others e-books are good on two fronts as said nobody knows you're back pageing and it also proves it IS a memory issue and not just the book markfalling out and being put back in wrong place. Sub plots and sub, sub plots are also difficult to deal with now, I used to LOVE twisted plots but now tend to choose straight line novels.

    Really must try the audio books. Have an on;ine account for e-books with county library service so will see if that works for audio books as well.

    As an aside I find films and long dramas difficult as well due to concentration and memory issues so record them and watch in snippets but again often hitting rewind to find the last place that I can pick up story line.

    There is a bonus though the cost of book purchace has gone down because I can read the same book many times cause Ive already forgotten it by the time I get to the end... gold fish syndrome!

  • I used to love reading , especially true stories of well known people . But now I just can't concentrate , so all my piled up books are going to a charity shop .

  • Yup, I did that too. I have this morning literally just organised my room and the dust on my books is testament to the years of abandonment. Sad. I am keeping these ones though and hopefully one evening it will be quiet and I won`t be overcome by fatigue and can pick one up. Happy weekend, all

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