Reading Recession

I’m a fairly avid reader. It started before gradeschool, took a break for much of elementary school and then returned with a passion at the start of high school. Fiction is pretty much all I read, and it’s predominately SciFi or Fantasy, with some Mystery/Thriller thrown in.

For nearly a decade now, I’ve been reading eBooks in addition to physBooks. I always have at least one of each that I am in the process of reading. The physBooks generally take me much longer to get through as I primarly read them in the bathroom while the eBooks get read in many other situations since they’re always at hand.

Lately, however, I’ve noticed that I’m making very little progress with either type. A glance at my aNobii profile (also in my sidebar) shows that I’ve been reading the current eBook since May 14th and the current physBook since April 5th. And I’ve got quite a bit left to read on each of them. To be fair, I’ve actually set the eBook aside for a little while while I read a short story, but that shouldn’t really have taken very long and I’ve yet to complete it after a few weeks.

The truth is that other factors have dramatically reduced the amount of time I spend reading. For the eBooks, the two biggest factors are Twitter and my new Bluetooth headphones. When I’m not catching up on Twitter (or tweeting), I’m often listening to a podcast or watching a movie on my iPhone. The “watching a movie” distraction also happened for a month or two when I first got the iPhone, and probably the iPod before that, so that may be a short-lived distraction. I suppose the same could be true for Twitter; time will tell.

For the physBooks it comes down to one simple factor: my current diet has dramatically reduced my available time for reading. I’ll let the implication of that statement stand on its own.

On the other hand, there is another factor that I suppose could be the real root cause, at least for the eBooks. I’m simply not that into either of the books I’m currently reading. I’m more than halfway through each of them and with most books I read that would mean that my reading would accellerate as I was drawn more and more into the stories. I’m not the kind of reader that abandons books easily — perhaps that’s a mistake?


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  1. #1 by Sarah on July 31, 2009 - 9:56 pm

    For some reason I find it hard to get into ebooks. I love the concept of it, but I hate that I can’t place it in my library when I’m done reading it.

    I am such a book snob.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..I really hope Iā€™m adopted. =-.


    • #2 by Ren on August 3, 2009 - 12:36 pm

      Sarah – I understand what you mean about not having the “real” book. On the other hand, I have been able to reference an eBook on-the-go later to check something, and that has been very nice. Plus, I recently sold 90% of my old books, so my desire to keep them in general has obviously changed. šŸ™‚


  2. #3 by Toben on August 1, 2009 - 2:51 pm

    I’m really surprised that your latest hard copy has been ongoing since 5/14 because it’s a Greg Baer book and he’s one of your faves. But the diet reference…yes, I relate to that as I also do most of my reading while on …. a diet. šŸ™‚


    • #4 by Ren on August 3, 2009 - 12:39 pm

      Toben – Actually, the Greg Bear book is my current eBook. I find some of the story lines to be fairly interesting, but others bore me. Thus, I tend to read it less often when I reach the boring story lines.


  3. #5 by whall on August 2, 2009 - 9:14 am

    Just wanted to comment that I liked the first part of your post but I have finished reading it yet. Might take me a while, too.


    • #6 by Ren on August 3, 2009 - 12:40 pm

      whall – Just wanted to let you know that I’ll finish reading your comment eventually.


  4. #7 by Kate on August 5, 2009 - 3:46 pm

    I used to practically eat books, I went through them so fast, but since I’ve lived on my own I can’t seem to concentrate long enough to read an entire novel. The books I do read, I take on in chunks — I’ll read a third of one book, put it down, read a third of another, put it down and start reading the first book again. I think a large part of my problem is that I read and write for a living, so the thought of reading outside work (even for pleasure) still seems laborious in some way.


    • #8 by Ren on August 7, 2009 - 11:04 am

      Kate – Working with computers all day at work doesn’t seem to stop me from doing the same at home. Then again, what I do with them in the two settings is often quite different. If I had to read books for work I can imagine I would be even less inclined to read them for pleasure.

      Of course, the unmentioned true culprits in my lack of reading are TiVo and Netflix, reducing to nearly zero the amount of leisure time when there’s nothing good to watch on TV.

      Now I wish I had a graph of my reading rate over my whole life. Could someone get on that?


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