I have discovered something very interesting in the last few days. You recall that I was gifted with a Kindle a few days ago, thanks to my darling daughter and her equally darling husband. After it was charged, I played with it to learn the basics of operation, then downloaded the books that TL had already downloaded to her own. I began reading, and now, five days later, I'm about half-way through my second book. This probably doesn't sound unusual to you, and for someone who was once an avid reader as I was my whole life, it wouldn't be. I read voraciously from the minute I learned to read until I was in my late 30's. Then I began to struggle with reading.
Now I need to digress for a bit of history ....
When I was in grad school I was 43 years old. I did my degree in one year, all 44 hours of it. It was taxing, but I was eager to get finished so I could move on to the next stage of my life. You see, I still had one child at home, a husband, and a job, so having school behind me meant I could have a more normal life. I had been in school (undergrad) for 6 years, and during that time there had been my two kids at home, then one leaving to go off to college, a step-daughter coming home for a few months with a husband and the first grandchild born during that time, plus all the normal goings-on of life.
It was an often chaotic home, and I learned to study with earphones and classical music to block out the commotion to be able to study. I had learned to be very focused and concise by eliminating reading anything that was superfluous. By the time I was in grad school, I was well-trained in this. It's a good thing, as I don't know I could have done the accelerated program otherwise. Read only what was essential, read it well, then read other things only when I had time, which was rare.
During this time, I did not read for pleasure. "Pleasure" was gone out of reading. Don't misunderstand, I still hungered and wanted to read. But I limited my reading to Reader's Digest, read cover to cover in one evening, usually. I found my studies to be fascinating and wished I could read more. I had taken a speed reading class in undergrad, and it helped a lot, but I still didn't read for pleasure. My pleasure at that period was was time spent with the family. Example: My daughter was a cheerleader in high school, and I went to games, studying during athletic play, stopping to watch my darling girl perform, then back to studying. I love sports, but I had to make a choice.
Out of grad school and employed in my field, I thought I'd get back to reading, but I found that I could no longer keep my focus attuned to reading a whole book. I could not read a whole chapter in a sitting! Sometimes, getting an entire page read was a task. I've been this way since. I've tried and tried to read, but the printed word was almost beyond me, as I would begin reading and then find my mind wandering off to laundry or vacuuming or gardening or....
In the last four years, I've been enjoying audio books, again with thanks to my sweet TL. She gave me a gift certificate at Cracker Barrel so while I was traveling I could rent audio books. I was afraid my attention would wander, but NO! I found myself slurping up audio books as fast as I could rent them! Since getting settled here, I've rented audio books at the pace of one or two a week.
In the ensuring time, I've talked with several others who have experienced similar paths, particularly during and following pursuit of upper levels of study. They have all said the same thing .... the pressure of copious amounts of reading alongside research, writing, etc., forced each of them to curtail pleasure reading. Several of them, like myself, have resorted to audio books. Don't misunderstand, audio books rock! I love that I can put a book in the CD player and clean house while I listen. Multitasking is great! But I've missed reading, putting my own inflections and being able to pause to ponder a point.
Are you getting the connection here?
Yes, I'm reading at a quick pace again, printed word, albeit, electronically printed! I'm reading WHOLE BOOKS with my own eyes again! I'm loving my Kindle! I honestly wasn't sure I would, mostly because of the problem of reading print, but I find I have to pretty much force myself to put it down every once in a while to do a task (or write a post on the blog!! LOL). I also find the "page" on the Kindle to be so crisp and clear that it is easier on the eyes than is the paper-printed page.
I'm once again reading avidly! It took almost 30 years to return to the written version, but here I am, and I'm crazy about it!