Tuesday 6 August 2019

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How the Way I Read Affects What I Read

How the Way I Read Affects What I Read

How the Way I Read Affects What I Read

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I was going to talk to you today about the way I read - until I realised I've already posted about How My Imagination Takes Over When I Read. But what I didn't talk about is how the way I read affects what I read. Because while, yes, I love the stories, and the plot, and the characters of the books I read, what I love most is the reading experience.

For me, reading is like watching a movie, or being a telepathic ghost following the characters around. I see it all, hear it all, and even sometimes smell and taste and feel it all. That's what I want and expect when I pick up a book. I don't want anything else. And yet some books simply are just words on a page, and I really struggle.

For example, non-fiction. Unless I'm reading narrative non-fiction (which I never have because I've yet to come across one - other than Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, god, I need that book - that's told in a narrative style that fits the topics I'm interested in), it really is just words on a page. And I cannot read non-fiction unless I'm in the mood for it. I have to be able to deal with the fact I will simply be reading words on a page, something I don't really enjoy, in order to educate myself. While I've mostly loved the non-fiction books I've read, found them extremely empowering, etc., I have not enjoyed the reading experience. But there are certain things I need to educate myself on, being white and very privileged, and so when the right mood strikes, I will read non-fiction.

Graphic novels are really not for me at all. While I have liked the graphic novels I have read, I really bloody hated the reading experience. They just don’t work for me. My imagination does not take over, because there aren’t many words, and no descriptions - because there are images. Reading becomes literally sitting there reading words on a page, and, as I've said, I simply don’t enjoy that. The art might be gorgeous, sure, but the reading experience is entirely lacking for me. I don't want to have illustrations provided to show me everything, I want my imagination to fill it all in itself. And as gorgeous as the art may be, it never looks real, it looks like illustration. Plus, those illustrations don't move, they're static, and while that may sound really obvious, I have no interest in non-moving pictures when my imagination can do better. I have nothing against graphic novels, they're just not for me.

And it's similar with audiobooks. Someone else is reading, so they dictate the pace. They may be putting on voices. I can’t deal with it. I will work out my own voices, thank you. And I can’t listen to something while doing something else - even with music. What I’m doing, what I’m focusing on, drowns out audio, so I pay no attention at all. I would have to sit and only listen to the audiobook. If I’m doing that, then I can read a book, and have a better reading experience. I also read faster than people speak. (Saying that, I absolutely want to listen to the audiobook of Sadie by Courtney Summers - it's meant to be fantastic with the podcast sounding like an actual podcast, with the people interviewed, etc. I need that audiobook.)

So you would think that me, sitting with a book, reading away to my heart's content is the absolutely perfect reading experience for me - and it is. Until I come across a word I don't know, and then I'm completely thrown out of my movie. Sometimes, sometimes, I'm able to gather what the word means due to context, and so it's more like the movie gets stuck for a nanosecond and then carries on. But if I can't, the movie is gone, and I'm looking at this word I don't know that I can't translate into anything - especially if it's not in dialogue - and I have to look it up before I carry on. It can be a little frustrating, but it is what it is.

You may also like:

How My Imagination Takes Over When I Read How Blogging Has Changed My Reading The Kinds of Books I Won't Read

Over to you graphic
So what's your reading experience like? Does it affect what you read, or can you read whatever? Are there any formats of books you simply steer clear of? Let me know in the comments!

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1 comment:

  1. I agree - reading is definitely like watching a movie. I definitely can not do audiobooks a lot of the time. I focus a lot better when I'm seeing words versus hearing them. Great post!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian