Reading & I

I am not fond of reading. I have known this since a long time ago. Literature was not my favorite subject. Despite that I tried to bring myself to enjoy 200+ paged books. For a time it seemed I might develop an interest but it did not work out. In addition to that, GCSE’s even put a restriction to how many words my articles should be composed of…that further reduced my attention span. A little while after that, I discovered I was not as averse to reading as I thought…as long as the material suited my taste…which was very rare.

Back in 8th grade, we had to read Pride and Prejudice as a literature assignment and like the majority of my class (which included everyone except two students), I could not bring myself to do it. As a last resort, our teacher provided us with a summarized version, which nicely fit in to one landscape A4 sheet, just so we can move on with the curriculum. After the final exams, as a result of summer vacation boredom, I bothered to read what was written on that sheet of paper. The words made me curious and I picked up the dust-covered book that was supposed to be finished during the school year. Pride and Prejudice fascinated me and tempted me to explore other fiction books. That was the start of the brief experiment where I tried to develop an interest in extra-curricular reading.

Then I was introduced to Harry Potter. Suffice it to say my interest peaked. I gobbled down the books going so far as reading both the first and second part in one night. And then I went back and re-read them as I waited for my copy of the fourth which I searched as if my life depended on it. Harry Potter easily became my favorite series and gave me the false idea that I was an avid reader.

Shortly after that, I came across books which drained all my enthusiasm for reading. I started leaving books unfinished or, for some, did not even manage to read past the first 3 pages. However, there still were some books that maintained my interest from prologue to epilogue but they were hard to come across. Shortly thereafter, a time came when I was deprived of all electronic forms of entertainment and so I returned to books again. During this period of deprivation, I was often seen holding a book in my hand whenever I was not occupied with school work. Then again, that period was not a memorable one so, perhaps, the motivation was something entirely different.

That obsession with books lasted less than 6 months after which I returned to pursue more visual forms entertainment. During this time, perhaps because I was saturated with almost 6 months worth of words, my attention span went down even further and I started reading the last 4-5 pages as soon as I was done with first 4-5 pages. This marked the end of the book for me.

It has been 6 years since that experience and I have learned that I am, by no means, an avid reader. I do not hate books; I just lack the passion and patience to complete them. However, if it is a book that holds my interest in the first 4-5 pages, I read it in record time. Also, when it comes to books with pictures, I read them in record time too. Which is why I am obsessed with comics.

A result of my onset of boredom as soon as I pick up something with more than 100 words back-to-back is my short attention span for articles and similar pieces of writing. Even though I write lengthy blog posts, when it comes to reading one, I am most likely to read the first paragraph and randomly read the rest, skipping about half of the article. Of course, it all depends if the first paragraph managed to captivate me. Often times, I come across articles on the internet which start off very interesting and remain interesting for the first few paragraphs, but somewhere near the middle it appears as if a timer goes off in my brain and I skip over the rest of the article.

Hence, 23 years later, I am absolutely certain that reading books is not something I am as fond of as I think…unless they are comics or fast-paced, moderately descriptive books which firmly take hold of the reader around the third page. When I think over this fact, I silently laugh at my habit of writing lengthy posts or articles and when I put myself in the reader’s position, I do not feel like completely reading any piece of my writing. Then I silently laugh again, shake my head, and search for my next electronic amusement.


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