Multitasking whilst Reading

Those of you that have been following my reading progress, and I am sure there must be at least one person out there, hang on, no, I forgot my mother doesn’t blog anymore, so it is possible that I truly am talking to myself, will be pleased to know that I have finally finished Zola’s ‘The Fortune of the Rougons’. Not before time, I hear you say, and rightly so. This book has taken me an inordinate amount of time to get through, given its limited length. There are twenty books in this series, ‘The Rougon-Macquart Cycle’, and given the speed of progress thus far, I am looking forward to a finish sometime in early 2015. I may even throw a small celebratory shindig, to which you shall all be cordially invited.

I have been pondering the reason for my slow progress and I think that it comes down to my current limited ability to multitask, when one of those tasks is reading. When I was younger this never seemed a problem. I could do almost anything and read at the same time. I could read in the car, whilst watching television, whilst eating, whilst playing the guitar, whilst walking, like I say, pretty much anything. And I did.

Now though, it seems like a much larger chunk of my limited brain capacity is required to carry out individual tasks. I need to concentrate on things more directly. I guess the reading in a car as a child was easier. Reading whilst driving is apparently considered a pretty dangerous pastime, and not one I can comfortably consider, although I have been known to read in a traffic jam. I always find that the sound of irate drivers sounding their horns lets me know that the traffic has begun to move again. Pretty handy really, as it is shit boring looking at the arse of the car in front, just to see when it starts moving.

I am working on restoring my ‘reading multitasking skills’, but I am interested in other people’s views. Does it get harder to multitask as you get older, particularly when one of those tasks is reading? Is it just a temporary blip that can be overcome? I believe that it is. Finally, what weird and wonderful things can you do whilst reading? Can you read whilst riding a unicycle or taking a shower, for example? Let me know.

Reading Goals

So, I have been generally absent from posting here recently, other than the odd reblog. I have been pretty distracted of late, rather euphoric, and have been ignoring the blog almost entirely. My reading has also been rather slow, but I thought that I would return to the way of the blog, with a general update as to my current progress and goals.

I am still stuck on the three books I have been reading for a while, but intend to make some progress today, if possible. So currently trying to finish Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’, Zola’s ‘The Fortune of the Rougons’ and Stephen King’s ‘Joyland’. With  a bit of luck I will actually finish Homer this weekend and then be able to concentrate on the others during the week.

So what is next, you may ask? Probably you won’t, but I shall tell you anyway. I want to start on the next book in  Zola’s ‘Rougon-Macquart’ cycle, which in order of publishing, which is kind of the order that I am going to read these in is ‘The Kill’. As to other books, I am intending to take a look at the sonnets of Edna St Vincent Millay that have been recommended to me, and I am looking forward to experiencing.

So there it is. My altogether inadequate reading goals for the next few weeks.

Reading Habits

Following my post updating my reading progress a few days ago I received a very interesting comment from Charles, regarding the fact that I always seem to have a number of different books on the go at the same time.

This got me to wondering how others organise their reading.

Do you read one book at a time or multiple ones and if so is there any structure to it or just what you fancy at any given moment.

Reading more than one book at a time is just something that I seem to have always done, especially if one or more of the books is quite complicated, as in the case of one of my current reads, Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’.

I can often have five or six books that I am part way through. Sometimes I read a chapter of one, then a chapter of another and just flit back and forth. Strangely I don’t usually lose track of where I am and what is happening, although sometime I do find that it is easier to read a reasonable chunk of a particular book if the language is difficult. for example old English, or the style unusual, as it takes a little while to get to grips with.

Sometimes I find a particular book is more suitable for reading in the commercial breaks whilst watching television, the sort of book with lots of breaks in it, lots of small paragraphs, rather than pages and pages that are not broken up in anyway. For example ‘Joyland’ by Stephen King as opposed to Zola’s, ‘The Fortune of the Rougons’, another two of my current reads.

I also find that I like the variety and I can read whichever book suits my mood at the time. Usually I have different types of books going. One could be a classic, one fantasy, one modern literature, one thriller etc. Sometimes I do however have just a single book that I am reading. A lot depends on how complex it is and also my desire to get to the end of the book and find out what has happened.

So question time. How do you organise your reading matter? Do you tend to have more than one book on the go at the same time or do you start a book and read it to completion before starting the next.

Please comment and let me know what your reading habits. As always, I am eager to hear your views.

Reading progress

Only a short post today, but I promised myself I would write something before any original posts get completely swamped by the reblogs. My reading has been going quite slowly lately and I am still working my way through Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ and Raymond E Feist’s ‘Magician’s End’. Still waiting to start Zola’s ‘The Fortune of the Rougon’s’, and I have a few other books I am eager to get round to, including Alexander Pope’s ‘The Rape of the Lock’, but more on those later.

Even when the reading is going slowly, I still find myself buying more and more books. I think it is a kind of disease, but fortunately not one I feel I need to worry much about. Certainly it’s not one worth worrying the doctor about (the psychiatrist? Well maybe.) The only problem I have is finding the space to put these new acquisitions, since most of them are actual books, made of paper and all shiny and new. Either that or they are old and battered with the tell-tale marks of their exciting journey through time, from the moment they were published to their final resting place on my book shelves. Admittedly there is also the odd ebook (that I cannot get a hard copy of) that I read on the PC, since I have still not sunk to the depths of purchasing an actual kindle.

Well, there you have it. Like I said, little else to say today. Have a good day, I am off to read.