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Reading and Reading Alone

Musing Mondays2

Do you read books while you…
…eat? … bathe?… watch movies or tv?… listen to music?… While you’re on the computer?

How interesting that the moderator probably is not aware that she asked exactly the same question on exactly the same day one year ago. Last year’s question read:

Do you – or are you even able – to do other things while you read? Do you knit, hold a conversation, keep an eye on the TV? Anything?

My answer hasn’t changed much compared to last year’s. I prefer to read in a quiet environment, free of distraction, and interruptions. The indomitable desire to read motivates me to wake up early in the morning–at least two hours of reading done before work. Obviously there are readers who can manage stunts like knitting and bathing simultaneously, talents that I honestly lack and am not craving after. Conversations at the coffee shop where I read could impede my concentration, but usually I survive as long as people keep their voices down. On rare occasions I get carried away by engaging in conversations with friends over breakfast. It’s most compatible to have a companion who also reads, and with whom to share a passage, reciprocating thoughts and comments over respective reading over long intervals. Music is preferably instrumental, and the distraction from television is so criminal that should be avoided at all possible cost and effort. If there is one thing that is worst than telly, that would be the computer/internet. I’ve seen people’s reading punctuated by textings, surfing social network sites, and end up not getting any reading done.

11 Responses

  1. I’m distracted fairly easily as well, so I try to read in a quiet area or while listening to instrumental music. Even the dullest conversation in a cafe can steal my attention.

  2. I love the background noise of the Tv or music..I don’t find it a distraction but just the opposite.
    I think it is genetic.

  3. I eat, drink, and listen to soft music when I read. Check out my full answer for this week’s Monday Musing.

  4. I read anywhere and everywhere…multi-tasking is a skill of mine. Alot of it is with the audio, granted, but I listen while I am cooking, mowing, cleaning, driving, and going my hair (sometimes even in the shower, with my iPod plugged into the boom box, if things are exciting). I do read doing my hair as well, work out with a book, and I bathe with my books. I’ve not lost one yet.

  5. This seems to be a pretty popular question, lately. I think it was a BTT one a while back. I tend to read anywhere and everywhere, making a quiet place and time not always a requirement.

  6. I prefer a distraction free environment also. In a way I am lucky that I am Deaf and don’t have to listen to any noise. However if i put my hearing aids in I cant concentrate at all. I too lack the skill of multitasking. I am glad to see I am not alone.

  7. I mainly read on the train while i listen to my music, so i have the combined noise of train and music but i find i can still concetrate on what im reading. I do sometimes read with the tv on but that is a lot more distracting.

  8. I require a distraction free environment for reading. Cognitive double tasking is not something I accomplish well. Occasionally, I’ll listen to instrumental music as I read, but 90% of the time I prefer silence. I’m a very figity reader, so I do get up at intervals for a few minutes before I return to the text. I do love to read in the presence of other readers. The local library is an excellent environment for this, though I don’t go there often. When I do go, I pull a book from the stacks and savor the shared experience and the silence. It can be very pleasant.

  9. I read while watching TV and listening to music — though the music needs to be instrumental. I think of the TV humming in the background as white noise, and it allows me to read quite a bit of a book.

  10. It seems I always have a book with me. In fact, if I ever fall and cannot get up, there’s a book within reach of the floor in every room.

    I read on the train in the morning and evening, and I’ve almost missed my stop a few times, because I was so engaged in what I was reading.

    In spite of my success studying to techno music in college, I find that I prefer relaxing instrumental music to read by in my 40s.

    I’ve never been very good at trying to balance books while I eat. I usually finish quickly, so I can put the book down. I’m more apt to eat while on the computer or watching a movie on TV.

    My favorite place to read is on my bed, with extra pillows, a duvet, scented candle, and the tinkle of the wind chime outside my window.

  11. I simply cannot read with the television on or where I can hear conversations, it has always been impossible for me. When I used to visit my brother in California it would drive me nuts because he would watch television loudly in the other room and I couldn’t concentrate on a book unless I went to the other part of the house and closed the door.

    I am a musician by profession so it is also impossible for me to read and listen to any kind of music. I will always tune out the words and pay attention to the music.

    Having said that, I love to read on the NYC subway. All that racket I can tune out. Go figure!

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