The past few years, I’ve fallen away from reading. I don’t know a specific reason why, but I have a feeling that TV, Movies and Video Games really put a damper on things.
When I was in high school I was at any given time, reading anywhere from 3-5 books. I used to have people ask how I was able to read so many books at one time, and the simple fact is that it was easy. I didn’t have the distractions I have now. I didn’t have satellite TV, only had a Nintendo 64 which I didn’t play much of outside of Zelda: OOT. And I lived out in the country, my closest friend being 7 miles away. Books were how I escaped from life. They let me be something different. If I got bored with one book, I’d pick up another and read a few chapters in that before jumping back to the first book, then i’d throw a third into the mix, and then a fourth and a fifth. I’d finish all five within a few days of each other and then move right on to the next big batch.
When I look at my book shelves nowadays, I see a lot more graphic novels. Only the best of course; Fables, Y The Last Man, Jack of Fables, Transmetropolitan, A large portion of the Allan Moore library, Sin City (In two different prints), and various DC hero collections.
That could also be part of the reason my reading of standard form books has dropped off the edge. My attention level has dropped so low, that I can’t focus on reading a book for a very long period of time.
Fortunately, I’m back on the road to recovery. I read the Hunger Games trilogy within a couple of weeks, and I’m actually finding more and more books that are sucking me in more and more. I want to read more again. I made a trip to Half Price Books the other day and picked up some new books to help get me back into my old reading habits. A couple of Andy Sedaris books, a few Kurt Vonnegut books, and a Christopher Moore book. I’m also finishing up American Gods by Neil Gaiman right now.
I’ve got a lot lined up to read, I would really rather read than waste more time watching crap on Netflix anymore. I may have to put my subscription on hold for a couple of months so I can retrain myself to focus on reading things that will in turn help my own writing advance.
Learning to read is hard, learning to read again, can be a daunting task. I’ve got too many gadgets to distract my time, too many movies to stimulate my eye holes more than my brain, too much time that I’ve forgotten how to utilize.
It’s time for a change, it’s time to learn again.