Short Attention Span Readership


I am not reading enough.  I know that.

In spite of the fact that I’m just fresh (mostly) off of a week of vacation, I was still behind in my initial Goodreads goal of reading sixty books this year.  Up until yesterday morning, I was two books behind.

I fixed that. I changed the goal from reading sixty books this year to reading forty.

I am now eight books ahead of schedule.

I regret nothing.

Here’s the thing.  Part of my struggle is my choice of reading materials.

About a month ago, I went to the library and checked out these books:

Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz. I had started this series as audio books a few years back.  Since that time, the CD player in my truck has developed an appetite for discs and will not play, or return the discs. So, I got the book from the library. I finished reading Odd Thomas, and also read Forever Odd, which I own in paperback.  I want to finish the whole series.

The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy.  Honest confession, I don’t think I’ve ever read Clancy.  I did meet him in another life some twenty-five-ish years ago when I drove a Hollywood producer from DC to Clancy’s home on the Chesapeake Bay.  Also, honest confession, I haven’t started that one yet.

The Pillars of the Earth, the first in the Kingsbridge Series by Ken Follett.  I checked this out at the recommendation of several friends.  As of this writing, I’m about halfway through the book.  It’s a challenge.  In fact, it’s a bit of a task. The writing is brilliant, and I enjoy reading it.  But it’s one of those historical fiction books that spans years to tell the story.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s masterfully written.

It’s. Just. So. Long.

I don’t mind long books.  I’m a Tolkien fan, remember?  And yes, I was a fan long before the movies.  I don’t mind books that come in a series. In fact, I love books in a series.

I do grow weary of books that span years, unless they’re biographies, of which I also need to read more.

On a side note, I generally only read biographies of people who are already dead.

I started several years ago re-reading the Shannara series.  I’m all caught up with the exception of The Stiehl Asssassin which just came out in May of this year.  I’m cheap enough to wait for the paperback…and I have enough to read until that time.  This is another series that I hope will soon see an end.  It’s gone on too long and just needs to end.  Still, I will continue to read out of sheer stubbornness.

I did much the same with the Left Behind series years ago.  But I refused to go back and read the prequel to that series.

Back to Follett.  Like I said, I’m enjoying the book. It just slowed me down in my reading goal.  Toss a dozen scripts at me and I’ll be back on track.

But I don’t read just for the numbers.

I read because I enjoy it. I read because I can’t be a writer without being a reader.

Unless you think I’m a slacker by getting bogged down with The Pillars of the Earth, since the time I checked it out, I finished the two Odd Thomas books noted above. I also re-started The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, since I’m not quite sure I ever made it through all the books. I’m currently in the middle of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Sometime this year, I also plan to re-read The Lord of The Rings, because it’s time. And, I’m also due to re-read the Harry Potter series. Potter may wait for next summer’s week at the beach, because we are going.

Back to the point, if there was one.

I know I need to read more. I need to step away from the computer screen and pick up a book.  I even have the perfect chair in my office for doing so.

The chair also happens to be very conducive to napping.

When I can get the cat to move.

I wanted to read sixty books this year.  I managed to read fifty-one last year, so sixty seemed reasonable.

Halfway through the year, I am not admitting defeat.  I’m just adjusting for reality.

Reality that, with my theater and writing schedule, and oh yeah…the day job, I may not make it to sixty books.

The number is less important than the fact that I’m still reading.

Which is what I should be doing now.

Cover Photo by Janko Ferli on Unsplash
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    • Pam on July 8, 2019 at 9:39 am

    We all need to “adjust for reality” sometimes!! I enjoy your writings. They are so “real.”

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