Tag Archives: reading

Reading this past year, a reflection

Somehow I have read 52 books this year, as of when I started writing this post with 3 days left of the year (2022). I initially wanted to reflect on what I read this year, but I think I’m going to focus on the reading itself.

I never intended to read this much this year, as my goal was to read 24 books, but I kicked off the year with a 3 month Audible subscription, because the prices was too ridicilous, and I used their library of “included” books to read as much as I could in the beginning of the year. Which helped me remember that there are audiobooks at libraries, and they are available digitally these days.

I think it’s very relevant to add that at the end of last year (2021) I had discovered that my eyes preferred reading with a purple filter, and how much I’ve been struggling with reading my entire life, which was a lot to process. And this realization made it incredibly hard for me to read with my eyes so that’s where audiobooks came in. All the books read this year, 2022, except for one were audiobooks. And the one that wasn’t was just the last few poems of a poetry collection. I did try to start reading with me eyes a few times, with my purple overlay, and eventually with my purple glasses, but it was a bit too much strain. So I just kept slowly enjoying audiobooks instead. It wasn’t always intentional to read with my ears instead.

I just kept listening to books, while doing chores, while going to bed, while taking walk. This took a slight hit when I got my dog in May, because during our walks I needed to pay all attention to her, but eventually we settled into a routine which allowed me to listen to a book with one ear while still paying attention to and working with her. I’d use it when I went grocery shopping, and all in all it racked up a lot of minutes.

I think there’s something to be said here about finding out what works for you. Finding out if an audiobook is better, if a physical book is better, if an ereader is better. Do your eyes need accomodation? Do you need to listen at a higher or slower speed to pay attention? Etc etc. I didn’t realize for years, even while I was studying literature that I needed accomodation, or that those accomodations were even available to me.

It’s easy to expect or hope or believe that there’s some extra value in reading more books. I don’t necessarily think there is. Because I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you all the titles of the books I read in 2022, because I just kept reading and consuming. I might still remember if I’m reminded, in some cases I’ll have completely blanked, and need to re-read some of them because I legitimately don’t remember.

This coming year, it feels like I might be focusing on a few longer reads, especially with the help of audiobooks. Currently working my way through 18hrs of a great book, and I hope to be able to write a little something about it, or down the line connect it and another few books that have similar themes and talk about how they connect in my mind. This idea actually excites me, it’s like academic work of connecting pieces of texts and theory together, but without the academic pressure, and just doing it because of the pure joy of it.

As the new year has begun, I’ve also started reading text again, both with and without my new fancy colored lensed glasses,and I’m able to do it for short periods of time without too much strain, but also allow myself to rest when I feel like it’s enough. I’m also annotating books, which is so precious, because it’s allowing me to engage with the book in a different way, and hopefully, possibly connect it with other books in a more useful manner in the future.

Here’s hoping that this year ahead brings both writing, and reading, in ways I didn’t expect before. In ways I didn’t think I’d be able to get back to again.

And here’s hoping that you’re able to find a way to read that works for you and that you enjoy.

Struggling, with editing

While yes, it’s true that I’ve been struggling with life in general over the past two years, I’ve also been struggling when it comes to writing. Well, the writing part is usually fine, it’s the editing part that gets me.

An old friend of mine said that most of his blog posts are written and edited in his head before they end up on the page. I don’t think it was intentional as such, but he would just mull over it until soul and fingers screamed to put it all into words and on the page. If you know what you’re writing does that mean you don’t have to edit as much? That’s surely what it seemed like with him. I don’t know how much he edited after he wrote things but mostly he’d be done with it pretty quick.

I never quite understood that I had trouble reading, until I went to see an eye doctor for a stress test and they showed me colored overlays at the end of the test. Because I didn’t respond correctly to the overlays he concluded that I didn’t need any, but if I find they they help me I could of course buy some myself. Since then, this was in November 2021, I’ve had even more trouble reading, because I now know what it’s like to read without the struggles I’ve been having.

I went and bought myself some overlays, and they work great, I did some testing on my own and I was reading the same amount of pages in about 75% of the time. This was truly amazing. I was so happy! So excited to keep reading and such. But there was a few issues, this didn’t translate well to computer work and I’ve spent a lot of time looking for “overlay” solutions to the computer, software wise, but not been able to find anything that would work for me. And holding onto books while using the overlay works poorly with my painful hands, so I have to really take effort and read only for a short while before I get too annoyed.

This led me on to understanding that the best solution would be to have the color in my lenses, in the glasses I’m already using for focused work, but for that I need that prescription (I think, I’m too much of a spoonie to research it too much). So I drafted an email to them, as they had said I could come back if things felt different after I got my glasses in December. I’ve yet to send it though.

What does all of this have to do with editing? Well, part of editing is reading what you’ve already written, and that’s my biggest hurdle right now. It’s so uncomfortable to read it, because I know how much nicer it is without all the interference, that I can rarely get through my own written texts. So I have a lot that’s almost done, just needs some polish and I just can’t finish it because I lost the steam where I was just writing straight from my brain, and reading is uncomfortable so I just avoid the editing part. I publish things where it just pours out of me, or where I’ve used the crafting of each paragraph as a way to ground and stabilize myself.

I think two things will follow from here, I will send off that email tomorrow. And I will try to do writing where I’m focusing on crafting paragraphs about the thing that’s been mulling around my mind for a while. Maybe I’ll be able to write and publish more again because of it.

Books to read in the next year

I spent the evening going through my  “30 books to read before you turn 30”, since I now have a year to go. Why would I need to go through it though? Well, I wanted to figure out which books I had (very few), which were now public domain and likely available for free on Kindle or as Audiobooks through lovely Librevox, or which I should buy on the Kindle. And on the side of that I wanted to make my wishlist for the books I’ll buy on the Kindle.

A little over a week ago I received a Kindle from my boyfriend as an early birthday present, one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten. He had found it very impractical for me to always being 6-8 books when I came to visit, thus the Kindle. I agreed.
So this sparked my interest in reading again. Now, I’ve already been reading quite a lot for my classes in school, but felt that I’ve wanted to get back to reading outside of that again.

I realized, as I dove into War and Peace on the Kindle (free classic book!), and while I walked and listened to the Audiobook of the Mockingjay (thank you, Humble Bundle), that I wasn’t only consuming these two books, but I was juggling 5 books next to each other, without even accounting for the anthology and non-fiction for school, which would add up to 7 or 8 depending on how you count.

Anyways, my brain has been obsessed with books the past week and how to get back into reading, as well as how to consume these 30 or so books in the next year. Apparently I can process several books on the side of each other, in different formats (hard, ebook & audiobook) at the same time,which can be good and detrimental at the same time. I spent the night going through the list, and adding them appropriately into a spreadsheet, with colours and everything.  Now all that remains is to choose which of which I will be reading, that is the next step.

The below widget doesn’t actually represent the progress I’ve made on the list of books before 30, but it’s an indicator for me if I’m reading, and as long as I’m reading I’m not too fussed about which books. More updates will come.

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Marie has
read 8 books toward her goal of 32 books.