Reader Participation

I’ve made an astounding discovery!

I just recently learned that there are bloggers who read, read, read, and read lots of books and then blog about what they’ve read. Not only that, but there are challenges, read-a-thons, and group reads that encourage people to read various types of books and to review them.

This should not have been a surprise for me, but it actually was. Probably because until about a year ago I had stopped reading, at least reading new books. I would read my favorite books repeatedly; they were easier on the eyes but also easier on the brain, because I already knew what happened! :-)

I wrote about my reading problems in a comment to another blog, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned them here. The first time I was inpatient at a mental hospital I was prescribed a drug that blurred my vision and made it difficult for me to read very much at a time. I was able to do all right at my job (administrative assistant), but reading for pleasure was no long pleasurable.

Even when I was switched to another anti-psychotic, I was sleepy a lot (which made it difficult to read) and I had problems concentrating, especially after the ECT. Again, I couldn’t read much at a stretch,

this was me — lol

since I would either fall asleep or lose my place. Worst of all, sometimes I just couldn’t understand what I read. This was a horrible experience for a person who was best known all her life as “the one who always has her nose in a book.”

Then, in August 2011, I started this blog, and one of the first topics I found was the 30-Day Book Challenge. Each day there were questions about books I had read and answering the questions reminded me of how much I liked reading in the past. I started to read new books a little more often.

For Christmas I received a Kindle, and it was that which really turned the tide for me! The #1 reason I love my Kindle? I can change the font size! No longer am I dependent on the publishers to make a book easy on my eyes. No longer do I need to look for large-print versions. Kindle books are usually cheaper, too, and there is no shipping involved (i.e., no waiting! instant gratification!).

I started by reading virtually every Agatha Christie book available. I must admit that I had read many of them before; however, enough time had passed that I completely forgot “who dunnit.” The most interesting thing about reading so many of them back to back was that I began to see patterns and occasionally I made successful predictions about the conclusions. This happened just often enough for me to enjoy it; there were still plenty of surprise endings!

At the same time I was reading favorite books by other authors, but eventually I began to get bored, so I made a path into new territory — Dan Brown, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and a number of science-fiction authors. I also found some oddities — such as Nelly Bly’s 10 Days in an Insane Asylum — among Amazon’s free Kindle books. I’ve even started reading nonfiction — lately political books and science.

Now I am joining with other bloggers in reading and reviewing particular books or types of books. For example, the October group read for R.I.P. VII is The Graveyard Book. I have only read 2 chapters so far, but I could have read it all at once. It was hard to pull myself away from it! As part of the Classic Science Fiction Yahoo! Group I am reading Frankenstein, and I plan to read more Stephen King for R.I.P. also.

I’ve come across many, many other challenges and read-a-thons and I’m having a terrible time making myself NOT sign up for everything! I feel a bit of mania coming on — quite common this time of year. Another reason I like fall! lol

2 thoughts on “Reader Participation

  1. This is such a good article. I am so glad you have been able to once again find the joy in reading that I know, first hand, was once such an enjoyment and comfort to you. I particularly am thrilled to hear how much your Kindle is enhancing your enjoyment of the books you are reading. I find the size of the print on the computer to give much more flexibility to my reading. I think the size of the print is able to help give me more enjoyment when reading articles and stories of all types. Continue to enjoy.

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