There’s No Such Thing as Casual Reading

At least not for me.

I checked out a book from the library the other day. I haven’t checked anything out since Spring Break because I can’t afford to spend homework time in a book. And, of course, I know I will. So, I’m reading this book and it feels nice to just sit and read for a change and it’s been so long…

My son came over while I was engrossed in reading to try to get me to do something with him/for him. I resisted and found myself getting snappy with him over having to stop. That’s when I remembered why and when I stopped seriously reading. It was when he was a little guy and I realized that I was capable of postponing all sorts of important things in order to just finish this chapter, which would lead to another chapter, which would lead to–well, I’m sure you get the idea. So, I stopped. Except for the occasional brief foray back.

One of my big ADD symptoms is difficulty with transitions. Stopping what I’m doing to do something else is really difficult for me. Much like little children often need a preparatory countdown (Ok, Johnny, we’re going to be leaving in 10 minutes, then 5, then 2, etc.) to ease the surprise of having to quickly change gears from playing to leaving, I need similar warning. My son and I have unofficially arranged something like this. I’m not sure he knows we do it.

But, I’m not sure it would work with reading.

Because I don’t read casually. My standard operating procedure with a book is to sit down and read it until it’s done. I devour books. It turns out that they devour me right back. I read quickly. So quickly it’s kinda ridiculous. Most books take a day for me to get through. Maybe two if I try to pace myself. So I’m effectively out of commission for two days if I get a new book.

It’s funny, a lot of people with ADD don’t read very well. In fact, I was reluctant to believe that I had ADD because I do read so well. Then I came across one book that mentioned that some of us, especially with inattentive type, use books, TV, and the internet as escapism in much the same way that others use dangerous, high adrenaline producing behaviors to get a rush and fire up our sluggish brains.

For me, reading is not casual and neither is my son.

I traded books for him because sometimes I know exactly where I should focus my attention.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mypajamadays
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 21:37:15

    It was crazy how much of my youngest daughter I see in this – she has the same intimate relationships with books as you do and has a terrible time switching gears when we need her to. It’s what makes her good at gymnastics. Focused. Organized. Good for you to see follow through on what is important to you. Your son will remember these moments.


    • Brook @2bdancing
      Jul 01, 2011 @ 22:14:01

      I’m still working on follow through. My son will now say something like, “mom, at 10:30 can we go do ______?” that way I am not quite so resistant. I have trouble starting things and then trouble stopping. It’s pretty darned annoying.


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