Thread: The Mind's Eye
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
Katsunami
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The Mind's Eye

Since I've started eReading (again) last year, I've noticed that I've fallen into the trap of trying to read more, because books can be obtained faster, cheaper (many even free), and costing less space. This has caused me to read faster than I did earlier; my a few days ago, "cruising speed" was around 60 pages per hour, according to the Kindle's time per chapter estimate. When speed reading, I could (and can) go faster still.

However, for some time I was feeling as if I missed something I previously did not. Comprehending the stories was not a problem, but one thing was just "not there" anymore, which I realised a few days ago: an image in my mind. I could understand the story, but I couldn't "see" it anymore.

I'm one of those "graphical thinkers". If you explain something to me, I will form a clear picture before my mind's eye. When reading, previously I actually "saw" what I read, and this image is clear enough so that I can actually turn it around in 3D. (This is how I'm able to play blind chess, for example.)

Sometimes, I would actually do this: build a landscape according to the description, and then look at it in my mind's eye, at which time I would of course not read. Or, when reading R.A. Salvatore, looking at a one-on-one fight between Drizzt and Artemis Enteri in detail, "seeing" all the strokes and blocks and such. (For some important fights, he actually describes *each move*. Gotta love it: or not.)

It was this that I missed.

Therefore a few days ago, when starting the First King of Shannara book, I've decided to build the mental image of the world piece by piece (also using a printed map for the locations), and let my reading speed fall where it may. The Kindle's time estimate per chapter now comes down to a reading speed of 30-40 pages (pages, not screens) an hour now, which means I've decreased my speed by 33%-50%.

But it did work. I can "see" the story again as I could before. While a it's a lot slower, I like this much more.

How do you read: just the words and comprehension of the text, or do you meticulously build a mental image of the story, scenerey, characters and objects before your mind's eye?

I've read a year the former way, but I'm now back to the latter, as I was used to before (re)starting to eRead.
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