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Old 01-28-2013, 06:51 PM   #31
crich70
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I'd say listen to instrumental music of some sort. Something soothing like some classical or maybe a recording of the sound of the ocean. I can easily lose myself in a book for hrs. When I was in high school I'd have a book to read for study hall and would have to remember to look up now and then to be sure I hadn't failed to hear the bell for the end of the period.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:01 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
I have had times when it is difficult to concentrate on my reading. Using a larger font can help, because I have to turn the page more. I get part of the text read and put behind me more quickly.
Using a larger font definitely helps; I use one all the time while reading ebooks. However, by itself that's not enough.
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With audiobooks and podcasts, it's Bejeweled all the way -
Bejeweled is also great while listening to podcasts, etc., especially in Zen mode. Minesweeper used to be great too, but in recent months my mind has started to wander even while playing Minesweeper and listening to podcasts; I think it's become too mindless for me. Also, in the past month or so, I don't even feel right playing Minesweeper, so I'll quit playing, and my mind will wander as much as it does when I'm doing nothing but listening. Hopefully, Bejeweled won't become like that.


One thing I've thought of as a possibility: Instead of listening to instrumental music (which again isn't enough), what about playing instrumental music? Of course, this would require actually learning to play an instrument, and to do so without looking. I already own an acoustic guitar, which I still have yet to learn how to actually play; this might help motivate me to learn quicker. (OT: My biggest difficulty, thus far, is playing the right strings and frets, without touching other strings.)

Another issue with this would be page turning. This would be a lot easier with ebooks than pbooks, especially MMPBs. However, either way, there would be a constant, periodic interruption in the music, in addition to interruptions in the reading (which, of course, is already there to some degree anyway).

Somebody mentioned knitting while reading. This would be something that I could see as helpful; the only problem for me is what sorts of things could I make that I would use, and that isn't the same thing, over and over again? I would also have to learn how to do it (same as a musical instrument above).

Any other ideas in a similar vein to musical instrument or knitting (or crocheting)?
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:20 PM   #33
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Do you get distracted part way through a sentence? You could try increasing the margins and font size so there are less words per line.

For music when reading I've been experimenting with movie soundtracks. They are excellent when paired with an appropriate book to enhance the mood, something exciting and fast paced with a scifi or something spooky with a thriller.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:00 PM   #34
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bizarre situation

how about pedaling?



exercise your brains and body...
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:01 PM   #35
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I always listen to music while reading, but much different music than most here would it seems. I need some good head banging music - I listen to internet radio usually. Right now it's Metal Assault, I also like Chronix Aggression. I can't stand the quiet, and listen at work too. I actually find it relaxing! It can be a little physical too - foot tapping and head bobbing.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:49 PM   #36
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Have you considered using mindfulness as a way of improving your concentration? Look it up on youtube. You'll find both explanations of the concept and some guided meditations. The basic idea is to empty your mind and, if thoughts should occur, just watch them pass by, then bring your attention back to deep breathing.

Try it. It'll only take a few moments a day and may help.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:26 AM   #37
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Namekuseijin mentioned pedaling - maybe something like this?

I found learning to crochet easier than learning to knit, which I never really mastered. It still uses both hands, but only one hook. As far as what to make, here are some categories of patterns. It does get annoying to amass items you'll never use; I don't really have a solution for that one.

Something else I do is go through hand-strengthening exercises with a stress ball. I don't know how mindless that would get for you, but maybe use a variation of exercise types?
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:01 PM   #38
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Anapanasati meditation?
Fancy way of saying watch your breaths. You have to breathe anyway and it shouldnt detract from whatever you happen to be listening to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anapanasati
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:13 PM   #39
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I knit socks. One always needs socks. Socks that fit.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:51 PM   #40
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I use headphones for audiobooks sometimes and close my eyes. any distractions (even if constant) just make things worse.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:40 PM   #41
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I find it fascinating how differently we all process things.

Like the OP, I have do do something else while listening to a book or lecture, or my mind wanders. When I was in school, I took a lot of notes (and did a lot of doodling) in lecture classes.

However, unlike the OP, I can easily concentrate on reading written material.

I can't imagine I would ever be well-coordinated enough to learn to knit or crochet by itself, much less do it while reading. Gotta admire those who can!
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:55 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BookCat View Post
Have you considered using mindfulness as a way of improving your concentration? Look it up on youtube. You'll find both explanations of the concept and some guided meditations. The basic idea is to empty your mind and, if thoughts should occur, just watch them pass by, then bring your attention back to deep breathing.

Try it. It'll only take a few moments a day and may help.
And maybe try speedreading too.
I have no experience with this, so I'm just guessing here, but maybe if he read faster he would be fully occupied and better able to concentrate without drifting off.

If the problem is lack of concentration then it seems to me that trying to do 2 things at once is just adding to the problem, not solving it.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:25 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Freeshadow View Post
Astonishing. Unthinkable for me. Reading absorbs me fully. My family usually jokes every thief could empty the room I'm reading in undisturbed. Doing anything else while reading leads to postponing the reading in my case.
Same for me! Most of the books that I read are about history or philosophy, and therefore require a lot of attention. I can't possibly imagine doing other things while reading as I would forget a whole lot of details and I would have to reread pages too often to make it worthwhile.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:38 AM   #44
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IMHO, walking while reading my help.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:43 AM   #45
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Hmm, as several other posters here I am an immersive reader (missed my bus or train stop several times because of a book) so I cannot really imagine your problem.

However, my suggestion would be to get your hands on audio material for learning foreign languages. There may even be pod-casts or other such web resources. Later on, once you acquire a basic vocabulary, you may also listen to pod-casts in that foreign language that are on whatever subjects.

This may work as the brain may be "puzzled" enough by the strange words to not treat the sounds as just "noise". It may be that you will not make progress in learning the new language at the same speed as people who focus on it but your main intention is different.

This gives me an idea. (Sorry, going OT... )
What would happen if one would try to read English and listen to French or vice-versa (assuming you know both of course)?
I would assume that reading and listening (to two different texts) in the same language will result in sub-optimal absorption of information from one or even both sources (I for one cannot multi task). But reading in one language and listening in another? How would that work?

I'm bi-lingual. When I speak or listen in a language I also think in that language. What if, to some extent, the brain uses different areas to "think" for the different languages? Could it be that the brain could handle information from two sources easier if they are from different languages?
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