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Old 01-26-2013, 06:17 PM   #16
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Can you listen to a podcast or talk radio while reading?
I sure can't - nor can I listen to anything with words while I'm on line - the words conflict.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:37 PM   #17
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I know exactly what you are talking about because I have the same problem. Mostly I listen to audio books, and I even convert my ebooks (epubs) to electronic audio books when I don't want to buy or can't find the professional ones.
What software do you use to convert epubs to speech? I might try that, if it works for Linux (possibly under Wine).
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I've gotten to where sitting and "reading" is very difficult for me. However I have one, out of the box, suggestion.

It's what I do for movies I'm not sure I want to see, and it works great for non-fiction books, e.g. school books.

Read the chapter "backwards". Not word for word, but section by section. If there is not a definitive section, then several paragraphs at a time. Eventually you'll either get to the front of the chapter, or are versed enough in the content to start at the beginning of the chapter and read through.

(Yes, I'm one of those people who have to read the ending before I read the book. [or end of the movie before I watch it] I have a problem with stress, and even the stress of a well written mystery can cause me problems. Whereas I will re-read a good book hundreds of times because I know how it will end. I'm looking for technique and details.)

I hope this wierd suggestion might help.

AJ

PS I have a folder full of mazes I drew in school while listening to the teachers.
Sounds like I might try that sometime, although I'm not really clear on the part about "it works great for non-fiction books, e.g. school books." Do you mean it's great for text/reference/how-to books? Or is it more for Literature text books, i.e., lots of short(er) stories? Or, do you read novels by going to the last chapter or scene first? Or, something else entirely?

Just looking for a little bit of clarification here.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:50 PM   #18
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Any external stimuli tends to distract me while reading. I wasn't always this way, but it gets worse the older I get. Noise of any kind--or movement on the periphery of my vision--and I'll find myself reading the same paragraph over and over. A sound-proof room with no windows and nothing but an eazy chair is certainly in my future.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:04 PM   #19
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When I was younger, maybe college aged, I could listen to talk radio. Now, the words I hear interfere with the words I read.

But I do still listen to music. Mostly electronic/space/ambient. Through speakers, if possible. But, my wife works at home and hates that "noise" I listen to, so headphones work, too.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:30 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by tmclough View Post
What software do you use to convert epubs to speech? I might try that, if it works for Linux (possibly under Wine).

Sounds like I might try that sometime, although I'm not really clear on the part about "it works great for non-fiction books, e.g. school books." Do you mean it's great for text/reference/how-to books? Or is it more for Literature text books, i.e., lots of short(er) stories? Or, do you read novels by going to the last chapter or scene first? Or, something else entirely?

Just looking for a little bit of clarification here.

For school text books, I was taught a method to study the chapter by first reading the outline, then read the study questions at the end of the chapter, then read the chapter looking for the answers to the specific questions.

For fiction books, if I can't stand to wade my way through the book, usually because it is very suspenseful or I can't figure out the who done it, I will go to the last chapter, skim it to see if the solution is there, usually not, then I go to the next to the last chapter, and repeat.

For your situation, I am suggesting to go to the end of each chapter, read whatever section looks promising. Like from a chapter break (the blank line or ***), or if there isn't one, a good indication is where the action paragraphs stop and the conversation paragraphs pick up. Read from there to where you had begun before, then skip back another section. That way you get the action, but it is enough of a puzzle to keep your mind active. When you think you have the jist of it, then you can read the entire chapter.

It might help for complex chapters.

AJ

I just thought, I probably amended this method from the speed reading course I took. Speed reading first is another suggestion.

Just re-read your questions. The TTS software I use was for Windows XP. It didn't work with Windows Vista so I did without for many years. But with my new Win7 it works again. I've tried tracking the company down, but it has a Chapter 11 Bankrupty statement on it's website. So no use there. I've researched other TTS's but haven't invested in any yet. Sorry.

Last edited by AJ Starr; 01-26-2013 at 07:53 PM. Reason: added TTS answer
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:36 PM   #21
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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.
This includes me also.
To paraphrase Louis L'Amour, "I could sit in the middle of Sunset Strip and read, temperamental I am not".
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:58 PM   #22
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@tmclough what about reading the book out loud to yourself as you read?

If you wanted background music you could still do that while you read out loud.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:38 PM   #23
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Knitting, gardening, sewing, housework
Are those activities you do while reading, or listening (to audio books, etc.)? They sound to me like activities while listening; I'm looking for activities to do while reading.

If they are done while reading, please forgive my ignorance and enlighten me!

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Sorry, I misunderstood you. I can knit and read at the same time. The other activities are done when listening to audiobooks. I use a bluetooth headset, which also keeps out a lot of ambient sound.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:41 AM   #24
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@tmclough what about reading the book out loud to yourself as you read?
That's exactly the way that I proofread books. It's the only way I can avoid "skimming", which, of course, misses all the fine details. But it is, of course, much slower than normal reading. When I'm proofing a book, I get through perhaps 10 pages in an hour; when I read normally, it's probably at least 5x that.

Last edited by HarryT; 01-27-2013 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:07 PM   #25
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@tmclough what about reading the book out loud to yourself as you read?
I don't believe reading out loud would help very much, as I already read one word at a time, often, though not always, mouthing the words.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:58 PM   #26
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The TV being on wouldn't work for me, voices make it very difficult, at best, for me to read. Even background - which must be instrumental - must not draw too much attention to itself. Anything with voices is, for me, the opposite of white noise. It's something that competes for my attention, and I can't shut it out. Even if I'm not reading, I don't like going to a crowded place with lots of people talking.

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.

I've also tried reading while using text to speech, it forces me to pay attention to the text, and using two senses can help me focus.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:20 AM   #27
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If I'm reading dense nonfiction or studying, it's non-choral classical music for me. If I'm reading an engaging novel, I can listen to pop/rock/etc.

With audiobooks and podcasts, it's Bejeweled all the way - if I'm not doing something spatial and vaguely rhythmic, I can't concentrate on and process the words. This was a giant downfall when attending lectures at uni, because lecturers tend to look down (to put it mildly) on people doodling or playing games or fiddling during a lecture, and don't believe "it's the only way I can concentrate on your voice".
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:46 AM   #28
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So, like I asked before, does anybody have any ideas on what I (or anybody else in my situation) could do as a second activity to engage other parts of the brain while reading?
Well, when reading your eyes are occupied, but your ears aren't. Put some music on
On low, and some instrumental so its not intrusive but your brain and ears still pick it up.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:59 AM   #29
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Timothy, it sounds as though, if you are reading slowly, the problem arises in the gaps between the words - if you know what I mean. We might think we are reading continuously but if we pay attention we can sometimes notice that our brain pays attention to what we are reading, then does something else, then pays attention again, then does something else...and so on. So, maybe as a first step it might be useful just to pay attention to how much you read before you get distracted and then notice as quickly as you can that you have got distracted and out your attention back on the reading. So, what you are doing as a "second activity" is paying attention - and this kind of fills up the gaps.

Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:53 AM   #30
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Timothy, it sounds as though, if you are reading slowly, the problem arises in the gaps between the words - if you know what I mean. We might think we are reading continuously but if we pay attention we can sometimes notice that our brain pays attention to what we are reading, then does something else, then pays attention again, then does something else...and so on. So, maybe as a first step it might be useful just to pay attention to how much you read before you get distracted and then notice as quickly as you can that you have got distracted and out your attention back on the reading. So, what you are doing as a "second activity" is paying attention - and this kind of fills up the gaps.

Good luck!
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