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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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Old 02-09-2013, 09:44 AM   #2
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I build a mental image if the author's writing inspires me to do so. If not, I just read.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
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 read the words, but I'm rarely conscious of the words on the page while reading fiction. Instead, I see the story, hear the dialog, played out in my mind. I feel and see the character's thoughts, expressed on their faces. Tension or joy in their movements. Murderous intent or relief in their eyes.

This happens even with crappy writing, and sometimes with non-fiction, if the writing lends itself to imagery. History books, for example, often describe people and their lives, places and I start to process the text the same way as fiction.

I've always read this way, for as long as I can remember. It's the reason I am bothered when fiction writers drop in a dry infodump that is all data with no context - it's like running into a white wall with nothing to look at, nothing to feel.

Edit to add - It's not a conscious thing, it just happens. The only time I have to work at it is if there are other distractions in the room, my mind, my life.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
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So, you indeed do the same as I do. Maybe even more so

I think it's actually required to some degree at least, to be able to enjoy reading...
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:23 PM   #5
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I visualize the story setting, feel the character's movements and emotions, and hear dialogue as I read. I do notice the words too. That may be one reason why I'm not a very fast reader.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:49 PM   #6
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Strange. Visuslising never slowed my reading speed. It became constantly higher in throughout the years. I never have nor would try to speed-read by purpose, just ay I wouldn't binge drink...
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
I read the words, but I'm rarely conscious of the words on the page while reading fiction. Instead, I see the story, hear the dialog, played out in my mind. I feel and see the character's thoughts, expressed on their faces. Tension or joy in their movements. Murderous intent or relief in their eyes.

This happens even with crappy writing, and sometimes with non-fiction, if the writing lends itself to imagery. History books, for example, often describe people and their lives, places and I start to process the text the same way as fiction.

I've always read this way, for as long as I can remember. It's the reason I am bothered when fiction writers drop in a dry infodump that is all data with no context - it's like running into a white wall with nothing to look at, nothing to feel.

Edit to add - It's not a conscious thing, it just happens. The only time I have to work at it is if there are other distractions in the room, my mind, my life.
This. Exactly. I was going to respond properly, but there's no need as you captured what I was going to say perfectly.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:25 PM   #8
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I am just sorry you are reading First King
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:31 PM   #9
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Thanks for your compassion

Even so, I did enjoy the story, however bad it may be according to you.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:52 AM   #10
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I think I'm blind in my mind's eye.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:30 AM   #11
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I got a splinter in my mind's eye as a child. The doctor put an eye-patch on it after removing the splinter. I probably should have removed the patch long ago, but my mind likes to pretend it's a pirate. Thinks it's a "babe-magnet" (its words, not mine). It has so few true outlets these days, that I just can't bring myself to take this one away.

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:34 AM   #12
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I wanna be a pirate too!
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:30 AM   #13
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KennyC is a poet and he hope he dont know it.
Just dont blow it. Read your first rhyme of dimes.
Don't go blind with a pirate's mind.
Graham Green had the splinter, even in the Winter.

Dung is to poetry as hidari is to writing it.......
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:31 AM   #14
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Sparkle,

Is that you on the scooter...Just have to ask. Will be looking for you in the streets of NY next time I drop in your neck of the Third stone from the Sun....


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This. Exactly. I was going to respond properly, but there's no need as you captured what I was going to say perfectly.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:47 AM   #15
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Sparkle,

Is that you on the scooter...Just have to ask. Will be looking for you in the streets of NY next time I drop in your neck of the Third stone from the Sun....
No, it's not me, it's actress Natalie Wood. Although, in my mind, it's me somehow.
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