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22 October 2008

Although I wouldn't consider myself a good verbal communicator, I've been writing drivel keeping journals of some kind or another since I was single digits old. My family is very bookish* but everyone else** had written words going one way - in - and I had them both coming and going. I was the letter-writer (and plenty of people to write to since only part of my immediate family was even in the same hemisphere), too, and writing billions of letters seemed perfectly ordinary, although I think it's not been the usual thing at all in my lifetime. My sketchbooks are full of drawings and written ideas for paintings, as well as anything else that I wanted to note; although any kind of artwork is something one does without words and in a non-verbal and timeless place, jotting down words to expand on a hastily scrawled idea is useful.

Although I still hate eating without feeding text into my eyes, it's been more difficult to read lately because I hadn't a clue how much of reading is physical until turning a page became difficult. Mostly at the moment I'm reduced to reading the New Yorker and Smithsonian and tons of online things of varying quality. Both reading and writing have their visual element; I absolutely loathe being read to*** as it removes the visual element that you'd think would stand in the way but instead allows transmission of ideas from the author to the reader without clouding the imagination. That sounds like a "duh" thing to say, but the simultaneous invisibility/visibility is interesting to me. A bit like mouseovers.

* Understatement.
** My sister Deborah would ALWAYS disappear wherever we were (likely to be a used book shop anyway), precipitating a frantic hunt at going home time. It was pointless to call her name, although we did, as she wouldn't hear (or just wouldn't acknowledge ,-- more like her), and we'd inevitably find her, nose in a book somewhere. "Just wait until I finish this chapter." She'd always read in the car, and when I said that made me feel sick she replied, "Yes, well it makes me feel sick, too, I just do it anyway."

***D would like doing that sometimes when I was small (I was quite capable of reading whatever it was myself, but she liked reading aloud).


posted by - 8:10 AM

I hate being read to as well. I like audio books though. Although I find my level of concentration has to be notched up quite a bit or I drift off and miss stuff - I have a very undisciplined mind.

My ccurrent fave audio treat is not a book, but a collection of Radio 4 comedy shows called The Count Arthur Strong Show - I can not recommend this to you enough!

As a fellow Northener (albeit an escapee!) you'll love him :-D
I remember my Dad reading Robinson Crusoe to me (or us, I think, my two younger sisters and I). He would read for a while then he would start mumbling as he skipped long passages that I wanted to know about but he did not want to read to us. It was frustrating ... I also recall looking at books and the pages were white-ish with large grey squares on them. Once I learned to read, the characters appeared in all their splendor.

I have enjoyed listening to books on CD in the car on long, boring and very familiar drives. The images come through to me and are projected like a scrim over the highway.
Oh, and I find it very difficult to read things of any length on the computer screen. If an article is long, I cannot keep my eyes traveling over the words

CORRECTION to comment above: ...(or us, I think, my two sisters and ME)....
I process things through my eyes. I had a month or two of double vision once; there's no way I'd do that again.

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