I have trouble reading books. Always have. When I was a kid it was kinda easy because I’d lie on my stomach but post-puberty I’d get bellyaches doing that. [nothing perverse, I just found laying on my stomach gave me heartburn], and I could never find a comfortable position to read in that didn’t make me sleepy or arms ache since then.
Sometimes I’ll read standing up by a tall table. That’s the longest periods of time I can read for. Everything else makes me sleepy or arms achy.
I have a PDF reader on my phone that I use sometimes. I can set it to a REALLY fast rate of speed as a challenge to acquire new knowledge as quickly as possible.
I’m really good at speed reading. I use it with physical books as well as online books:
I glance at the chapter titles. Go back to the index if any and glance through it.
Then I flip randomly through the book, noting bold face, larger font, pictures.
I stop and read a passage or two that seems to grab my eye.
Then I put it back.
Since most of what’s in books is fluff-filler, it’s easy.
It even works with technical books that are thick because they’re usually also very well organized and I use that to cheat… I mean, read quickly.
Oh I don’t touch the originals. Never read Nietzche.
But I’ll read other people’s summaries, comparisons and such.
Here’s how I look at it: somebody ELSE can go through the work of reading slowly and carefully. THEY can summarize _for me_. I’ll take their summaries, compare them to OTHER people’s summaries from other perspectives (find those that love, those that hate and those that are relatively neutral or try to be.
Then, I don’t have to read the originals ever.
Cheating? Yup. Works too.
I rarely watch movies either unless I really want to.
I look for enthusiasts to tell me all about it.
Example: Never read Hunger Games or saw the movies. Yet, I know the stories, enough to have an educated conversation with someone who loved them. I ran a Hunger Games map on my Minecraft server (when I had it) a couple of years ago because of this too.
I found a super-fan. I asked him to tell me all about it ’cause he read them 4 times.
After begging me to read it for myself, I convinced him that I never would and HE was the ONLY chance I’d have to ever get a good reading of it.
His summary was hugely helpful to me. I also notice cultural cues, memes and stuff.
Pretty much, I do everything *but* read the book / watch the movie.