I have long been aware that one’s ability to read books at a steady pace and to get ‘er done is not dependent on the speed of your eye movement or the amount of text you can take in at one time but rather is is directly related to how well you can focus your concentration. Naturally your comprehension and memory are also enhances by staying focused.
I was a senior in High School when I began to experiment with various methods of improving my reading speed. They even had a reading lab where you could pace your reading by having a mechanical shutter close-off sentences at controllable speeds. Everyone cheated, of course, the winner being the person attesting to the fastest reading speed. If I recall, there was a rumor that someone had reached supersonic speeds … but that was just for a paragraph or two that the machine presented in a limited fashion.
I remember trying to calculate the speed at which the pages would have to be turned in order to make such astronomical speeds possible.
Continue reading “Focus”
This isn’t my favorite Ginsberg short poem but it is one of my favorite poem titles of all time.
Consulting I Ching Smoking Pot Listening to the Fugs Sing Blake
That which pushes upward
does not come back
He led me in his garden
tinkle of 20 year phonograph
Death is icumen in
and mocks my loss of liberty
One much see the Great Man
Fear not it brings blessing
from the invisible world
in the deserted city
which lies below consciousness
Is rereading a memory exercise or a refinement of discovery?
Now that I have left academia far behind me, I seldom reread a novel. Often it is because I regret having wasted too much time on it already. There are a couple of authors I reread with some regularity: James Joyce and Alain Robbe-Grillet come to mind. But for the most part I would imagine that I reread more books because I have forgotten that I read them before than I reread them on purpose.
Let’s face it: there are too many books waiting to be read to spend time rereading a familiar text.
It’s interesting to contemplate that a reader who rereads favorite books is so often also a reader who cannot abide by “spoilers.” But why would you want to reread a book?
Continue reading “Rereading Reconsidered”