reading burnout?

Up until a few weeks ago, I was reading a book every few days. Granted they weren’t novels, but Science Fiction or Steampunk stories. All of a sudden, the need or want is gone!

Is it because my favorite e-book reader, a Google Nexus died? I don’t think so because when I started having difficulty with the touch screen on my Nexus, I reverted to my Android phone.

I do have a Kindle “Paper White”, but since I packed it in my bag to take to work and read at breaks, it got two scratches in the screen and that annoys me. Is that the reason I don’t use it? Yes, but one would think the need to read would have me overcome that.

I also can read e-books on my computer, but no, I just can’t get started.

Not to forget there are a few paperback books I have started and just put aside.

Now I’m not a speed reader, I don’t have that talent, but when I read, I thoroughly enjoyed it. So what’s up? Any suggestions or ideas?

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Author: G.D.

I'm from Pensyltucky. Can trace my ancestry directly to whom the present day national anthem of Poland is written about. Presently repair slot machines at a casino.

10 thoughts on “reading burnout?”

  1. Gerry D:
    So what’s up? Any suggestions or ideas?

    I would suggest getting a Kindle Unlimited subscription and then indulging in the multitude of books available for free under the subscription fee.

    In particular, a large majority of authors of independent science fiction make their works available on Kindle Unlimited.  Just because it’s free doesn’t mean they don’t get paid: they’re compensated from your subscription price when you finish the book.  And just because it’s independent doesn’t mean it’s dodgy: independent (self-published) science fiction accounts for much of the present Golden Age.

    You can be entertained by three books a week or more on Kindle Unlimited without paying anything more than the subscription fee.

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  2. John Walker:

    Gerry D:
    So what’s up? Any suggestions or ideas?

    I would suggest getting a Kindle Unlimited subscription and then indulging in the multitude of books available for free under the subscription fee.

    I’ll think about that John, but still I worry if I get the subscription “the want to read” may not come back! Then I have a subscription for nothing…

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  3. Hi, @GerryD, My suggestion is that this is normal, hence no cause for alarm.  If you have been taking in incoming at a fair clip recently, then it surely is no surprise that now some time is needed to think it all over.

    Consider:  if you did not ruminate on what you have read, what would then have been the point of the reading?

    I recall seeing this not only in myself, but also in the kids when they were little. They would play and play and do and do – and then those things would be done and they would be bored.  At that moment the wrong thing to do would have been to step in and provide entertainment.  Bzzzzt!  The right thing to do is allow the boredom, which is natural and right, to trip the cerebral mechanism, in good time, to a new burst of creativity.  Somebody explained that to me and boy she was right; that sequence was observable, over and over again.

    Kids are human and so are you.  Don’t worry; be happy.  Engage in some physical task (i.e., fix something around the house that somebody wants you to do; that is a twofer.)  As you go along, little gears will turn in the back of your head.  In good time, one of two things will happen.  You will think of something you must write, or you will think of something you must read.  Either way, all will be well.  You’re fine.

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  4. Don’t feel compelled to finish a book you started. That requirement could be interfering with your desire to read. In that vein, getting an all-you-can-read subscription (suggested above) might help. Alternatively, get books from your library. My local library has e-books and audiobooks to check out. The catalog is extensive. Keep picking up new books until you find one that grabs you. Heck, try audiobooks when you’re out for a walk, driving to work, or before sleep. Fiction audiobooks are often read by professional actors, which enhances the experience.

    Edit: You can also get books at Project Gutenberg.

    Edit#2: LibriVox has free audiobooks. The quality is spotty since they’re read by volunteers. Some are excellent.

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  5. One can by a Kindle Fire Tablet cheaply if the preferred method is reading on a tablet. Your time is important so order one so you can keep reading.

    Without a goal it is easy to lose motivation. Sharing your good books will help. The problem is usually taking the first steps. Once one gets started the motivation to continue comes.

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  6. Good. This means you will have more time to read my pearls of wisdom, right?

    “Never take a wooden dime.”

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  7. I second 10 Cents’ suggestion as to a Kindle Fire – very reasonable for a very decent tablet which is also a comfortable reader. I have had one for about 4 years and it still works well (I tend all my re-chargeable devices carefully, always running the batteries down completely, then recharging fully). On rare occasions,(for me at least) the Kindle Fire is also suitable for viewing videos. Also, for me, reading on a phone would kill the desire to read. As well, for some reason, I like the device I am reading on to be placed ‘just so,’ thus I bought a gooseneck holder by Tryone.

    In short, for me at least, the device and its appurtenances are important and scratches would be a definite detraction. I should add that I do occasionally read an actual book, usually based on cost considerations. While still in the market share acquisition phase, Amazon sold most all ebooks quite cheaply. That is no longer the case and some used books are considerably cheaper than Kindle, even with shipping. I still like a bargain, even if my gooseneck holder must site idle for a while. In light of John Walker’s reassessment of Kindle Unlimited (I seem to recall a few years ago he thought it not worthwhile) I must also reassess. I suppose the emergence of so much good sci-fi tipped the balance for him and may for me.

    More generally, reading is my ‘go-to’ escape from the rolling (alternate?)reality show we call modern life. For some time now, it is a sanity-preserving activity, along with various eclectic videos I watch with my wife on DirecTV (soon to be jettisoned due to cost > value), Netflix and Prime.

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  8. civil westman:
    In light of John Walker’s reassessment of Kindle Unlimited (I seem to recall a few years ago he thought it not worthwhile) I must also reassess. I suppose the emergence of so much good sci-fi tipped the balance for him and may for me.

    I don’t recall having said Kindle Unlimited wasn’t worthwhile.  I signed up pretty much as soon as it was available and often bump up against the ten books borrowed limit.  In addition to lots of independent science fiction, other titles I’ve read (or are reading) on Kindle Unlimited include:

    • Machine Learning: A Journey from Beginner to Advanced Including Deep Learning by Michael B. White
    • The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job by Emily Lakdawalla
    • The Electra Story by Robert J. Serling
    • The City on the Heights by Joseph Cox
    • Hitler in Hell by Martin van Creveld
    • The Robert Heinlein Interview by J. Neil Schulman
    • Out of the Blue by Ian Cowie
    • California Sixth Grade Reader edited by Jerry Pournelle
    • Screw the Beautiful Forevers by Claire Berlinski
    • The B-58 Blunder by George Holt, Jr.
    • The Polygamist King by John J. Miller
    • What If? by Randall Munroe
    • From The Dissident Right by John Derbyshire
    • The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin

    While you’ll rarely find new mass market books from major publishers on Kindle Unlimited, many of the odd kinds of things I read are available there and easily justify the price of the subscription.

    One detail of which you should be aware: if you highlight passages, bookmark pages, or make notes in a Kindle Unlimited title and then return it after reading, your annotations are preserved, but you cannot see them without borrowing the book again.  However, if you cancel your Kindle Unlimited subscription, all of those annotations are lost forever.

    Update: I should note that it is possible to download your annotations on a Kindle title, whether Unlimited or a regular purchase.  You use the “export notebook” feature from the notebook display (details vary from device to device), and you can save in various ways.  For a Kindle Unlimited title, you have to do this while the book is currently borrowed.  I recommend doing this as a general practice once you’ve finished a book, since if Amazon subsequently issues an update to the Kindle edition and you download it (or, horror of horrors, you have automatic update enabled [don’t do that!]) you will lose all your annotations.

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  9. civil westman:
    I have had one for about 4 years and it still works well (I tend all my re-chargeable devices carefully, always running the batteries down completely, then recharging fully).

    This battery management strategy was recommended for nickel-cadmium batteries, which exhibited a property called “memory”, where a battery subjected to repeated shallow discharge cycles would have less capacity over time.  Most modern portable devices such as mobile phones and tablets now use lithium-ion batteries, which do not exhibit the memory phenomenon.  Most guides to lithium-ion battery care counsel avoiding full discharges, topping them up whenever convenient.  There is one exception: the batteries in mobile devices send a charge indication to the device which it uses to display the charge indicator or charge remaining estimation.  After thirty or so partial discharge cycles, the calibration on this may drift, which can be avoided by allowing a full discharge every month or so.  If you don’t care about the charge indicator display, you can ignore it and just keep the battery topped up whenever possible, which is what I do.

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  10. Thank you John. As with many, many things nowadays, I could have been wrong in my recollection as to your opinion of Kindle Unlimited. I do value your thoughts on everything!

    Thank you, also for info regarding the care and feeding of batteries. My error has been incorrectly, it seems, reinforced by a few anecdotal observations. My wife keeps all her devices plugged in almost continually. My children make no effort to do anything and seem to follow a random pattern as to charging. When we check “remaining battery life” with some app or other, mine retain considerably more of their original capacity. That’s the trouble with anecdotal inferences, especially to those with age-reduced cognitive plasticity.

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