I can't read.

I've recently come to the sad realization that I cannot read, novels that is. I've long been a fan of the medium, and have a fairly extensive collection of books, mostly novels I'm fond of. However, I can no longer read them, or more accurately, I no longer enjoy them.

I remember a time not too long ago when I'd be reading two different books at the same time (one on the toilet the other for all other times), and was able to fully enjoy both. Now I'll begin a novel and only a few pages into it, I'd already be contemplating skipping ahead or stopping the book altogether. I would like to point out this hasn't affected me when rereading novels I've already read.

Aside from my adult A.D.D. (which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone) I blame this occurrence on three different, yet somehow related things;

1) Comics: I am an avid comic collector but more to the point reader. Those 4-color 22 pages of soap operas in capes have long been an obsession of mine, and in all likelihood are the precursor for my situation. Most comic titles have stories told in several issues spanning so many months, but individually sate my appetite for the medium and the story. Also, with a 30 day bumper for said story to continue I can easily shift my focus to another character/team and story and not becoming bored at any point. Even when reading graphic novels (4-7 issues of a comic collecting a full story) I only read one issue at a time allowing for the proper break in between.

2)DVR: Like most people I'm a fan of TV, but not to an obsessive point like with comics, however the invention of DVR's allows me to record and watch more TV than I regularly would. What this has to do with the topic is that it also allows me to skip any parts I find boring. Commercials are a thing of the past. Women's fights in wrestling are irrelevant. The dialogue in Smallville (R.I.P.) was non-existent (which is decidedly better than the actual scripted conversations). This must have contributed to my 'instant gratification' mentality when it comes to reading.

3) My own writing: If you've visited this blog before you've most likely come to realize that I focus most of my efforts on short stories. I did this under the belief that it would help get me published earlier, and I've accomplished that, currently published in two different anthologies, and three more on the way (potentially all this year). Unfortunately, this practice has got me thinking 10,000 words or less for stories, a habit I'll have to break in order to resume writing my own novels.

All three factors add to equal a difficult time for the chosen pastime. I'm currently "reading" a book that I haven't touched in nearly a week, and I'm on page 10 and am already contemplating to skipping to chapter 3 to see if anything worthwhile has happened.

I may also need to add the last full length novel that I actually read as a reason, Steig Larson's Millennium Trilogy. You know what I'm talking about, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The girl who played with Fire, and The girl who kicked a hornets nest. The premise to each book was OK, but the execution was so overly drown out and unnecessarily convoluted that the first book that was 700 pages easily could have been 300, and would have been a great deal better.

So, as I said I can't read, but I'm hoping my eventual shift in writing to novels will once again change that, or I just might have to start watching commercials again.

Heaven Sent

Rejection #9: Kicking @$$ so you don't have to