Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Yarning along

I'm joining Mel in joining Ginny at Small Things and her Yarn Along...

I'm a bit surprised to say it, but I've actually completed more than one book recently, and am working on several more. I should qualify it by saying that "book" includes ebook and audiobook formats. Reading has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I enjoy books quite a lot, and often intend to read them, but somewhere in high school I developed a guilt-based line of logic that a certain few books were required reading, ultimately resulting in my ceasing from almost all reading. In college, I even took lower marks rather than do the required reading for my classes. It's not that I didn't try; I just had problems disciplining myself enough to focus on the page in a productive manner. I often found myself bouncing back to the previous paragraph or preceding page, and quickly became bogged down and gave up.

One summer during college, I worked the night shift cleaning carpets in the education building. (It was a small campus.) The machine I operated would propel itself slowly forward with a mere twist of the handle. You can imagine how much I struggled with falling asleep while walking very slowly up and down the long halls in the wee hours of the night. Thanks to a shelf of free books placed in the hall one night, I discovered that I could keep myself engaged by balancing a book on the carpet cleaner. 

This was before the rise of the digital age, with its podcasts and myriad audiobooks. But even then, I had found a way to get myself reading, partly by tricking myself into 'multitasking.' That's often what I have to do even now.  Thanks to today's technology, I have found the not-as-inviting-as-print format of electronic books to be a great aid in my ability to finish a book. I think part of it has to do with the fact that I like to bounce around depending on my mood and the suitability of the occasion in which I might be able to read; carrying a stack of books just wouldn't travel well. In addition, I believe the ability to tweak font size and the small window for a limited amount of text helps me move continually forward, rather than bouncing backward to the previous page. (I have heard about students in the days before e-readers being trained to compensate for a learning disorder using a piece of paper with a window cut in it; my Kindle helps in the same way.) And in the common event that I abandon the book for a length of time, I can pick up where I left off rather easily.

With an e-reader, I never have to hold the book open, and this frees my hands up to knit or perhaps spin yarn, though I have yet to try the latter.  Multi-tasking is not my strongest suit, so I revel in my ability to "knit read," and have been scoping out patterns that lend themselves to it. It seems that the otherwise boring kind of knitting and the reading work together to keep me in one place long enough to work on both, so I like to think of it almost as a symbiotic relationship.

With the options of e-books and audiobooks available to me, I have managed to read through several fascinating books -- some of them for classes I am taking for my bedside harp therapy certification. These include The Relaxation Response and The Diving Bell and The Butterfly. Two more books I'm currently working through are The Healing Power of Sound and Words That Hurt, Words That Heal. These books are all very thought provoking, and I wish there was a book club for them in my workplace; healthcare workers could really benefit from them. Maybe some day I'll find a way to encourage such discussions in settings like the nursing home I call mine. 

I've been utilizing audiobooks more for spinning, since I feel I need to look at the yarn a bit more than my knitting. A book I finished for fun this week was Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and I loved it (of course). And now I'm currently spinning a handdyed colorway named "Hugh" after my favorite William Darcy portrayal in film.  I might have to rewatch one of my favorite movie versions soon...

What are you reading these days?


  1. joining Mel who joined Tracey and so on and so on ... :)

    I'm glad you jumped in as well, Will ~ so much to share! I have yet to obtain an electronic reader of any sort (digging in my heels on that one) but I'm so glad that it has helped you to pick books back up again, even in the virtual sense of the word.

    Now you know you have to share which Pride and Prejudice movie and actor are your favorite :). Can't wait to see that yarn!

  2. doh ~ I just realized you *did* share your favorite actor portrayal but does that mean it's also your favorite movie version over all?

    stumbling bumbling Hugh Grant ~ what's not to love :)

    1. :) I think the Hugh Grant/ Jennifer Ehle version is a solid performance, but depending on my mood and how much time I have, Keira Knightly and Tom Hollander make for a guilty pleasure.

    2. this is comical :) ~ Hugh Grant was in Sense & Sensibility (I was confused) but hasn't been in a version of Pride & Prejudice, right???

      oh, my aching brain...

  3. Yay for joining the Ginny's KAL. It is all her fault why I knit as much as I do. I love how you explained how you like to read. I am a huge audio book fan.

  4. It was Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

    1. Doh! Thanks Mary! Quite right. I can only appeal to the excuse that I have been rather stressed out this week. But in truth there is no excuse!

    2. No- wait- I think I am getting a signal... I actually think my brain combined Hugh Grant and William Darcy thanks to Hugh Dancy's name. But I was picturing Colin Forth all along. Oy. Need. Sleep.