182 // Reading Challenge

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Reading has never been my strong point. I mean, I can read, it is possible, and I’d say I do it quite well. I can even understand that whole sentence no problems at all. But they say* that if you’re not reading for pleasure by 5 years old, you will always finding reading books to be a chore. And that makes me wonder if I found reading to be a pleasurable or not at the age of 5 or younger.

The only vivid memory I have of reading at all when I was younger, was when my friend Shaun came over to play, but my mum wouldn’t let me go out until I’d finished a few more sentences in the book I was reading. Just to clarify, the book I was reading was 90% pictures, and a few sentences was at least 3 chapters. THREE Chapters! That is a lot to ask for a young man, especially with when the allure of play awaits.

So I began to read, I’d naturally pause between snotty nosed dribbles and loud wailing noises, but other than that it went well. Obviously in between reading and crying I’d look at my Mum in hope, hope that it would all end. She was both my master and my saviour, but she ushered me to go on. And go on I did.

I think its up for debate as to what exactly reading for pleasure means, but I’d fairly confidently stick that experience in the ‘Absolutely Not Enjoying The Read Of That Book At All’ pile, or the ANETROTBAA pile to some.

That must mean I am now free from guilt where not reading books is concerned, the seeds were sewn so young, I couldn’t do anything about it. I’m doing something about it now though and I have really ramped up my reading.

I still see reading as a form of torture though, and as such, view it as something that will in some way benefit me further down the line. Very much like; eating well, or exercising. And because of this I exclusively read non-fiction books, so as to absorb as much knowledge as possible for natural the pain of reading. Some books are less painful than others and for that reason I developed the pain to knowledge ratio, or the ‘P2K’. In an ideal world you will want a really low amount of pain during reading and a really high amount of knowledge – that will then give you a good P2K ratio.

Last year I set myself a challenge of reading 12 books – 1 book a month. To a normal person, or to my mum (who reads about 15 books a night) that might seem like a rather poor effort. To me it was tough. I managed 8 books by the end of year. This year I didn’t set myself a fixed target, I felt it created too much pressure to perform. Instead I am freewheelin’, and since I got to Ireland my reading has sky rocketed. I’m onto my fourth book in the last week alone.

The P2K ratios have all varied on them all but I have to say none of them have been terrible. I think I am supposed to list and review the books I’ve read, but I’m not going to do that, mainly because the P2K ratio system is not widely known outside of my head, but also the books are out of reach, and I can’t remember the titles. I would say that I am thoroughly enjoying reading at the moment though – I only cry every other sentence now, so things have really progressed since the dark early days.

Paul Green

*I don’t know who they are.

Read more, it’s good for you.

About Me

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      1. bipolar-uninvited

        My son does better when it’s read to him. I must read it myself. I’m glad we are beginning to figure out things like that. Used to, you’d be labeled a bad student if you didn’t fit the mold. I think subject matter is important, too. My son likes non-fiction. No interest in fiction. So it’s like two different readers, so to speak.


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