Too OCD to Read?

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setzer777
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Too OCD to Read?

Postby setzer777 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:37 pm UTC

I'm curious if anyone else has this problem: I want to read more, but I'm way too slow because I feel like I need to remember every detail. I think it comes from how I watch tv and movies: I get totally absorbed and make sure to catch every line and facial expression.

A lot of books are packed with so much description that it takes me several minutes per page to make sure I've properly visualized and remembered every visual detail being described. With non-fiction I can read quickly and understand the main points being conveyed, but in fiction I almost feel guilty if I don't fully visualize every detail of every scene (ideally I want to see it as clearly as if it were a movie playing in my head.)

This comes up in other weird ways too: I will stop and recalibrate if my idea of a character's face is too fuzzy or if new descriptions contradict the picture in my head; I often have trouble clearly visualizing entirely fictional faces and so substitute faces I've seen - which again makes me feel guilty when it contradicts descriptions.

How weird is this? Do I just need to change my outlook on books - see them as more a jumping-off point for my imagination (when it comes to things like environments and facial features)?
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dbsmith
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Re: Too OCD to Read?

Postby dbsmith » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:11 pm UTC

I'm the opposite. I whiz past descriptions way too fast, letting my imagination fill them in in a vague way.
Like, if I was to ever describe my visual interpretation of a book, the faces of the characters would probably be blurry or indistinct.
But so long as you are enjoying reading, then just read the way you read!

I wish I read more like you though, to an extent...

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setzer777
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Re: Too OCD to Read?

Postby setzer777 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:20 pm UTC

The problem is that I don't enjoy reading this way - the story ends up progressing painfully slowly.
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mayhaps
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Re: Too OCD to Read?

Postby mayhaps » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:55 am UTC

I can't say I relate. In fact, I'm probably the opposite, like dbsmith.

I'm wondering, though, have you tried reading books that are less detailed? I'm thinking there must be some genres/styles that have more vague descriptions of characters and scenery. I can't think of a good example, but if Tolkien were on one end of the detail spectrum, you'd want to find a book on the other end. Maybe some Russian lit? Haha... or books that deal with fewer characters, focus more on philosophy/thoughts. I'm not sure.

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AvatarIII
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Re: Too OCD to Read?

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:03 am UTC

I used to be a bit like that, but I tried teaching myself to speed read, and although I'm still not "fast" I've definitely sped up.

try reading something with this website
http://www.spreeder.com/
it forces you to read one word at a time, and not re-read anything, it might help you.

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PeteP
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Re: Too OCD to Read?

Postby PeteP » Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:58 am UTC

AvatarIII wrote:I used to be a bit like that, but I tried teaching myself to speed read, and although I'm still not "fast" I've definitely sped up.

try reading something with this website
http://www.spreeder.com/
it forces you to read one word at a time, and not re-read anything, it might help you.

Nice toy, though I do form the words in my head while reading and I can follow their texts at 700wpm.

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Kolko
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Re: Too OCD to Read?

Postby Kolko » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:01 pm UTC

I can still follow their texts fairly comfortably at 1000 wpm, with the right settings. The one thing that bugs me is that four words can have a massively different width, which is keeping me from reading at greater speed. With an option to choose the width per line instead of the words per line, I think I could read much faster still.
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Re: Too OCD to Read?

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:18 am UTC

Kolko wrote:I can still follow their texts fairly comfortably at 1000 wpm, with the right settings. The one thing that bugs me is that four words can have a massively different width, which is keeping me from reading at greater speed. With an option to choose the width per line instead of the words per line, I think I could read much faster still.

So, fully justified or ragged right?
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