Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reading Narcolepsy

Something horrible happened to me during law school. I lost my ability to read for pleasure.

It has been a while since I have been able to finish a non-legal book because no matter how interesting the book was, no matter what time of day I was reading, no matter how awake I was before I started reading, I would fall asleep after reading a couple pages. Out cold. I actually started reading magazines during law school because I knew I could at least finish an article before falling asleep.

I think my reading narcolepsy stems from the same reason of why I fall sleep if I am just watching a movie. I lost my ability to do one thing at a time. I am a serial multitasker. Even if I was reading the most boring case in the world, the reason why I stayed awake was being I was simultaneously taking notes. While "active" learning was worked for law school, I miss leisure reading. I remember how much I loved going to the library to pick out a new book to read. Heck, I even wanted to be an English major I liked reading that much.

So another goal for my post-graduate life: read a book a month. I have a few options on my shelf: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet, which I have been working on for a year or so; True Compass, the Teddy Kennedy Memoir; Rediscovering Lone Pine, a fiction story written by one of my former professors; and a few others. By the end of October, make sure that I have written a book report to prove that I have read something.


Josh Stewart said...

Very interesting. Though I can't relate entirely, I feel as though I had the same experience reading certain works by philosophers in college. I didn't think anyone else shared the same onset of fatigue from reading. I enjoy reading, and continue to do so for both work and pleasure. However, I remember certain philosophers were a challenge to get through. Reading first thing in the morning when there were little to no distractions helped. Did you make it through law school and are things better now?

Lori O. said...

I also suffer from what I call, 'reading-induced' narcolepsy - LOL. Like you, when reading, I'd fall asleep quickly and completely after only a few paragraphs. It does not matter what I am reading, how interested I am in the material, where I am when I read it, how much sleep I get the night before, how much coffee I drink, etc. I actually 'Googled' the subject today, which is how I found your post! I also posted on the subject today on my blog. I read your post after posting my blog or I'd have added a link to your post as well! I'll get you in the next post ; )