While we are in the confessional here, I have a real shocker for people who know me:
I don't like to read.
I far prefer doing other things.
Reading is a tool- and excellent for gaining new information about all sorts of topics, for discovering new stories and new lines of thought. But I don't like it. That may seem really strange when I spend my life in academia, where reading is an absolute necessity. It probably seems strange to people who know that when I am disturbed in the middle of a book, I can be quite snappish and grumpy. I was up until 2 this morning reading a story I love.
Reading is an overwhelming experience. The pull of words and scenes and characters becomes a sensory overload. Tearing away from a book to come back to this world is like being shoved from a movie theater into the bright sunlight, when you are still processing and thinking about the movie. Ouch.
If they published good, interesting books as audio books- not just junk fiction and "nonfiction"- I would love it. I am very much an auditory or aural learner, not really a visual one. But from what I have read about auditory learners, I don't fit those descriptions. I keep reading (I didn't say I don't read, I said I don't care for it and I would prefer to do other things) that auditory learners think in words, are bad at math and good at foreign languages, and have trouble visualizing things. I probably do think in words, but creating pictures is not a problem, either. I stink at foreign language, but rock at math. I remember things better if I hear them rather than having to deal with words. Letters and words can get very jumbled on a page and overwhelming, and I have to stop and read it again, making it take longer.
I purchased a copy of Ivanhoe in mp3 because I had always wanted to read it. It was like having a whole new world, to be able to listen to the book instead of fighting with print. And besides, have you ever read Ivanhoe? Awesome.
I have been thinking about this more because Joey is so very visual, and yet seems to dislike reading. He sometimes says it hurts. I wonder if he means it is overwhelming. Perhaps he becomes engulfed as I do, though I have never seen him be engulfed in a book exactly in the way I get engulfed in a book and can't stop until I reach the end (even in books I have read many times before- did I mention I was up until 2 am?) Perhaps the letters jumble up, or make other kinds of patterns for him, and remembering they are words is something that requires more energy for him. Perhaps he is expected to read too quickly, and needs a lot more processing time to really understand what he is reading, just like me. And perhaps it is a totally different issue than anything I can right now picture or understand.
Trying to get Joey to understand that reading is a tool that provides him with information is has been a challenge. I think once he really understands what words and reading can do for him, he'll be happier. I wish I knew what the obstacle was, so i could help him get through it to the other side.
P.S.- Joey reads beautifully, when you can get him to do it. So it isn't an issue of ability.