Things have been weird all night.
I’ve dreamed in plain text. All night. This hurts my brain. Like a long scrolling stream of text, that I was actually reading, all night long. No wonder my brain feels all weird in the morning. Meh. Time to see if I can get some normal sleep in my remaining time on the bipap.
[Baby-me sitting down reading a book. Around it are gold circles cut into the phases of the moon. Some sort of purple and pink stuff that looks almost like curtains the way it’s cut, and has obvious text showing through the other side of it. And the caption, handwritten by my mother, “Quiet as a butterfly, quiet as a sunset, quiet as a book, quiet as Mandy’s thoughts.”]
Hyperlexia anyone? Geez. Also, more apparent commentary on the “who’s in there?” thing. I remember my mom used to tell stories of all the stuff my brothers did as babies, and I’d ask what I did, and she’d pause for a second and say “You… umm… you were quiet.” Which I found boring and unsatisfying at the time. I also remember being thinking about nothing in particular and my mom then randomly saying the word “thoughtful” to someone about me, before I knew what the word meant. That happened a lot. (If I had known what it meant, it would confuse me, because it usually happened when I was spacing out or staring at stuff without the slightest thought in my head. It’s weird all the textures words have before you know what they mean.)
I also remember being older than that and having this huge pile of books that I’d take to my crib (I was in a crib up to the age of four or so, I think — they changed it so I could climb in and out myself), and later to bed, with me. Which hasn’t changed. Not even a little. I’ve got a huge amount of them hanging off the side of my bed in a blanket where I can reach them if I want them but they don’t actually touch the bed itself.
That reading speed test again.
Now I’m wondering if that actually gives me an answer to something that’s been puzzling me way too long.
Every time I write anything that I post online. And often when I write things I don’t post. I read it over and over and over and over after I’ve posted it. Not just right after I’ve posted it but later too. How many times varies.
And I’d been trying to figure out if it was because of something I ought to look at changing. And that’s still possible. I mean there could be some element of undue obsessiveness or intellectual vanity involved. But after rereading yet again what I wrote after I took that test (no seriously I did not plan that line), I’m starting to think there’s got to be some of it that’s about just plain trying to read it enough times to understand it. Since I can’t slow down my eyes easily and have to just reread a bunch of times to understand anything.
And that may sound weird for something I wrote. But looking back, often I don’t notice a simple error in a fairly short post until the fourth, tenth, or fifteenth reread. So maybe it makes sense.
“You read 472 words per minute.
That makes you 89% faster than the national average.”
You read 548 words per minute.
That makes you 119% faster than the national average.
You read 295 words per minute.
That makes you 18% faster than the national average.
but…i can tear through a book faster than almost anyone i know
You read 1,175 words per minute.
That makes you 370% faster than the national average.
Holy shit … I get close to qualifying as a speed reader.
And I used to read faster than that, my depression’s just wrecked my concentration.
You read 1,142 which makes you 357% faster than the national average.
On the other hand - it was from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and I’m already familiar with the story, so things that might have thrown me for a loop didn’t. So semi-cheating.
Okay so this test pissed me off and gave me a headache (not the fault of whoever posted it). It twice told me (at my normal reading speed, and at much less than my normal reading speed) that I hadn’t actually read the passage in question, because I could only answer one out of the three questions each. The second time this happened, it’s from a book that I’ve read before, dozens of times. And it kept condescendingly telling me it’s not a race, like I was choosing to read faster than usual on purpose.
Finally, I got another book I’d read many times before, and was able to get two out of three questions right, which it decided meant I’d actually read it, unlike the previous two times. It then tells me “You read 130 words per minute. That makes you 48% slower than the national average.” And shows an arrow saying I read slower than the average third grader.
I mean I guess I knew something along the lines already — decoding good, comprehension terrible. But this test didn’t allow for that, it just assumed I was reading too fast on purpose.
I memorized the answers to the first question and read over it again at my normal speed, not rushing. Then it tells me “You read 779 words per minute. That makes you 212% faster than the national average.” Which is apparently faster than college professors and slightly slower than high-scoring college students.
The problem is it’s incredibly hard for me to slow down enough to understand what I read. In fact usually all I can do is repeatedly reread, I can’t usually slow down my eyes without the words turning to total gibberish. I don’t know if that’s a motor planning problem or what.
If I read one more parental account that says having a child like me is like a death in the family, I’m going to scream.
Is this a common thing?
When I read a book (or watch a movie, etc.) for the millionth time. And every time I read it, I’m hoping the characters won’t do something that I already know they’ll do? And I mean literally as if it’s the first time, except of course I know what will happen, except of course I don’t, somehow? It seems totally irrational, but then people aren’t always rational.
Like, if a character is trying to jump over a gap in the ground, and I know they’re going to fall in and die. I still hope they’ll make it. And still feel like maybe they’ll make it this time around. Is this a sign of my weird brain or do most people do this?
(I already know, by the way, that it’s not about how good the writing is. The writing can be great or terrible and it doesn’t affect this at all.)
read a fucking book
Not that anyone should have to justify what technology they do or don’t use. But I was given my Kindle at a time when my arms were too weak to hold a book and turn the pages for the length of time it takes to read a book. I’m stronger now but I can easily get that weak again by using my arms too much — like by reading long books. The voice feature is more than just a cool addon if you’re visually impaired, dyslexic, intellectually disabled to the point of finding reading hard, or get migraines from the eye strain of reading. And this is just off the top of my head.
Technology that seems frivolous to others can be life-changing for disabled people. I’m in bed close to 24/7 and having a way I can read without a backlight, while lying on my side and barely twitching a finger to change pages? It’s amazing. Having a way I can read without my eyes when I’m overly prone to migraines, or when my visual perception is shot to hell? Also amazing. Way easier than trying to surf the web with emacspeak with my eyes shut.
People who make remarks about how pointless technology is rarely consider this angle. Of course — nobody should feel that they need to justify their reason for technology (and I even believe this about technology expressly made for disabled people and socially considered off limits to anyone else). People can use a Kindle for any reason they want up to and including laziness and I have zero problem with that. But the fact that people making these remarks never even consider that there are people who can’t read books or can only do so at risk to their health or pain levels… that irks me in a completely unique way. Despite collecting books I still do 99% of my actual reading on Kindle for exactly those reasons.