Reading

I love to read. I started reading when I was 8. I had always wanted to read but, I found the words on the page would not speak to me. I remember sitting in front of my book shelf and pulling down book after book until I was surrounded by a pile of books, crying because I couldn’t figure out how to read their stories. I especially struggled with Chris Van Allsburg books because you have to read them to really know what is going on. His pictures are beautiful and I loved them but, I never knew what the stories were about. I actually never read any of his books until I became an adult and had gotten over the hurt of them not sharing enough with me as a child. It was a tragedy against those books and this child.

Picture books could give me enough information to get by. The pictures generally shared an equal amount of the story letting me gain enjoyment. I also eventually memorized some of the books my parents read to me.

Yes my parents read to me, everyday. My Dad is severely dyslexic so, his reading of Calvin and Hobbes can never really be recreated for me. He doesn’t read sentences he reads each word and puts whatever punctuation comes to him. Strong nostalgia there. My Mom read to me everyday all the way through elementary school. She made up stories for me as well, those characters were like friends and family. However, none of this was enough for how much I wanted to read.

Once I learned how to read, my level was above average but, my speed was never very quick. I have learned that I have an audio dyslexia, I must hear the words out loud or in my head to understand them. So, speed reading is out. I had tried for years, I end up feeling like I read nothing. High School was such a challenge. The rate with which I was required to read in English was impossible with the amount of other homework and sports I was involved in. I would do my darnedest to get ahead to only fall behind half way through the book and never finish it. It is doubly sad because I loved all the books we read. However, I had to give them back to the school before I could ever finish them. I am putting those books into my reading lists now to finally finish them.

Until this year I have never been able to keep up with what I have desired to be my reading habits. The discovery, someone told me about their cousin who also has audio dyslexia, reads via audiobooks and can speed up the audiobook to 3x speed. I have been listening to audiobooks on an off for 6 years. Somehow I missed the setting where you can speed them up, probably because I started with cds, itunes, and then a library program. Since, I started technology has improved and on both Audible and my Library program; I can turn the speed up to at least 2x. Audiobooks are much more accessible for me because I can intake a story at the proper speed for my brain to take it in and for me to maintain interest. When the story is going to slow, I get bored because there is room for other thoughts to intrude on the story. If it is going fast, I can’t stop paying attention.

An added benefit to this speed listening is I am finding I can actually read faster. I never quit picking up actual books as I began listening to more audiobooks. As I sped up the audio, my mind could sound out text faster as it had gotten used to hearing words played faster. The joy this all gives me is immense. It has made me realize reading is the thing I will drop everything else for to do. As soon as I finish a book I check out what will be next. I have 35 audiobooks always at the ready on Audible, at least 5 on the library audio system and my recent visits to the library have become maybe too over zealous. I have 10 books out to myself right now. It does work okay when they are all middle grade which, 8 of 10 are. (I don’t like to keep a book out for long, I want to make sure it gets back in circulation asap so someone else can find it and enjoy it)

I am so satisfied by all of this. I once watched so much tv in the background as I worked(art, clean house, etc). I now hardly ever do, I’m listening to audiobooks. Even when I watch the COPA America games at home, I’m reading a book at the same time.

My son also enjoys listening to audiobooks. He isn’t at 2x so, we tend to share a book at separate times. It is nice to be able to double up on sharing stories together. I sadly can not read to him all the time. I’m so glad this technology is there for him in his childhood. They say listening to audiobooks helps with reading too. Take advantage of this tool to read more. Libraries have pretty excellent catalogs of audiobooks now.

If you care to see what I’m reading: follow along at Goodreads

Happy Reading!

Opossum wants to play with Tiger

A little risky fellow has tangled himself up on this tiger’s tail. We will have to see if this tiger’s interested expression is based on hunger or playful curiosity.

tigeropossum-CaseyGirard
This is the color comp for my twoodle from last week.

Ah! I did it again didn’t I? I got behind on posts, this should have been out yesterday morning. Two things lent themselves to this delay. One, I am working on something I can’t share yet. So, my pastels that were actually done Monday, is under wraps until the finish gets into the hands of the recipient. Then, I have gotten back into the habit of visiting our library. With a new treasure trove of books on loan I have been reading a little obsessively. We found some really great books! I couldn’t help myself but, sit and read for a few endless hours.

If you want to keep up with what I’m reading I am using Goodreads to keep track.

My favorites from this past visit are R.L. LaFevers Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist series. They are perfect middle grade adventure reads. Nathaniel is adorable and easy to relate to. The illustrations by Kelly Murphy are just right for the feel of the book.

The Witches

Whenever I read a book I get vivid images in my head of what’s happening. I have recently picked back up the Witches for fun and although, it’s difficult to compete with the incredible illustrations of Quentin Blake I still have my own ideas.

As I began to desire to draw this illustration, I had an image come to mind as I read the passage. I then turned the page to the illustration by Mr. Blake and it was what my mind had shown me! I love that books I read as a child stuck with me so intently. It also terrified me to realize how much my illustration ideas are influenced by others which, I may not immediately remember.

However, the story progesses telling more about our young hero sitting and listening to his Grandmama. From my continued time being with the characters I was able to stretch my mind to come up with my own image.

It is the new year and as I always plan to draw images from what I am reading I think this shall be my just for fun resolution. “I will not neglect to draw the images that come to mind as I read.” They will post on Mondays, I’m not going to plan to be regular with them. I will draw them as I have time.

Happy New Year All! I wish you well with your goals and resolutions. Also great success to all in 2012!