I’m A Distracted Reader…Like The Worst.

I can get lost in a book all day with the rest of them — completely and utterly absorbed in the world or the character’s journey and not even realize that it’s turned dark and Will went back to bed an hour ago. But when it comes down to it, at my core, I’m a very distracted reader — something that even Will has pointed out lately.

There’s the distractions of other people wanting to talk to you or requiring your attention….or cute nieces who want to play with you while you are reading on vacation.

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But my biggest distractions?

 

My brain, the Internet and Netflix.

 

My brain:

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 My brain never stops. It’s always jumping around. This is why I have a hard time sleeping. I will be reading and something  on the page will spark something in my brain and I will start thinking about that or go research it or what not. Or I will get up from reading to put my laundry in (that I forgot to do) and then I will find myself embarked on an intense cleaning session for 3 hours all because I couldn’t find a lipstick I randomly thought about because I was washing the shirt I wore out the last time I wore that lipstick. I might get up to use the restroom and will see my nail polish and start painting my nails. Or maybe I’m really stressed about something and the whole time I’m reading I realize my brain is just thinking about it OVER AND OVER AGAIN and I’ve been reading the same sentence for an hour.

My brain just doesn’t cooperate sometimes for reading. It takes A LOT for it to finally settle in.

The Internet:

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This might be the WORST of them all. It’s so awful!! I’ll read like 10 pages maybe and then be like OH I need to pop on Twitter or check my email and the next next thing I know an hour has passed and I’ve just been scrolling or getting lost in link after link. Or it’s a continuous read 10 pages, refresh ALL THE THINGS, read 10 pages, refresh ALL THE THINGS (still nothing, Jaim), read 10 pages, refresh ALL THE THINGS and then get sucked into a Twitter conversation. Or maybe I’ll go to the park to specifically read and leave with 4 pages read because in my quest to get the most PERF outside reading picture to put on Instagram I got sucked into the internet.

Lately I’ve realized HOW BAD my addiction/the distraction has gotten and I decided that I would put my phone and laptop in a place that I could NOT reach from my reading spot. (That was pretty much my only solution that wasn’t getting rid of my phone/laptop or putting a shock collar on myself and letting Will zap me every time I went to reach for one of them). And you know what happened??? I’ve gotten SO MUCH MORE reading done because of it. I’m way too lazy to get up and retrieve my phone/laptop every time I get the urge to refresh ALL THE THINGS. So I sit there and reading and then maybe after an hour I do a little checksie on the interwebs and put it back down & read. It’s funny how when it’s right next to me it just CALLS to me to refresh and check in.

NETFLIX:

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Sometimes I go through random obsessions with new shows on NETFLIX and they just CALL TO ME while I try to read.  Once I get into a show that’s ALL I want to be doing. Pretty much why barely any reading got done when I marathon-ed Breaking Bad last year. I’ll be on the couch reading and it’s like THE OBSESSION just calls out to me and, in the case of tv shows, I just find myself wanting to be ONLY in that world…doesn’t even matter what book I have in front of me. I think this is why I can go a week or two without reading much…because every time I try to….that jealous & needy bitch Netflix is like I AM YOUR ONE AND ONLY SOURCE OF ENTERTAINMENT UNTIL THIS SERIES IS OVER.

 

I definitely think technology, especially my phone and my laptop, end up being the BIGGEST and most detrimental distraction for me + my reading time…and really with any other sort of productivity actually. Changing my habits has definitely helped a little bit! Honestly sometimes it’s a wonder that I get any reading done between these 3 things!

 

Let’s TALK:

Are you a distracted reader or once you are in the zone you are IN and not coming out? If you are a distracted reader, what are your biggest distractions?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. I’m the same way! If I wasn’t so easily distracted I’d probably be able to finish most of my books in a day or two. As it is, I finish books in 3-5 days or sometimes it takes me an entire week. The internet is a blessing and a curse when it comes to my reading life.

  2. I recently started watching Orange Is The New Black, because on of the TV channels here was advertising both seasons being on their site. Because I was so obsessed binge watching that, it took me two weeks to read a book that would usually take maybe three nights. When I finished the book, I kind of felt like I didn’t enjoy it all that much just because I’d been so obsessed with OITNB! TV on the internet is definitely a bad thing for me because I’ll just lie in bed and watch episode after episode. Shocking.

  3. Omg I am totally the same, I start reading then I’m like I need to check Instagram and then it’s like 30mins has passed. Or sometimes I com across something I find interesting and then go on the internet to research which then I get distracted by social media.

  4. Ooh, I’m the same! I get so easily distracted! That’s probably why I find it much easier to read a lot when I’m at my parents’ — over there I haven’t got my computer calling me to it, haha. I rarely read for a long stretch of time, just because I feel the need to do something else every time after half an hour.

  5. Ahh, yes. This post is great, Jamie! I’m a very distracted reader too – and I’ve mainly got the internet to blame. My brain also distracts me, but the internet is the WORST! Although I’d love it if we had Netflix here in Australia, I’m kind of glad that we don’t, otherwise I don’t think I’d read a book a month.

  6. I get distracted so easily. My current obsession is The Sims 4 and always Netflix and the internet. My solution is to read on my way to work. My husband works out of town and the parking at work is ridiculous so I take public transit to work if my husband is working and I make myself put my phone away the entire ride and if I get to work with a little time to spare I read.

  7. I used to have a pretty case that held both my ipad mini and kindle together for easy transport. Then I realized that any-little-thing would have me grabbing the ipad while reading to go ahead and check it out. Solution? Get a new case for my kindle and leave the ipad in a separate room far far away from temptation. I fight the urge to go and gran it & am able to read much longer periods! It’s a small miracle that I am not binging on TV right now or my TBR pile would become overwhelming 😉

  8. So much of this is my life. I definitely have a problem with wanting “refresh all the things” after ever chapter and the Netflix thing is also quite problematic. I sometimes try to do both at once claiming that Netflix is “just background noise” but I get so easily distracted. Yesterday I got home late and I decided to just read and I read twice as much as I normally do. Yup, it’s Netflix’s fault. Maybe I will try that hiding the phone/laptop trick. I also get really distracted by my brain but more often I get very distracted by “shiny object.” Like my cat. And I sometimes I even find myself staring into space while reading, but that usually means I’m tired. Great post, it’s so very accurate!

  9. Katheryn @ Perks of being a booknerd says:

    I agree 100% about the internet being distracting. I’m exactly the same: I’ll read a few pages, then take a break and check twitter, a few pages read…do the same thing. It’s a really vicious circle. Also if I’m not really sucked into the story, I get more distracted by silly things. lol

  10. Okay, first of all – is that a picture of your niece? Because she is just about the most adorable thing ever and how could you NOT be distracted by such cuteness?

    I am actually NOT a distracted reader. In fact, if anything, I am the exact opposite of this – I let nothing distract me from my books. Not the laundry I should be doing or the dishes I put away or the dinner I should be making for my family. I have to TEAR myself away in order to get anything done. I don’t even watch TV anymore, which I used to love. I even sometimes have a hard time stopping reading so that I can write a blog post sometimes! Um, guess my blog is aptly named.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  11. I’m pretty good about losing myself in a story. But like you, sometimes I have trouble shutting my brain off (and it’s why I can’t sleep well at night). Usually, though, I can turn it off for a book. I always play music when I read, and so when I stop and realize that the song has definitely changed, I know I’ve gotten caught up with the characters and the story-line. I never even realize when it happens, it’s just like a slow process. Though, sometimes I distract myself with the music, because a song will come on that I love, and I’ll be like OHMYGOSH MY FAVORITE SONGE EVER I HAVE TO SING THIS AS LOUD AS I CAN. But Netflix! Netflix is my worst distraction. Like you, I get so obsessed with TV shows, and I’ll marathon whole seasons within weeks (just did that with Haven, actually, and I never even finished it all). I start and stop them all the time, and when I become addicted, the amount that I read goes wayyyyy down.

  12. I am an “in the zone” type reader. My phone goes off and I barely hear it. Or I hear it and go “I’ll check it after this chapter” and then I forget and four hours later I still haven’t answered that text or tweet or whatever it is. I think this is part of the reason I’m so bad at Twitter. Because I would rather read than scroll through my feed and interact. I’m not a big TV person so that’s never been a problem for me. I’m able to watch one episode and then say “okay, I want to read now”. I don’t feel that pull. What does get me though are the rare occasions that my husband finds a video game I like. He just got Diablo 3 for his PS4 and I am addicted and that will most definitely distract me from reading.

  13. Oh my gosh, I get so bad with the distractions! Lately I’ve been terrible. It’s like I’m dying to keep reading because I really do love the books have, but at the same time the internet and Netflix are always there. And the sad thing is, I don’t actually have anything I’m currently binging on on Netflix. I get those moments when I get back from work and I just need to eat something and veg out or like a half hour, so I’ll put on something short on Netflix and before you know it I’m being asked if I’m still watching the show (and saying yes and being asked again). It’s sooooo bad. And with the new job I’ve started I have been SUPER tired when I get home. Retail is the worst, and I spend 8 hours running around helping customers that are super needy and I just get home totally exhausted. I basically end up going to bed pretty quick after coming home and repeating it the next day. And I try to read on my breaks, but a half hour is just not enough time for me because I definitely struggle to put a book down once I get into it. I am such a distracted reader, and I’m currently the distracted reader in a reading slump even though the book I’m reading is awesome. I just don’t get it.

  14. I could have written this myself… I’m soooo easily distracted. I kind of frustrate myself at times, and for the same reasons. Either my brain won’t stop (also not a great sleeper), or the internet is right there at my fingertips, or Netflix is calling to me. I used to read so much more, and wasn’t nearly as distracted, but then I had kids and then we got smartphones. Netflix has always been there, but now I find I turn it to more often because I’m tired in the evening after a long day and can’t make my brain focus on a book. Sadness.

  15. ALL OF THESE. My brain is the worst – I’ll read something in a book and it will spark something else, and next thing you know, I’ve been on Wikipedia for an hour reading about the history of Kate Bush or something. The worst thing is that this always happens right before bed, and it sparks something else, and then I don’t end up getting to bed for ages and ages.

    I think I’m slowly starting to accept that I’m a mood reader, and if I don’t feel like reading the book that’s next on my schedule, I just…won’t. I’ll distract myself with TV shows and Twitter and internet obsessions and just not read. I think I need to just read whatever I want and hope that I get to it in time for blog deadlines…

    I don’t have Netflix (although I do ill*gally d*wnl*ad shows – I know, I’m a rebel) and part of my reluctance to get it is that I don’t want it to take over my life!

    I’ve been getting better with my internet obsession mainly because work has been so busy – yesterday I didn’t even look at my computer after work. I’ll still answer some tweets, but I’m trying really hard not to have my first thought in anything be, “Oh, I should tweet/Instagram that!” – I want to live in the present, and the more I share, the more I feel like I’m missing out, you know? At the same time…I feel so connected to the blogging community when I get to talk to people a lot. Surely there must be a balance between those two things?

  16. Nikki Robinson says:

    Yes to everything you said about the internet. If my phone dings with an email or text, it ends with me not picking my book back up for 15-20 minutes because I have to know what all of the book people I follow on twitter are talking about. And the instagramming your outside reading- yes! I did this just this past weekend. It was finally nice enough (read: not hotter than actual hell) outside so my fiancé and I busted out our hammocks to read. In the few hours we were out, I read maybe forty or fifty pages because of my STUPID PHONE with the STUPID INTERNET. I’m going to have to try your “out of reach” tactic.

  17. I am SUCH a distracted reader! I have a job where I can sit at my desk and read if I have time but I always stop reading to google something. At home I don’t because I don’t read by sitting right in front of the computer. I hate it!

  18. This post is SO perfect for me right now. I was just reading a little while ago, then grabbed my phone to tweet about my reading. Then of course I got sucked into the internet vortex and happened upon this post. And when reading this lovely post, you mentioned laundry and I was like, “Oh, crap, that load is done and I need to start a new one! But first I’m going to leave this comment because it’s too perfect!” Lol! So here in a minute I’m going to do laundry and then I’m going to take your advice and put my phone on my husband’s bedside table instead of mine so that I’m less likely to pick it up while reading on my side of the bed. (Obvs. you are not alone at being a distracted reader!) 😉

  19. I have been SO distracted lately!
    In general my biggest distraction (aside from my boyfriend constantly needing to talk to me) is SONGS! I wish I had a dollar for every time a random song has gotten stuck in my head and I haven’t been able to STOP SINGING IT in my head to read. I read the sentence and somehow sing in my head at the same time. It sucks. It needs to stop. I don’t even know how it keeps happening!!

  20. This post describes my reading habits perfectly well! I get distracted way too easily, but mainly because of TV shows and Youtube. If a decide to start watching a tv show I need to watch all episodes available no matter what so I won’t read a thing until my mission is done. And about Youtube, well is basically the same! if I find a new youtuber I must watch all the videos

  21. YES.

    Just yes.

  22. Yes! Twitter is the worst type of distraction. If I have my phone anywhere near me while I’m reading I’ll end up reading my twitter DMs and feed and not the book. Why does it call to us so? I am going to try and put the phone away and see if that helps! Why haven’t I been doing that on my own? Addiction to Twitter.

  23. You may have the cutest niece in the history of all nieces. That picture is extra adorable. I can definitely relate to the internet and Netflix! My brain is generally agreeable but I find myself obsessively checking my email or twitter every 10 minutes. Why?? There’s nothing that important. Of course the temptation that is Netflix! That thing where the next episode in the season just starts! Gets me everytime.

  24. Your niece is super adorable! Once I start a book, it’s usually hard to stop, but if I do stop, it’s probably because I have other work to do. Ugh, it’s the worst but I’m slowly working at reducing the amount of work. I also compulsively check my phone for texts/emails/notifications. It’s the worst!

  25. Lookie lookie here. This is EXACTLY what I’m doing right now. I’m at a pivotal moment in my current read, whipped out my phone to post an update to Goodreads, went on to twitter to make sure it posted, saw I had a new notification, quickly went to my feed just to look for a quick second, scrolled aimlessly for who knows how long, came across the title for this post with a link, clicked it obviously, and here I am. Meanwhile my book is still propped open to the current page I’m on wondering what the heck I’ve been up to for the past 40 minutes. I’m obviously going to have to go put my phone somewhere high up and far away like you did. Because that will totally work in my favor, I’m lazy too.

    • HAHAHAHAHA. Oh the life of a book blogger. Isn’t it so crazy how quickly our attention is broken?? Also, lazy girls unite!!

  26. Haha, I know the feeling. Sometimes I really want to read, but then I get sucked into the world of Internet or I fall into a new binge-watch on Netflix.. and before I know it I’ve spend almost all my time on something else than my book. I don’t really care though. Sometimes I have days all I do is read, sometimes I do other things.

  27. For sure the Internet is the biggest distraction for me, but no one has talked about books distracting you from books! I’m currently reading three and I really WANT to finish the paper copy book so I can return it, but the one on my Kindle is an easier read, so I switch to that, and then there’s another one on my phone/computer that will expire so I want to read that, but really I haven’t gotten too far into that so I feel like I should go back to the other two, and it’s just such a struggle. Haha oh dear. When books distract you from books.

  28. Ah these are definitely the three things that distract me the most too. I try to set a designated 30 minutes a night to read, but sometimes I just want to continue watching Netflix or not in the mood to read.

  29. I totally fall victim to the time suck that is the internet! I’ll finish a chapter and think “ohh I’ll just pop on my phone and see what’s up” and then an hour later I’m all annoyed that I haven’t been reading! LOL!

  30. My brain is exactly like this – it’s insane! Why is it that we have to think about random stuff ALL THE TIME? It interferes with my sleep too; I have to toss and turn for an hour before I can fall asleep. The Internet is a big one for me too… But I don’t really use Netflix. In fact, I rarely ever see any of the movies I want to see because I’m so distracted with everything else. 🙁 My level of distraction probably has the worst impact on TV; I can never keep up with TV shows because it’s too much of a commitment lol.

  31. Oh my gosh, I’m exactly the same! My ADD brain works nonstop, especially at night, and I’m constantly distracted by everything. I never thought I’d be one of those phone people, but I’m constantly checking it! So frustrating. I’m not a huge tv person, but when I get into a show, I go all out apparently. I went on an Amazing Race marathon on netflix where I watched every episode available! I didn’t read a single book in that time. So embarrassing, but it’s true. Even more embarrassing, I was recently introduced to the Sims 3 and I’ve been totally hooked on it, making reading nearly non-existent. Ahem. 🙂 I’m getting back to reading, but it’s slow going. I’m so glad I’m not the only distracted reader!

  32. This is SO me!!! I mean.. I can binge read with the best of them but it’s hard for me to get INTO a book nowadays it seems. I’ll read… oh look, a twitter notification. And from there I’ll click onto something else… and something else… and an hour later… yup. I pretty much just need to read away from my phone so I can do it uninterrupted!!

  33. I used to binge read all the time, but I find I can rarely do that these days. I blame it on my job, which has lots of interruptions and requires me to jump from task to task. I end up doing the exact same thing when I’m reading. Like you, there might be something on the page the jumps out at me; maybe I have to research it, maybe I get stuck pondering about it. Sometimes something unrelated to the book will pop into my head, and I don’t even know how. And sometimes my brain just shuts off, and I end up reading the same sentence three times in a row. How do I even finish books these days?!

  34. I’ll admit it – getting those perfect #currentlyreading photos for Instagram is definitely a distraction for me while reading!!

  35. Ummm, I could have written this exact post. Like, every word of it. You’re like my book twin.

    I so, so need to try putting the laptop and phone out of reach when I’m reading (in my head: hahahahaHAHAAAAA). Netflix, omg, every time I start a new show I get COMPLETELY OBSESSED. I watched two seasons of Once Upon a Time in like #

  36. Ummm, I could have written this exact post. Like, every word of it. You’re like my book twin.

    I so, so need to try putting my laptop and phone out of reach when I’m reading (in my head I’m already like hahahahaHAHAAAAA yeah okay).

    Netflix, omg, it’s a sickness. Every time I start a new show I get COMPLETELY OBSESSED and just cannot turn away. I watched two seasons of Once Upon a Time in like 3 DAYS, that’s a problem.

  37. I agree with the Internet and netflix. Those are my biggest distractions too!

  38. Good Lord, this post was about me. Every. Single. Thing. is about me! I get to feeling so guilty about abandoning my lovely books in favor of TV series and the internet. I’ve been REALLY bad about it lately, I have started three different books and have yet to finish any of them because SHOWS! And KIDS, I have two of them, the little devils! If I sit down with one of my books my little girl instantly wants me to read her books to her. On a side note though, Yay for baby bookworms! Good luck in curbing your distractions!

  39. YESSS! I am SUCH a distracted reader! It’s a serious problem.. I hate it so much! I feel like such a BAD reader because I’m so distracted. I have to be really into a book in order to sit down and actually read it and it suckkkssss so bad. I can only read action books sometimes because they keep my attention. But I’m also really sporadic when it comes to the genres I read so sometimes I can only read contemporary because the relationships are so cute and I just can’t handle them anymore.

    I think my biggest distraction is Supernatural (the urge to watch the episodes… It’s a problem!) as well as my phone/internet. I tried getting into the habit of turning my phone on Do Not Disturb while I’m reading but then I started missing people’s texts that were important (like my mom asking me to do something or my friends wanting to know the homework or that cute boy texting me. You know. Important stuff) therefore I just decided to scrap that idea.

    Basically, it’s so hard to just sit down and read. I don’t know. I love reading but it takes a while for me to get into a book and I hate it so much. >.< Great discussion though! 🙂 Really made me wanna share (obviously from this longggg comment).

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  1. […] Jamie admits she’s a distracted reader. […]

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