Discussion // Reading and my short attention span. Is it just me?

03 May 2019

This time around my discussion post centres around something very simple. I have always had a short attention span, not so short I don’t focus, but I am easily distracted. I feel like I’ve not always been this way but over the fact few years, that’s definitely been true. My web browser usually has at least open tabs at any one time, and that’s if I’ve been good and shut them as I go along. I follow link after link and often have things I never get to reading but leave open ‘just in case’. I joke that my watch list on Netflix is aspirational because I have so many films and TV shows in there I will never get to watch. I get bored partway through a film and end up googling what happens because I know I won’t get to the end or I stop watching a TV show part way through a season because I need a break and never go back to it and then try again three years later. Hell, I play video games and never finish them. I can probably count on one hand the number of games I’ve got to the end on. Some might say that’s because I don’t commit to things, but it’s just I get bored. And this happens with books too.

I have many a long series I’ve been reading and loved and then put aside for a break, or to read a review copy, or simply because I was waiting for the next book to be released. And then I never return to it! It’s not that I dislike the series, but something stops me from returning and when I’m finally back in the mood to read it, I feel the need to start from the beginning because of my book amnesia… and then I never get past where I quit last time. It’s a vicious cycle! I like these series, like the Mercy Thompson series and the Kate Daniels series, but each has fallen victim to my distractedness and I still haven’t got to finish them. It’s not even like I have commitment issues or something, I’ve bought the books I just can’t seem to get any further in the series and I love these books.
Offensive Behavior
And it’s not just series (although they are the main victim of my short attention span) I’ve even started getting distracted from books when I’m halfway through reading. When I started writing this post there were 4 books on my currently reading shelf that I had put down partway through and was struggling to motivate myself to get back to. In fact, I was actively procrastinating to avoid them. I did not want to read them and it was no fault of whichever book I was reading. They all seemed to be decent reads but my brain decided that I did not want to read them it didn't sound as interesting as whatever took my attention instead. I mean, I was actually really loving reading The Tethered Mage, and I put it aside to blog and watch a little Game of Thrones… and then my brain had completely gone off reading the book and I don’t know why. I tried to read the next chapter and couldn’t get absorbed back into it like I was before I put it down. I’ve embraced DNF-ing that one and read the last chapter, but I don’t know why I went off reading. The same thing happened with Offensive Behaviour by Ainslie Paton. I adore Ainslie Paton’s books and I really liked that this one featured a virgin male main character because romance has plenty of virgin heroine’s who have a mind-blowing first time with an alpha male but very few virgin men are to be seen and so I love when I find one, but then I ended up falling out of the mood to read this one part way through. It’s like a switch was flipped in my brain and it became the last romance I wanted to read.

I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say they have this happen to them. This is actually one of the reasons I tend to try and read a book within a couple of days because otherwise I get bored and I don’t know why. I’ve always been a bit of a mood reader but I don’t know why I’ve only started noticing it more recently. I think I’ve always been a bit like this and that’s why I devour books in one sitting. I know I can read long series, I’ve read Harry Potter for god's sake, those books are long. But I think anytime I’ve read longer books I’ve done it in binge mode. I am a binger when it comes to reading and watching stuff. I binge watched before it was cool.

Anyone else find themself getting bored part way through things? Especially if they spend too long reading the same book? Or is just me? Am I just cursed with a short attention span?
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