When I was a kid, I read books like a madman. I'd hop on my bike and race to the Victor Free Library - an old train depot in Victor, NY - and get lost in all of choices available to me. I could spend hours walking through the stacks, picking out what spoke to me on that particular day, and would leave with at least three or four books tucked under my arm for the ride home. I'd quickly devour them and be back at the library in a few days to find more treasures.
But these days, I'm finding it more difficult to read books. More often than not, if a book doesn't "catch" me in the first few dozen pages, I'm done with it. And not many books are "catching" me. The last book I finished was "The Girl Who Played With Fire", the second book in the popular Stieg Larsson trilogy. It started out fine, but by the time I reached the last 100 pages or so, I was speed-reading and racing to finish the damn thing.
I love magazines. Always have. It's kind of a rush for me to go to a bookstore or newsstand and see rows of magazines in the racks. I relish picking them up and flipping through the glossy pages. Magazines are great because they can immediately satisfy my need for information or entertainment. Magazines allow me to be more fickle - I can quickly scan articles or revel in more in-depth pieces. And if a particular article bores me, I can flip the page.
So does my lack of commitment to getting through a book - and preferring the quick-hit nature of magazines - speak more to my short attention span tendencies, or to life in a world where we're all so used to multi-tasking that it's increasingly difficult to focus and savor the slower pace of a good book?
We're going on a beach vacation in a couple of weeks, and I'd like to think I could find a book (or two) that I could enjoy. But I find myself already stock-piling magazines to bring with us.
Is anyone else having trouble committing to books these days, or is it just me?