If you know me, you know that I absolutely love reading. It’s one of my favorite pass times. But it can also be hard for me to read when I’m tired (which is all of the time). In 2020, I started great literature/history classes that had me reading very old books (early Greek and Romans mainly). I fell in love with the style, the story and everything….but I also had an incredibly hard time focusing and getting through it all.
My little brain has a bad habit of skipping over large words (and names). Like I’ll see them, but I just ignore them. Hence, I end up confused and have to go back and reread a lot.
I was searching for a solution to this problem when I came across an audiobook of The Iliad (which was what I was reading at the time). I decided to give it a try. I turned on the audiobook and read along. And guess what? My focus improved immensely. My brain stopped skipping words. I was able to actually understand what the book was talking about. Having the words in front of me gave my eyes something to do and kept me from losing focus.
I was so thrilled to discover this method. It’s worked so well for me and has allowed me to read books that I never would have had the mental energy to read otherwise. Whenever I have a new book to read for literature, I’ll find the audio version of it and read along. (Librivox has hundreds of recorded books. They’re free to listen/download. They’re by far my favorite resource when it comes to this!)
Another thing is that a lot of the older writings that I was reading were meant to be heard and not read, so it was a plus to be able to get that experience as well.
I was recently reading the Faire Queene. The spelling is, um, different than what I’m used to, lol.
And round him lay on euery sideThe Faire Queene ~ Edmond Spencer
Great heapes of gold, that neuer could be spent:
Of which some were rude owre, not purifide
Of Mulcibers deuouring element;
So instead of spending time and mental energy on trying to figure out what it even says, the audio book let me understand it and immerse myself in the story, instead of getting bogged down by the words.
If you have trouble staying focused when reading older books (or any books for that matter), try finding an audio version to go along with it. Maybe you’ll find that it was as helpful to you as it was to me. 🙂
Do you like audiobooks? Have you tried anything similar to what I do? What are some of your favorite books?