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Tuesday, 29 January 2013


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It is precisely for this reason that I don't read as many books from other cultures as I should! I really struggled a few years back with a non-fiction book about Buddhism that was supposed to be excellent. But the guy kept travelling around Buddhist sites in a certain part of India and I just could not see them at all. It was quite dense, difficult prose and this inability to at least conjure up a scene in my mind by way of compensation completely threw me. It was one of those books that didn't last more than twenty pages with me!


I think I usually read strange places like I read strange words- glossing over, then making up a meaning in context, and then feeling fairly confident with the meanings/concepts. I suppose this is a flawed method- sometimes I get a concrete idea, but I get it wrong. Sometimes I turn to a dictionary. I like the idea of immersion, but in a sense maybe this involves taking too much from my own head, not enough from the text. But I like the way a place or time period can become more and more familiar through reading.


Helen, your post makes me realise once again that I am simply not a visual reader. I would have no problem with this book because I simply don't 'see' any book that I read. I'm not quite certain what I do instead, but I know it isn't a visual process. Is there anyone else out there who feels this way and can explain where our understanding of a book comes from? I think I'd better do a post on this myself. Thanks for the nudge.


I don't really "see" books either -- not even to the extent of visualizing what characters look like. But then I am the sort of person who prefers that words stay with poems and not make the leap to music lyric ... like my music purely non-verbal.

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