Sunday, September 11, 2011

I have been struggling with reading "The Descent of Man: The Concise Edition" for the past few months - since somewhere in February this year. In between, due to my frustration at being unable to digest the words as my eyes move over them from left to right and top to bottom, I had gone on a holiday and took it along with me for 'reading up in the air', left it in my bag with hopes that I'll pick it up again, read plenty of other books, and finally decided to neglect it in favour of reading lighter material. What's really horrifying about this is:

a) It's the bloody concise version! Imagine if I had the actual lengthy version  that goes on and on in my hands...
b) The topic is actually one of particular interest, and having the words pass you by is really, really bad. IMHO. 

I picked it up again about two weeks ago, seeing that I had a long break and could probably read it in a few sittings, but it wasn't meant to be as I suddenly had plenty of other things to do as well. I managed to reread the parts I thought I had covered earlier and I progressed further than I had over the period of the few months during the first attempt, but I still have a quarter of the book to go through. 

This time, however, I noticed something disturbing while reading the book. When I said that the words just dance in front of my eyes without registering any meaning whatsoever, that is what they actually did, and this they did without fail when I tried reading the book after coming home from work. I don't know how or when this started happening, but my brains seem to go on auto hibernation mode the moment I get back.

I can't read, I can't focus enough to churn out a proper blog post or write anything else for that matter, I don't even want to make the effort to switch on the modem to go online and stalk people on Facebook or listen to stuff on youtube, or even follow links on wikipedia and read interesting stuff. All I can do, is have some food, watch a disturbing episode of Law and Order (SVU), and then sleep. I think I'm in trouble.


  1. I've been trying to read this book the wife bought 4 months ago and I still haven't gotten close to finishing it. It's not that it's bad, I just can't find the time to read it for more than 5-10 minutes at a time.

  2. I think it's important certain great books exist but that does not necesarily mean we have to read them.

    Console yourself that you have probably read and struggled over more of The Descent of Man than most other people who actually claim to have read all of it.

  3. I experienced the same thing with books of similiar language of writing. Perhaps it's not a bad idea to get a more concise version of the the-already-concise-book.

    We know all about Hamlet and Macbeth but how many of us have actually read Shakespeare? I simply hung on to CliffsNotes

  4. Nick: Yeah, same problem here... 10 mins in the morning, and that's about it (excluding weekends)

    King of Scurf: It's not so much reading this book in particular as it is me worrying about the fact that I'm so unproductive after work, that's all.

    Sriyani: More concise than concise? Oh wow... never thought of that, actually. We'll see how reading this book goes...


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