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What do you experience when you read a fiction book?


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I am not a fast reader. I read mostly science fiction or fantasy. I experience a variety of shades and colors and feelings. Even when I don't comprehend completely or maybe even less than 70% I retain impressions of colours feelings and nuances. Maybe I am not even picturing what is written but I do see a kaleidoscopic vision. Sort what I imagine an LSD trip must be like. Just raw sensations with no logic.

What is your experience like?

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I see a movie in my head. Reading or listening to a story.. When someone describes something to me I "see" it in my head. It's a problem at times, for example I was watching a youtube video and the lad in it was describing a time his step father hit him, he described it in some detail so I saw it happening and I involuntarily shielded my head with my hands as he described being struck.. so it feels more real than it would be if they showed a reconstruction

i stop seeing the words after a while and just see the people. i can't see their faces usually, unless i decided to pop a person I know into that characters place, like if i've seen the movie i will see the actors but usually i don't really picture faces or anything. I'm always surprised when people say "she's not  how i pictured her"... i get a feeling for the characters, like I am with them, I feel their vibe, but I don't picture their features. I wonder if I did would it help me make eye contact with people IRL? I just don't consider that important information i guess ha ha. if the physical attributes of the character are described I skip over it, but I don't think I'm unusual because I've noticed most of the novels I read never describe the physical attributes of the characters... just stuff like "malnourished" or "intimidating", stuff that is important to the story... but not "freckly" or "brown eyed" who cares!?
 

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7 hours ago, Antecedent said:

I see a movie in my head. Reading or listening to a story.. When someone describes something to me I "see" it in my head. It's a problem at times, for example I was watching a youtube video and the lad in it was describing a time his step father hit him, he described it in some detail so I saw it happening and I involuntarily shielded my head with my hands as he described being struck.. so it feels more real than it would be if they showed a reconstruction

i stop seeing the words after a while and just see the people. i can't see their faces usually, unless i decided to pop a person I know into that characters place, like if i've seen the movie i will see the actors but usually i don't really picture faces or anything. I'm always surprised when people say "she's not  how i pictured her"... i get a feeling for the characters, like I am with them, I feel their vibe, but I don't picture their features. I wonder if I did would it help me make eye contact with people IRL? I just don't consider that important information i guess ha ha. if the physical attributes of the character are described I skip over it, but I don't think I'm unusual because I've noticed most of the novels I read never describe the physical attributes of the characters... just stuff like "malnourished" or "intimidating", stuff that is important to the story... but not "freckly" or "brown eyed" who cares!?
 

What speed do you read at? You say you stop seeing the words. That is the sign of an accomplished reader.

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For me it's not so much like a movie as a series of phantasms coming in and out of awareness. It invovles primarily vision but also the emotional impact is registered within. I was reading the book Green Mars yesterday and I find the descriptions veyr colorful and vivid. One of my humanities professors in my undergraduate used to say that the way to read a james joyce novel is to sit with some wine take a sip read a couple of pages and then sip again.

I don't understand or enjoy james joyce but i do feel that some of the fantasy and sci fi books I read should be savored in a way similar to that.

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I did a test years ago and I read at about 230wpm, apparently you can't go faster than 250wpm without some speedreading skills

that sounds about right! I don't like James Joyce either, he's silly, but I do like a lot of stuff that was written by authors who were influenced by him, so maybe he's not that silly. I wonder what he'd think if he knew i called him silly. Take that, Jimmy

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when you think do you visualize? I wonder if it's related to thinking style in general. i think in words an pictures, but when I think in words i visualize the words, the shapes of the letters
 

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Posted (edited)

I'm also around 250 wpm so that makes us similar along one  factor. I visualize many things. This is actually rather strange because my visuo-spatial IQ is much lower than my verbal and numerical IQ.

I know that for any mental operation there are multiple brain centers involved. So it may be possible for one center to correlate words and images and another center for manipulation or rotation of spatial mental objects. Which would explain why I can visualize words but find it hard to manipulate objects. Like if you gave me a picture of a painted or otherwise marked cube with different sides and asked me to predict what it would look from another side then I will really struggle.

 

Edited by the maze runner
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  • 2 weeks later...

Depends on the book. I have read The Da Vinci Code, and that's not great literature. And then the man said something and did something. Something to do with the Catholic church I think. You mean the Catholic church may be a force for evil. Yeah no fucking shit. But then there's great novelists like Dostoevsky and Kafka. You get inside someone's head reading their work. Shakespeare. Always so much to absorb. I'm probably sounding like some wanky intellectual creaming over books. I like reading. Might be better than having friends. I wouldn't know. Don't end up like me. Ha!

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On 6/5/2021 at 6:46 AM, Fluent In Silence said:

Depends on the book. I have read The Da Vinci Code, and that's not great literature. And then the man said something and did something. Something to do with the Catholic church I think. You mean the Catholic church may be a force for evil. Yeah no fucking shit. But then there's great novelists like Dostoevsky and Kafka. You get inside someone's head reading their work. Shakespeare. Always so much to absorb. I'm probably sounding like some wanky intellectual creaming over books. I like reading. Might be better than having friends. I wouldn't know. Don't end up like me. Ha!

 I used to read Kafka when I wsa younger. It is like an addictive drug. Dostoevsky also a good depressant drug. But when I wanted to get really messed up I would read Nietzsche and Freud.

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