How do you read when you can't slow down?

So this is a problem I have quite often, which is becoming more, er, problematic lately as I have deadlines.
Do you ever get days in which you absolutely cannot read more than two lines? Even if you really want to read? Like, not just with work or academia, but even reading a tumblr post or a friend’s text is something that takes you a lot of effort (if you manage to do it at all)? Mainly because your eyes keep either moving or you keep zoning out and you cannot still yourself long enough to read the end of a sentence?
Do you have any advice on how to get yourself to read when you cannot stop to read anything?


I draw a picture of the meaning and I put a thing below the line I’m trying to read.


I don’t really have a coping mechanism.

There are times I’m reading and my eyes read and process the words, but my brain is off doing something else. I then look at it and realize, I have no idea what I just read. I go back and read it again. I guess at that point it becomes a small goal. Get through this paragraph and actually know what I read. Heck, sometimes I’ll have to do it yet again. Sometimes I pause after each sentence to make sure that I actually paid attention for the whole thing.

Sometimes I just put the book down and try again later.

My wife doesn’t understand why she reads books in 3 days that may take me 6 months.


Yep, 100%. Especially when it comes to Uni…

I’m not really sure what the best way is to fix it, but like A_Arctic_Fox said above, it can help to nudge your brain into processing it in different ways whether that’s drawing it or in my case highlighting and annotating.

If it’s a friend’s text or message, sometimes I find it helpful to say it back to them and ask them if what I said was right (even if it’s obvious).

E.g. LocalCryptid it sounds like you’re having a tough time reading stuff, because your brain just goes too fast right?

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I get that a lot. Often I’ll drift off at around the same line if I try again. Usually, I just put it away and switch to comics. Comics usually still process even if nothing else does.

If the text is online or otherwise electronically available, there’s another thing I like to do: I run it through a spritz application. That’s a speed reading system that runs the text past you really quickly while you do your best to not have your gaze wander off. It doesn’t work for all text types - if there’s a lot of detail you want to memorize, it might be less than optimal, and obviously any kind of reading that’s for relaxation becomes, uh, not that. But it’s great for news articles and such, anything that you only need to get a general gist of. And if you want to look up details later, the text is still there, and will appear much more approachable because you already have an idea of where it’s going.

It takes some getting used to, but miuch less than I expected. And I found I can still do that even when I’m too absent-minded for a regular read.

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I know what you mean! But, I don’t get it for READING, I get it for hand-writing. Can’t keep up with my brain, hand not fast enough, must write more quicker, what a great idea gotta get it on paper wait what was it AAAAGHGHGH! For me, reading is a real palliative, a peace-maker. It silences and calms my brain so that I get immersed in the printed matter in a very non-ADHD kind of way, neither hyper-focused nor overly-distractible. But that’s just me! You obviously have a different presentation, we’re all working through our own idiosyncratic symptoms.

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Oh gosh do I feel you there with the hand-writing!

Reading has always been something I hyper-focus on, so I don’t have many strategies of my own, but my spouse finds screen readers quite helpful. For text that isn’t digital, do you notice any difference between reading silently and reading out loud? The idea of involving sound or movement somehow seems interesting to me. Maybe playing ambient or classical music in the background. Maybe reading while walking on a treadmill or peddling an exercise bike?

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Same!!! I used to read during meals bc eating was so boring I couldn’t sit still otherwise :sweat_smile:
( why do I have a feeling this is irrelevant to the conversation…)

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