Thursday, September 10, 2020

Is Late-Onset ADD a Thing?

I'm starting to wonder if it's possible to develop a case of ADD behavior late in life. I've been finding it difficult to actually sit down and read for more than a few minutes without stopping all of a sudden to do one or two other things that suddenly spring to my mind. If that were not bad enough, at the same time that my reading-pace has slowed way down, my book-acquisition-pace seems to be accelerating. 

Everywhere I turn, people are talking about books, and I'm jotting down their recommendations as fast as I can. Is there more book-chatter out there these days  because of the pandemic? I mean, it's great whatever the cause, but this is getting serious now. Just today, for instance, I watched a livestream from the Carnton house in Franklin, TN, and came away from that with at least half-a-dozen new books on the Civil War that I really, really need to read. And soon.

As of this morning, I was only actively reading two books, both very slowly, as it turns out: Sean Hannity's Live Free or Die, a book that is much better written than I had expected it would be, but is also pretty depressing and scary; and Philip Jose Farmer's science fiction classic To Your Scattered Bodies Go, a book I've read twice before and loved. I am also starting at least two others today by choosing one of the four western novels in the beautiful Library of America volume The Western that arrived in the mail last week. The classic novels are from the 1940s and 50s, but I don't remember ever reading one of them despite remembering three of them well as favorite movies. 

The second one, which I've already started, is Julie Gray's The True Adventures of Gidon Lev: Rascal, Holocaust Survivor, Optimist. I have had an electronic review copy of this one for a few weeks, and now seems like the time to read it. Lev was one of approximately 15,000 children sent to the German concentration camp near Prague called Térézin. He and 91 other children survived the experience. Julie Gray was reluctant to take on this project when Lev first approached her with the idea, but now the two of them are constant companions despite their several-decade difference in age. I am definitely liking what I see in this one through the first three chapters.

Also, coming into my hands in the last few days are several other books I'm itching to get into: a nice hardcover review copy of Jill McCorkle's Hieroglyphics; Russ Thomas's Firewatching, a book I was lucky enough to win in a blogger's random drawing; and Martha Wells's Rogue Protocol, the third book in her fun "Murderbot Diaries" that I just picked up from my library this afternoon. And that doesn't even count the dozens of others that I'm keeping handy because I just know I'm going to read them all someday. Yeah, right. Oh, and the new Civil War books I heard about this morning on that livestream I mentioned. I'm about to begin the search to grab each of those, too. 

Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.






18 comments:

  1. Yes, it's a real thing. I may have had some form of it all my life but, never focused on it through college, child rearing, career etc but, I was a bit of a procrastinator all along. When I had to study for an exam, I'd find a reason to do laundry etc. Now the same happens with reading if a book doesn't immediately hook me. Oh well, who cares now, I'm retired.

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    1. You're right, Diane. If it had to happen to us, at least it waited until we were retired. But some days, I feel even busier than I did when I was working and I knew my free time to do things other than work were limited. I think sometimes that I'm trying to cram to many different things into my day.

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  2. It could be the stress of what we're all going through, as well. I find myself often unable to focus on reading, lately.

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    1. That's definitely a big part of it. I first noticed the problem in March, but it seemed to get better for a while and I felt that I had adjusted to the new stress level. Now I seem to be going backward.

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  3. The past month or so I've had the attention span of a gnat, which is highly unusual for me. I'm blaming it on a severe case of cabin fever due to the times we're all having to endure.

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    1. Cabin fever, for sure. But I'm still so nervous about getting out much that I'm going it as much by choice now as by mandate. Texas is largely open for business, but our infection rate is one of the highest in the country, as a result. Only time will tell whether our state has made the right choice or not...and time is moving very slowly.

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    2. Yes, time is moving v-e-r-y slowly. Arizona knows all about having if not the highest then one of the highest infection rates in the country. I could get out and about more, but I choose not to. My immune system took a big hit the first part of the year, and I certainly wouldn't want to run the risk of passing it along to someone else either. Denis and I are tempted, however, to go to our favorite zoo now that it's reopened. It's huge, and we've never had a problem with keeping our distance from everyone else whenever we visited pre-pandemic.

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    3. A trip to the zoo sounds like a wonderful alternative to staying home. Unfortunately for us, the Houston zoo tended to be crowded even before the virus, so it's not an option here. But I like the idea a lot.

      I wonder if I will ever feel comfortable to be in a large sports arena again. I was a season ticket holder for years and years for both the football and the baseball team in Houston. Still am for the football team, in fact, but you couldn't pay me enough right now even to consider going to a game.

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    4. Even an obscene amount of money wouldn't get me into an arena either. I've never been comfortable in crowds, so I tend to avoid them anyway. It had to be something special to get me to attend (like a Simon & Garfunkel concert or a Phoenix Mercury playoff game). Now even that's all changed!

      Phoenix is lucky in that we have two good zoos. The Phoenix Zoo is much smaller and it can be difficult to avoid crowds, but the World Wildlife Zoo way on the other side of town is huge-- lots of acres over which to expand. You can't do justice to the entire place in a day. Its size and the fact that Denis and I always go mid-week are the major reasons why we think this might be the outing for us. But I have to admit that I'm still nervous about it.

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  4. Lot going on everywhere at the moment and it's affecting us all differently. My problem is the reverse, I'm doing nothing but read during my spare time when I have a 3,000 piece jigsaw to finish and a scarf I'm knitting for someone for Christmas. But for some reason I don't want to touch those, I just want to lose myself in books, books and more books. Buying a 'lot' too, just like you. I feel sure it's because of all the madness.

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    1. Cath, I think that I'm buying more books (and taking in more review copies) because it's too difficult to buy most other things these days. I am a hands-on shopper for most things, and I'm not going into many retail outlets anymore. So I suppose I'm accidentally spending more money on books because I'm not spending it on other things that I normally would.

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  5. It's never a bad thing to have so many new books fall into your hands...especially when they all look so interesting and good. And I'm blaming my inability to concentrate, or tackle anything hard, on 2020. This neverending pandemic has messed up everything. ;D

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    1. 2020 is one for the history books. It's been a pretty terrible year for my family already, and there's no end in sight.

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  6. I never have trouble concentrating on my reading, but I do have a HUGE problem with book acquisition! No matter how many books I read and donate, I still have more. It's like they multiply during the night :) It's not such a bad problem to have!

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    1. Same here. I don't know how books do that...although I gave them another little assist over the weekend by ordering two new Library of America titles, each one a collection of four novels. And I ordered one from LOA last week that I'm reading from right now. I bring in an average of six or seven books a month these days, but it seems like much more because I've also got three or four library books around all the time. You're right...not such a bad problem, at all.

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