Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"I'll Be Your Distraction, I'll Be Your Distraction..."

...that's an Angels & Airwaves song, but seriously. I feel like every person, place, things, and vary inanimate objects are singing this to me at the top of their perhaps not-so-existant lungs at any given time while I'm reading. Maybe this is why I sit down with the mindset: "YES, I WILL READ EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY BOOKS TODAY RIGHT NOW AND IT WILL BE GLORIOUS." Wrong. Because all of a sudden, EVERYTHING seems more interesting. I hear a bird outside and I'm like "HOLY EFF, I know that song!" Then I have to put down my book and, while humming the song that I think I'm thinking about, grab my iPhone and try to reach to the darkest crevices of my mind to figure out what it is. 50 minutes later, I'm 10 games into Words with Friends, bookmarking recipes on Pinterest, and nomming on a bowl of Spaghetti-Os. It's only then I make eye-to-spine contact with my poor, abandoned book.

My Top Distractions

1. iPhone
No matter what, there is ALWAYS something that is of dire importance happening on my phone. Even right now, as I'm typing this, I'm refreshing my email and Twitter and monitoring for an alert telling me it's my move in Words with Friends (totally dominating, btw.) Whether it's a word in a book of which I need the meaning (GOOGLE!) or I need to update my page number (GOODREADS!) or ask someone's opinion about a book (TWITTER!) Not to mention I have 3 or 4 bloggers that I am incessantly texting day in and day out. I try to throw it across the room, but IT DOESN'T WORK.

2. Cats
I have the two neediest cats of all time. They love to lie right on top of me when I'm reading and shoot me looks like I am putting them through absolute TORTURE by not paying attention to or petting them at this very second continuously until they're no longer purring and asleep. But seriously, could ANYONE say no to this face?

3. Food
I don't know what it is, but I am always hungry when I'm sitting still. And if I'm not reading something on my Nook, then it's impossible to hold a book and devour a Jimmy John's sandwich using one hand for the book and one hand for the sandwich. Plus, the chewing? I CANNOT CONCENTRATE.

4. My Husband
Bless this man's heart (AND it's his birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. JEN!) but GOODNESS GRACIOUS, he is always talking to me when I'm reading. He himself is not an avid reader. More of a sports guy. Mostly a Michigan football guy. And I love when he is nicely occupied by the television and turns the volume down low to be considerate to me so we can both partake in the hobbies we enjoy and still be sitting on the same couch. But then he talks to me. I am not one who is able to hold a conversation and read at the same time. Eventually I just put down my book. (Or put in ear plugs.)

5. Noise
Piggybacking on what I just said, I cannot read unless it's in absolute silence or it's a fairly constant sound (like the heat blasting or the humidifier pumping out static-demolishing vapors). The television? OFF. Music? HELL NO. Not to mention the song will be stuck in my head and I'll end up reading the same sentence over & over until I just put it down because IT'S KILLING ME.

So what about you? What shiny and intriguing things in your life distract you from reading? How do you guys handle the daily distractions and attention whores that DEMAND that you do anything other than read? Or are you able to shut it out and focus on the more important task at hand? (And if so, PLEASE TEACH ME.)


  1. I depends on the day (and how interesting the book is that I'm reading.) But, things that distract me are google reader, TV, my iPad and all the fun things on that, cooking, my JOB, planning my daughter's wedding, and probably a few more. Yes, I think we all have distractions. I'm a good "prioritizer." As I plan my day (and I usually only do this on a daily basis) I give myself a list of priorities and what I need to accomplish. This may include reading and it may not. Sometimes I even follow my list....

    Good luck!

  2. I LUB YOU.

    My distractions:

    -the internet; specifically Twitter, travel blogs, Goodreads and book blogs, clothing websites, makeup blogs and Youtube channels, Pinterest, etc. etc.

    -Will (durrr. He's so distracting)

    - Netflix: Um yeah..think how much reading I could have got done the time I watched the whole 2 seasons of TVD? But really..I needed TV boot camp to whip my ass into shape so I could fall in love with Damon. <33

    - the sunshine: When it's nice outside I'll go outside and try to read...and then all I want to do is frolic or just lay there.

  3. OH AND ALSO...Wedding has made my mind unable to focus on anything and is SO time consuming. I AM SO OVER ITTTT. I want my time back.

  4. You're totally not alone at getting distracted, lately I can't focus on anything either! My iphone definitely is a huge distraction for me too, along with my dog and college!

  5. Oh my God, this sounds like me, especially the part about the iphone. I'm also distracted by my boyfeiend, rereuns of tv shows, and chores around the house that I suddenly decide need to be done. Pretty sure that's why it's taken me FOUR days to finish Catching Jordan, a 300 page book.

    Fantastic post :)

  6. I get very easily distracted by food. I can ignore my phone and everything else, but food gets me. I love to eat and it's really hard to eat and read sometimes ;)

  7. Depends on what I'm reading...but sudoku is so enticing sometimes. Just one more game.

  8. Ahaha, so many things! It's amazing I get any reading done at all, really.

    #1 would most definitely be the Internet. So many things to do! What other little bitty thing would make my spiffy new book blog even better? Is is my turn on Words with Friends yet? What was that book I looked up the other day? It never ends.

  9. The Internet, of course my boyfriend Kyle and usually cleaning if I'm reading at home. If I think there is something that I should be cleaning I can't sit there and concentrate. I try to avoid distraction by doing my computer and cleaning before reading and getting my bf to sit and do something with me wherever I'm reading :)

  10. My biggest distraction? TEXTS FROM JEN! HAHHAH kidding I love them & you.

  11. I TOTALLY understand this! Words with Friends is a big distraction, or if I know I missed an episode of my favorite show... and then Pinterest,Facebook and Twitter. And Brandon, does the same thing, it's like the second I get comfortable and into my book, he knows and must talk to me. Ahh Cats =) It makes me miss my kitties... They were not too much of a distraction though. Mainly cause I read in my room and we made that a NO cats zone.

  12. Happy birthday to Mr. Jen. E-mail and the Internet in general are my distractions. I have to force myself off Facebook.

  13. Oh geez, I am distracted SO easily! Any kind of noise will lose my focus and music? NO WAY. I have no idea how people listen to music while reading or studying. Blows my mind!

    Twitter is also a huge distraction. I want to read...but I also want to see what people are saying! Good to know I'm not the only one :)

  14. I feel your pain! I have been really distracted lately. Internet and TV are the two main culprits. I've been trying to catch up on the Interrobang YA videos on youtube lately. Plus, I just got Pretty Little Liars and Nurse Jackie for Christmas. PLL is really addictive!

    I also have to have complete silence when I read. It's kind of a bummer, b/c how often does that happen in life?

    By the way, my boyfriend just had a birthday on New Year's Day. The best guys must be born in January. ;)

  15. My hubs is the same way.
    Let me know if you figure it out!

  16. You think husbands and pets are distracting, wait until you have kids (should you choose to do so.) I pretty much only get free reading time at night after the kids are in bed. Like you, I try to share some couch time with the hubs but his incessant channel surfing usually drives me straight to my quiet bedroom, where I pretty much wanted to be all along:) Good luck finding a way to battle your distractions!

  17. iPhone - constant distraction. I love it though!

  18. LOL Steve Carrell.

    Yeah, my boyfriend plays video games really loud, so I play loud classical music to drown it out and it works fine for distraction and such.

  19. OMG! Ditto, ditto, ditto. My #1 distraction is my iPhone. I have to turn it OFF when I work because when the beeping/tweet alert/buzzing/chimes come in I have to drop everything to see what it was and respond. I'm not proud of this. It's a bit crazy. I have turned off most of the notifications to eliminate some of this but no.. I just turn it on and look ;P. AUGHHHH! You know, when I'm with friends or at a meal my iPhone is put on silent and put away (away enough that I don't hear the "silent" (but not) buzz) maybe I should do that when I read. But I get grief when I do this from the hubster that can't get ahold of me.

    I love this post, cracked me up because I can sooooo relate.

  20. Oh, iPhone. We have a complicated relationship. I use it, it uses me. It is always demanding my time and energy. I don't even have alerts enabled and yet I still check it all of the bloody time. I love my Goodreads app to pieces.

    Hungry while sitting down and reading and/or playing a computer game = ME! I always need something to snack on but then I can never think about WHAT I want to snack on so I wander the kitchen opening and closing various doors to see if there's any food that catches my eye. Then I get back to the couch... and open up my iphone.


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  22. Oh my gosh, we are JUST ALIKE. Internet surfing and jamming to tunes usually distracts me from review writing though. I have the first sentence to a review down, then all of the sudden, a song I like will start playing and them I'm RAPPING LIKE A G or @ tweets explode exponentially or I get that email I've been waiting for THE ENTIRE DAY!

    But I can't stand music or TV when I'm reading. And I have the most obnoxious sister in the world. The kind who will gladly crank up the volume on her computer just to spite me when I ask (SCREAM!) for it to be turned down. Then, it's MY two needy cats begging for attention (they kind of give you that, Please, ma'am, may I have some more? look and you can't very well be like, No! None for you!) or my mom nagging me to do something or picking the worst moment to strike up a conversation or, it's, yes, my stomach yelling, YOU JERK, Feed. Me! Or what about that annoying, abrupt urge to use the porcelain thinking chair after you've had cup after cup of water/orange soda? The distractions NEVER CEASE.

    As you can plainly see, I totally feel you on this. XD

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  23. I'm totally there with you on all those distractions. I have two cats (named after Harry Potter characters - HP NERD!!!), but luckily only one is needy. But I'd have to add my son to that list. I don't normally read when he's around - I try to mostly do it when he's napping or at night after he has gone to bed, but occasionally I just need some Mommy Reading time instead of Toddler Playing time. But it never fails that he needs me to do something for him when I've just gotten to a really good part... Yeesh, I sound like a horrible mother. I don't ignore my child, I swear! (Going to play with my son now...) ;)

    Andrea (New Follower)

  24. Oh my word Jen it's like you're the white younger version of me with cats.

    Seriously, Mr. Jen and Tall Loud Boy -- stop trying to talk to us when books are in our faces. Just because we're quiet does not mean that we need to be spoken to!

  25. The internet is definitely my big downfall. I think about one thing so I go to look it up or check on it and then BAM it's been two hours.
    My husband also seems to have the knack for needing to say things when my book is really REALLY good.

  26. Every single one of these is me! Except for the texting. I'm definitely much more distracted by Twitter, Words With Friends, and email. And the husband thing! My hubs is a sports guy, too (maybe we should throw them in a room together?), so we just can't both sit and read something. He watches sports and if I sit in the room with him, he talks to me. Even with my "I'm going to sic a vampire on you if you say one more word to me" look, he's STILL talking! But ... I need silence, too, so I just leave and find another room on the far side of the house to sit in.

    Lucky for me, my cats aren't a huge distraction -- they prefer the husband over me -- but the dogs come in and fart. That's the WORST distraction!

    Thanks for sharing!