I’ve settled into a pattern of reading the wordless graphic novel Cinema Panopticum. Once a week, I read 8 pages and get a concentration headache during it. Afterward I do something mindless until I recover my energy. It’s good!
Each page has from one to four pencil sketch panels. I take in a panel as a whole and then study the drawn details carefully before moving on to the next panel. I may talk to myself silently when deciphering the facial expressions or what I think is happening. When I reach the end of a page, I recall what I saw out loud. Then I turn the page.
If I forget something, which I usually don’t, I will re-study the relevant panel(s). On the odd occasion when I realize further along in the story that I misinterpreted an earlier panel or facial expression, I’ll go back and take another look.
It’s hard work, but I enjoy it cuz … it’s a book!
Last weekend, I tested my long-term recall of what I had read up until where I’d last left off. I had good recall of the book’s intro scenes and the first novelette, The Hotel. I took longer to recall the second novelette, The Champion, and I remembered its events out of order (I did know what order they were in, but memory often has more trouble recalling the middle of something than the beginning and end, and that’s what happened).
But to my horror, I had zero recall of the third novelette – what I’d read only 7 days earlier. I thought I recalled the title at least. But nope. “The Enterprise” is not the same as “The Experiment”!
It’s kind of weird I had more trouble remembering the recent reading than the first part of the book I’d read way back on March 19th. You’d think it would be the other way around. But thinking it over … I talked about the novel and first novelette a bit. I talked about the second one less so and the third one not at all.
Talking about what you’ve read aids recall. Gotta remember that.
Anyway, after testing my long-term recall, I began my weekly reading session with re-reading page one of the third novelette, The Experiment. Got the usual headache but much quicker. On the bright side, by the sixth page, I was being drawn into the story.
It’s hard to engage with anything with a broken brain so it’s exciting it happened at all!