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Gun, Germs, and Steel.

Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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5/11/2013 10:59:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Lately I've been trying to get through Guns, Germs, and Steel. It's taken me a week to read half of it, and I seem to be making progress incredibly slowly, despite reserving at least an hour (usually more) to read every day. The arguments given don't require substantial memory or comprehension skills, and judging by the size of the book and the amount of material it presents, it should have taken me all of two days to finish it.

What I find interesting is that this only seems to apply to GG&S (is that a proper abbreviation?). I picked up a history book on the Crimean war and breezed through a few pages. I mean, I absorbed the information (and it was much higher density than Guns, Germs, and Steel) just as quickly as I read, and I didn't have any problems whatsoever. I could have finished it in a day. Yet every time I go for a reading session in GG&S, I find myself mentally exhausted afterward. I'm just asking if there's any way I could remedy this or help myself get through the damned book, because I assume people here might have a clue what I'm talking about.

Maybe it's just his incredibly dry writing?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
Smithereens
Posts: 5,512
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5/11/2013 11:06:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've had such experiences myself with books that should be quite a breeze taking more effort than they should. I think its something to do with the fact that the information interests you, but it isn't being presented in a fashion that would allow you to enjoy it. So you might be telling yourself that you like to read the book but not actually be looking forward to the next time you pick the book up.

I would recommend you making the reading sessions enjoyable somehow. When I read, to get through large amounts of material in single reading sessions, I play some favourite playlists while reading and sit somewhere comfortable. Then I don't have any motivation to move from that spot until I force myself to put the book down and do something productive.
Music composition contest: http://www.debate.org...
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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5/12/2013 9:53:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It's a heavy book.

I love the subject, even read a book by the guy whose theory Jared Diamond uses. However, I ended up skipping a lot of the descriptive histories of the second half.
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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5/12/2013 5:04:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/12/2013 9:55:15 AM, Wnope wrote:
Also, he might be a bit technical, but I find it hard to accuse Jared Diamond's writing of being "dry."

http://www.amazon.com...

No, his arguments are very broadly conveyed, but it's the prose, not the subject, that is so dry.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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5/12/2013 10:47:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Collapse is even worse... lol. He writes like a professor. There isn't any real way to avoid the exhaustion that follows, other than coffee -but you're a bit young for that.
Tsar of DDO