Dry Reading

I am a voracious reader. Cereal boxes, nutrition information on soda cans, textbooks, newspapers, you name it, I'll read it (except for maybe Harlequin Romances.) Heck, I look forward to reading research papers, which most people dread.

The majority of my reading is textbooks and those research papers. For the most part, they're okay. I've found a couple of textbook authors that I enjoy. This semester though, I've hit upon a textbook that I find horrible.

The subject: Curriculum Theory. Interesting subject, great professor and the supplemental readings and research studies are thought provoking. The textbook? Is like trying to run through a tar pit.

The author takes 40 pages to say what probably could be accomplished in 20. This is not due to excess verbosity, no, it's because he uses the same sentences thirty different ways in each chapter.

For a reader like me, it's jarring. "The focus of instruction for this student population is to share the intrinsic nature of the subject," or something like that. Then five paragraphs later "The focus of instruction for the student (worker), is to share the basic nature of the subject," ad nauseum. I end up stopping many times in each chapter to ask myself "didn't he just say this?" Yes, he has, just slightly differently.

So 40 pages in a chapter, which would normally take me about 2 hours of solid reading, now takes 8 because I can't just sit and read for meaning, then write notes about it. I have to stop and process what I just read before reading another sentence that says the same thing, just slightly differently, which is too distracting to process appropriately.

There's only 150 pages left of this garbage. Surely I can get through that before I want to destroy the book, right?


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