• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
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I cannot read more than one book at a time!

too  many booksI am beginning to suspect this is one of the reasons I had so much difficulty in school. Oh, I could do the work—above average I.Q. and all, I just cannot do it simultaneously. I cannot shift from one subject to the next, especially if one has caught my interest.

Over the past few years I have begun reading a couple of fantasy series. First I started reading Rick Riordian’s , Percy Jackson series and could not put them down or start another “activity” or another book until I read all five books in the series—then I started on his Lost Hero series, which is still not completed. The same thing happened when I started reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—I couldn’t move on until I read the trilogy. The Hunger Games, The Sword of Truth Series, The Wheel of Time series…you get the idea!

Unfortunately at some point last year (before beginning the Wheel of Time Series, which is 14 books long) I began to read the All Souls Trilogy. I didn’t realize when I’d picked up the first book, Discovery of Witches, that it was a series. If I had, I would have never started reading because the series isn’t finished! I had to stop reading in the middle of a story because the last book is not out yet—that drove me crazy! I will not intentionally begin a series ever again that is not completed.

I had some school difficulties this year too because I was in the midst of reading the 14 book long Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan and had difficulty picking up text books and other novels that were required reading for the classes. I could not drag myself away from reading the story I was immersed in. I would read the school text in a haste to get back to my “friends” in the Wheel of Time, and had difficulty absorbing any of the material.

“I get depressed when the books end.”

After finishing the series on New Year’s Eve, I laid in bed contemplating what I was going to do. My friends were all gone, and I felt depressed (something that happens to me when my books end). I had difficulty sleeping the first few nights of the year because my routine (reading and spending time with those characters at night) was disturbed.

I had accumulated a collection of books that were on my “to read” list over the year. I would purchase them meaning to read them when I was done with the Wheel of Time and it was now time to pick which I would start on. I could read the sequel to the Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind that was finally released—an extension of the Sword of Truth series. I had not visited with those friends in a while. Or—House of Hades (Lost Hero Series) to find out what was going on with Percy and Annabeth—or one of the many autism books I’ve purchased this year but have yet to read….so many choices.

I finally decided upon House of Hades, and then realized I had a Literary Theory class starting on Monday. After reviewing the syllabus, I found that I had two novels to read and analyze, The Great Gatsby, and Ceremony in addition to reading the text book. That is when it hit me! There was no way I could begin reading any of my other books, stop in the midst, and start reading another novel. I would not survive the class that way. I abandoned the House of Hades, and read The Great Gatsby in two nights. (Awesome book BTW)


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Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.

One Comment:

  1. I have the same issue. I read (and continue to read) series of novels by Ian Rankin. I did the same for William Golding – but at least he doesn’t write any more books. I went a bit like that over Doctor Who books – which was endless. I did read the complete F Scott Fitzgerald right through all the short stories and even letters. It actually puts me off trying to read novels. I get on better with plot driven novels so the ian Rankin crime ones work. I don’t do well with character driven novels or drama on TV.

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