I'm physically unable to read those f*ck-ing reports at work.

I like to read. I have devoured books all my life. Many writers that are generally considered “difficult” (Marcel Proust, Stephen Jay Gould) I’ve read and enjoyed with ease. I don’t think I’m a *complete * moron.


So why, why in the bloody dyslectic f*ck can’t I read the reports at work? They are not that badly written; just your average civil-servant speak. And yet, I can have one of these reports on my desk in front of me, look at the first page for 30 minutes, and have nothing more to show for those 30 minutes then an intense feeling of: “okay, I don’t like the way this text is written, and don’t wanna read it”.

Blech. :frowning:

Could it be the typesetting and paper? I can’t read anything set by Microsoft Word on typical bright white printer/copier paper without getting an upset stomach after ten pages.

It’s not the same thing as reading literature, whether difficult or not.

(This works for me): figure out the structure of the report (ie the standard paragraphing and where the actual facts you want are plugged into the right standardized paragraph), pick out the facts. Skim for any actual discussion that doesn’t fit into a standardized paragraph. Done.

Are you kidding? Trying to read anything in Dutch gives me a headache. “En wil je nu eens uitleggen hoe… Alles nog eens op een rijtje…” :wink:

Seriously, I would actually love to be able to read Dutch. I used to have the same problem with textbooks while in college. It was a combination of setting (too many distractions), interest (as much as world history is important to understanding current times, it was dead BORING) and how the book was written. I coudn’t do much about the style, but I could find better surroundings and get myself psyched up for the text (OK, Hitler: one or two balls? Let’s see what the book says.)


C’mon. We’re Dopers. Let’s go for the scientific approach.

IANAD, but I am a professional cameraman and light and the COLOR of light is my life.

Do you work near real sunlight, or in an enclosed office with only fluorescents overhead? Can you change the bulbs to full-spectrum daylight? They will make life easier on your eyes.

As pointed out, most reports are on ultra-bright white paper, whereas most books are really not on such bright white stock. Your eyes may well be having trouble focusing due to the harsh color and light being reflected off the paper.

Even if you do go with the daylight fluros, try this: Get a small desk lamp and put a 100 watt incandescent light in it. Use that to read said reports. The warmer easier color temperature may be what you need. ( Pure daylight may be what you need too, but sometimes a softer warmer color temperature eases the strain of ultra-bright white paper at work. I’ve been in literally hmm… three hundred offices in the last 20 years as a cameraman and you would be surprised how many people have regular small reading lamps on their desks.

It helps. The suggestion for full-spectrum daylight has more to do with overall eye health and mental health.


Stephen Jay Gould’s a difficult author to read? His stock-in-trade was simplifying science enough for the masses to understand without watering it down so much that it became meaningless. I’ve never found him difficult reading.