September 18, 2007


A Reader wrote:

A few years ago, I decided to learn how to play guitar. I am a lefty. Luckily, I was able to find a guitar shop that special ordered me a left handed guitar. Being from the same home town as Jimi Hendrix, you'd think I would have had an easier time at it. I encountered a few sales clerks who told me I should just play right handed because its easier. Luckily, that is the only instance in which someone has tried to switch my handedness and I was required to defend my handedness. It would be an interesting experiment if a righty had to adapt to a left hand dominated world.

September 4, 2007

Reading: is it just me?

A Reader wrote:

Hi all you southpaws. What a fun and informative site. Thanks.

Okay, I have to admit this right away. I am one mixed up dude. I'm not ambidextrous, but I do things with either hand. To be more specific, I am left-handed and right-armed.

When I throw a ball, bowl, play tennis or any other activity that involves using my shoulder and hand, I am a righty. When I write or eat or do anything that doesn't involve the shoulder to a great degree, I am a lefty.

As with a number of people who've written here, I don't find that I'm very imaginative or artistic. I've had my moments in both areas, but it is not my natural inclination.

Probably the most disconcerting thing I've always attributed to being a lefty is my inability to read and comprehend easily. I always got good grades in school, but I attribute this to having an excellent memory, rather than any great reading ability.

I remember taking a speed reading course in high school and getting absolutely nowhere. I could never develop the ability to view a large number of words at a time and getting its meaning. When I was a child, we heard about then President Kennedy's ability to read at some fantastic rate like 17,000 words per minute and when I couldn't grasp more than a couple hundred a minute, I felt like a failure.

Long story short, I was never much of a reader because it wasn't very easy for me to read quickly. It can take me a very long time to read an entire book. Now as I get older, I want to read more and what I want to read usually involves scientific or philosophical concepts. The upshot of this is that I find myself re-reading a paragraph a number of times to get its meaning. This might not be unusual, but I also find myself re-reading magazine articles, more because I can't stay focused than because I don't understand what I'm reading.

Sometimes, I attribute this to mild dyslexia, or perhaps a touch of ADHD, or even simply a lazy mind.

What I'm wondering, then, is do other lefties find reading difficult? If so, have you discovered any methods of improving this?

Mixed-Up Man