As a teenager, Lou Reed
was sent to a mental hospital for psychiatric care when he was caught engaging in homosexual activity. While there, he received electroconvulsive therapy - shock treatment. The treatments left Reed feeling like a "vegetable," and he said that it caused him to lose his memory and his ability to concentrate enough to read: hence the lyrics, "But every time you tried to read a book you couldn't get to page 17, because you forgot where you were so you couldn't even read."
James - Lexington, KY