I have the same problem. As a matter of fact it has taken me over 10+ hours now, to finally figure out it's not my computer, but wordpress and the reader section. The system gets bogged down when trying upload the blog posts that I follow - gets hung up w/o being able to connect.
This problem wasn't an issue prior to last week - I ran three virus protectors, cleared cache almost on an hourly basis and trust me, when I say I'm not new to computers. I had to un-follow every blog I follow so I could get my computer back. The experience has taken hours away from painting, you know being an artist is first not running a wordpress blog.
I belong to three art communities online with millions of images uploaded and these issues do not exist - ever.
I'm thinking that it has something to do with wordpress in using "pixel.quantserve.com" for loading blogs in the "blogs I follow" section. Because, as is right now, I'm on a different section of wordpress and I can move around very easily.
As for "notawoodpecker" comment, many bloggers are encountering the issue and haven't taken the time to write, because they are probably thinking it has to do with their computer. So I'm glad you have no problem w/wordpress, perhaps you weren't following other blogs on wordpress - when you do, I guarantee you that you'll bump up to the same issues as the rest of us.
This week I'm going to re-examine whether I should go to google blogger and start my blog all over again, at a server that can handle blogger expectations.
The only benefit I can see right now is that the experience in the last 5 days has made me re-think a portion of my business model and force myself to evaluate with I have a blog, it's purpose and what expectations I have for server functions.
It's time for wordpress to address the issue with their blogging community and let us know what is going on. And the simple answer to change size of images is not the total answer, you have a responsibility with your bloggers to address the issue let us know at the very least that you are working on it.
Bloggers want followers, but will not have many if they run into this issue while using WordPress.