Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How Do You Read?

No, I don't have the book. Amazon failed me. You cannot imagine the disappointment I felt when I pulled into the driveway and did not see a package wedged between the front doors.

So you will have to wait for that particular v-log. Tomorrow, hopefully.

I saw this video clip at a training I attended for my paying job and it got me thinking about the future of books. I'm not going to be the one billionth person to blog about the Sony Reader and/or Kindle, but I've read enough to know that they're shaping up to be real "threats" to conventional books. From what I hear from my high school teaching cohorts, there may be a need for a "How to read a book" manual.

All of which made me think about reading in general and how people do it differently. I'm a one-book-at-a-time plodder, for the most part. Occasionally, I'll have a bathroom book (something like this) and another, longer book which I read in bed or on the couch, but usually it's just the one novel. I keep a stack near the bed and just work through them and every once in a while I'll insert something that was finally returned to the library or a book I bought on impulse and can't wait to read.

I read fairly slowly. I've always been a slowish reader, but I think once I started writing seriously, I became even more deliberate. Knowing how much thought a writer puts into every single word, I figure the least I can do is read them all. Plus, I don't read solely for enjoyment anymore. With every book, I try to learn something, to pick up little things a writer does that work, and that slows me down even more.

How do you read?

8 comments:

pocketfulsofsunshine said...

I've thought about this before, since the hubby and I are very different readers. I tend to read one book at a time, and (pre-children) I would read it in a couple of days. Now it takes a bit longer. But I read fairly fast. A huge exception to this is my current read, Atlas Shrugged. It's long and I'm moving more slowly through it.

Hubby reads several books at once, usually at a steadier pace. He aborts books more easily than I do if they aren't satisfying. But he is always reading.

So exciting, isn't it?

Anita said...

I used to be a one book at a timer, then turned to a several books at a timer. Then today, I noticed my HUGE library fine (may ask boos to finance this) and am back to one book at a timer.

Monica said...

i used to read voraciously, one book after another, not caring about quality of the writing, just about filling my time with words.

Now, i'm more discriminating. I have piles of books and lists of books that i want to read, and wish i had the time for them. It takes me longer, and i pay more attention to the content. (haven't read a harlequin romance since the late 80's)

And, like sunshine's hubby, i'm more likely to abort something if its not doing it for me. I used to think i had to finish every book i started. Life is too short for lousy books.

Tracy Edward Wymer said...

For the most part, I read one novel at a time, almost all fiction for young readers and a little YA. However, I will set a book aside if something else grabs me and says, "You must read me now."

I just set aside Flush by Carl Hiassen to read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I will immediately go back to Flush when I finish Graveyard. And I did this partly because we may add The Graveyard Book to our summer reading list in middle school.

Kelly said...

I read along with my 9 year old (whatever book we are reading at night, now Harry P) and have to catch up with him (as he reads on after I finish reading him a chapter). Lately it was just that, but now I started reading the Twilight series so I finished the first in Florida, but with less free time at home plodding along with the second book.

Big Plain V said...

I'm inconsistant. Some weeks I'll read four books all the way through, and other weeks I'll read none. I probably average two books a week, but yeah, one at a time.

Ben Esch said...

Paul,

Dude, the book didn't arrive? Crap. I've been starting to get reports that it's been filtering in both for the free book thing and Amazon but I guess no love for the great state of Michigan. Sorry. Hopefully it will get there soon.

Great question about the books. I usually read one thing at a time, though sometimes I'll put something aside when I really get excited for a particular book. Like, I just put aside a PG Wodehouse, because I really wanted to re-read "My Uncle Oswald" by Roahld Dahl.

Side note: has anyone here ever read My Uncle Oswald? It's a definite departure from the BFG and Danny Champion of the World, but I think the coolest thing that he ever wrote.

Roahld Dahl is a bad ass.

The Wife said...

I read voraciously. I'm a fast reader, and once I get going I really want to finish. I read all kinds of things. Sometimes I want to read good books that are well written and make me think and marvel at the art, other times I want mindless books with thin plots and stock characters. (Yes, that means I enjoy a good romance novel every now and then.) It's all about entertainment value, right?