Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Year in Books: How do you read me? Let me count the ways...

I've been neglecting the blog recently, though I've been on Blogger fairly regularly checking out and reading other blogs.  And I've been thinking about how I read online. It's a different kind of reading for me than reading print.  An e-book is different again.  There are some posts I read all the way through properly; some I look at the pictures; others I skim or just read the entry on the home page.  And you are probably the same.  I tend to write fairly long posts not very often and so it's fairly likely that you are skim reading this post.  I doubt very much if all the 16000 + people who have come across me online have actually read a whole post. But you never know, perhaps you have time today...

Anyway here I am again with the only regular post I manage , the Year in Books link up with Laura at Circle of Pine Trees.  My January read was 'The Miniaturist' by Jessie Burton, which I received as  Christmas present.  I haven't quite finished it yet, one reason for my late link up.  I've enjoyed it. Beautifully written, it is one of those books that brings the characters and place to life.  It's full of detail about 17th century Amsterdam, obviously well researched.  I like the evocative descriptions of taste of the sugar and delicacies made from it, which reminded me of  Joanne Harris's 'Chocolat'. The plot, and its link to the dolls' house, is intriguing rather than gripping though, which explains why I've read it slowly.  It's a book to savour and one which will stay with me a long time.

But now I want a pacy, pointless, plot type novel to read over half term. A fast food kind of book, to read and forget - not good for me but enjoyable all the same. I haven't found it yet - considering the new S J Watson as I liked 'Before I go To Sleep'.  Any suggestions out there?

My February books, which I have already dipped into, are both non-fiction.  I've borrowed Steven Pinker's 'The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century' from the library.  It's  not one I'll read all the way through, but it looks interesting and I did enjoy his book 'The Language Instinct'.  I am also teaching Carol Ann Duffy's poetry at present and so am reading 'Rapture'.  Again one to read slowly.  I read the title poem yesterday and this line
stayed with me all day:
 'How does it happen that our lives can drift
far from our selves, while we stay trapped in time,
queuing for death?'

Another question.  Is it always better to read more, to get through as many books as possible?   Or am I alone in my occasional preference for some slow reading?


  1. I read it all the way through, I always enjoy your blog.

  2. I have to read and learn about Carol Ann Duffy's poem for my English qualifications this month! I know who to ask if I am stuck. As for read and forget: I read "The girl who just appeared" by Jonathan Harvey. It fit that description very well. I do fast and slow reading. Some books I dip in and out to digest what I have read, others I race through because I just need to know. Both types of reading are enjoyable. Have a lovely half term! x

  3. Delighted to hear you enjoyed 'The Miniaturist'. It balances up my experience of it, which wasn't so positive, but that is what is so marvellous about books and reading,the individual experience of readers,and the power of books to move us, or otherwise! I do fast and slow reads too. I love Carol Ann Duffy's work x

  4. Your posts aren't so long that I can't always read them properly the whole way through. And they're always enjoyable. I have to admit to sometimes skimming through some very long posts on other blogs. Hope you have a good half term break.

  5. I've heard lots of good things about The Miniaturist, so I'm adding it to my reading list. I don't know whether I read fast or slow. I don't skim read. I read a lot though, so maybe that's how I get through quite a few books in any given month. It's my way to relax and unwind. I also enjoy early nights in bed with a book. I spend an awful lot of time on my own, so books keep me company. I'm not a snob about what I read either. I am drawn to female novelist for some reason. Not sure why. I don't skim read blog posts either, unless it's craft instructions. I love staring at some some of the wonderful photography of blogs too. I'm always struck by how talented people are out there.
    Leanne xx

  6. I read all of your post! I used to read a lot quickly, but now read more slowly, mainly because I am usually doing so many things! Right now I have two books on the go, one officially, the other is my unofficial book and then I am dipping into another that I have that I am supposed to be saving and not reading yet! Hmm, not sure what that says! Also a stack of magazines waiting to be read! I hope that you enjoy your reading, whatever you choose and whatever speed you read it at! xx

  7. I am with you and tend to read slowly to make sure I take it all in. I even leave it a few days before I start a new book so the memory of the book I have finished lingers in my memories.