Monday, 7 February 2011

The Joy of a New Book.


It is all too easy to order a book from Amazon once you have an account - a couple of clicks and you're away. Yes - I have a new book.

On Saturday morning I take two newspapers - The Times and The Guardian and both had an account of a book by Colin Thubron (one of my favourite travel writers). In a trice I had it ordered from Amazon and at ten o'clock this morning it popped through my letter box.

Now, once I have a new book I take it out of its wrapper, feel it, smell it, rejoice in the cover and in its newness. I can't wait to read it, and usually start straight away.

Today I am trying a completely new tactic. I have read one chapter. It is spellbinding. Did I start chapter two, you ask? No I did not. I re-read chapter one and enjoyed the re-reading just as much. Now I shall not read chapter two until tomorrow. I am going to read each chapter twice and as there are fifteen chapters this gorgeous book is going to last me a whole fortnight.

Do you think I can manage to control myself like that? Only time will tell but I am going to try, going to try and prolong the enjoyment. How do you read a book? Do you read it at one sitting (a 'can't put it down' kind of reading) or do you read it slowly and thoroughly and enjoy it all the more?

My little experiment is just a test for me. Time will tell how well it works.

22 comments:

The Bug said...

It depends on the book. Certain ones just kidnap me & Dr. M doesn't get a sensible word out of me until I'm done. Others I have to take in stages (usually these are novels where I'm mad at the characters & have to cool off before I can get back to them). Nonfiction usually takes me AGES to read. :)

Rachel said...

Whatever.

Gwilym Williams said...

I'm impressed by your new reading technique. I must try it. I can't just yet because I'm near the end of two books, but when I start the next one I will. It'll be an interesting experiment. Thanks!

Caroline Gill said...

This looks an interesting new book. I find I savour a book these days, noting its title and date read in my diary, and jotting down interesting words or sometimes ideas. I read a mix of poetry, fiction and wildlife books. Am dying to start my new Tracy Chevalier about fossils . . .

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I'm also impressed. If I love a book I have been known to barricade myself away until it's finished but then I mourn its end - so silly. I often read the last few pages more slowly then the whole book.

Bonnie said...

What a wonderful model of restraint and prolonging the pleasure! I tend to devour books I love so fast that I go back to extend its life and resavour again with another read. I like your experiment and may give it a try.

Eryl said...

I have been known to stop eating in order to keep reading a book. Now I have to wear reading glasses, which I find uncomfortable after a few hours, I tend to take my time. I also like to read more than one book at a time so that I don't suffer that sense of loss when I finish one. Currently reading: The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal (wonderful!), The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden and also dipping in and out of a variety of poetry books.

ArtPropelled said...

It all depends on the book. If it looks wonderful I might prolong reading it so as to savour that new book anticipation but once I start I have to read through it as quickly as possible. Some books take a while to get into and will take longer.

Heather said...

My daughter and I are not the only ones who like to take a good deep sniff of a new book! I am very bad and read a book straight through and too fast. This means I don't remember what I have read but in turn it means I can read the book again and still have a surprise! When I have finished a really good book I feel quite bereft and sometimes have to wait before I can start another. Your discipline is most impressive.

Bernie said...

I don't think I could reread one chapter and then the next like that. I get interested in a book and have to read it to the end as soon as possible. My friend and I were just talking about books the other day and she mentioned she knew some people who read the endings first. Why would anyone do that?

But I can understand your savoring a particular book. When that happens to me, I reread them. I bet I have read Elizabeth Ogilvie's books about lobster fishermen who live on Bennett Island on the East coast (fictitious name) six or seven times over the years. Its like visiting old friends. I wish she had written more. There were about 8 books in our library and I wore them all out. I haven't reread them for a long time. I hope they haven't discarded them.

And I have read BEACH MUSIC by Pat Conroy several times as well.

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

Interesting strategy, but I do agree with you that Amazon (and others) make it so easy to buy books. I was sorting my books out on Saturday having put up some new bookcases and I found at least four books I had ordered and have not read! I know how my evenings are going to be spent in the next few weeks!
X

angryparsnip said...

What a great idea on your new reading technique.
I have a few favorite books I read over again and again they are like old friends.
I use to read several books at once now only I read one or two at the same time. I am finding it hard to concentrate with some of the new meds I am on. I get too tired.

I too am reading the Edmund De Waal's "The Hare With Amber Eyes" hello Eryl :) the new "Nigella Kitchen" and several books on Bookmaking and folding techniques.

cheers, parsnip

Pondside said...

That's a system I've never tried - or thought about. I just might give it a try, but I don't thing it's something that would suit every book.

mrsnesbitt said...

Oh yes the one click approach! I love it. I also love ordering the second hand books from amazon - all like new and which I could not tell the difference. I am reading a new Gervaise Phinn book - the library van comes on a Monday so I am always there - meeting up with the neighbours and exchanging the news.

steven said...

wow weaver. i have none of your self-restraint. nope! a book like this i'd devour!!! steven

Jo said...

Oh, Weaver. I thought I was the only one who smelled new books! Yay...I also feel the spines, run my hands down the pages to feel the paper, and flip through the book to see how the pages turn. Aren't new books just wonderful?

I'm reading a Hardy Boys book to my grandson right now, one chapter per night before bedtime. It's a firm and fast rule.

It's so fun to see him excited to continue each night, and to pour out his hypotheses about the solution to the mystery. I love giving him time to savor his book.

Could I do the same with mine? Nah. I'm hopelessly un-self-disciplined!

Loren said...

If you really want to see how easy to buy a book, get a Kindle.

Instant gratification (well, except for the actual reading), but everyone knows that is secondary to actually getting your hands on the book.

ChrisJ said...

How can you DO that?!! I simply can't stop reading. However, when I started to teach some of the classics, I really got enthusiastic about reading and analyzing and drooling over. It makes me so much more appreciative of good writing.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I know what you mean about wanting to savour a really good book.

izzy said...

Savoring is good! but wow that takes patience ( read through a second time
before going on!)Some books I read like a meditation, then there are those I gobble. Most get reread - some get underlining and notes/ journal; some simply enjoyed over and over.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the comments - there are one or two books I shall try to get hold of as they sound interesting. Do bear in mind that I have only kept up my reading chapter by chapter for two days - so far, so good but time will tell.

dinesh chandra said...

nice flowers.

good post

regards

dinesh chandra