Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gobble or Nibble?

Books are like a big, fat, gooey slab of cake. Maybe covered with cream. Thick cream. Cream so thick it’s a desert in itself. Maybe some ice cream, too. Oh, maybe it’s a hot chocolate fudge cake and the fudge is melting…okay, I’ve sufficiently given myself a serious cake craving, so I’ll get to the point.

You have that delicious cake in front of you. Do you dive right in, devour it as fast as your jaw can work…or do you take your time? Do you take small, delicate bites and draw out the experience as long as physically possible?

I asked one of my fellow wenches this question, and she told me it depended on the author. Stephen King she draws it out, so as not to miss anything, but Nora Roberts she gobbles whole.

I can’t deny that when reading a seriously, seriously good book, the urge to read so fast my eyeballs smoke is tempting. But the better the book the slower I want to go. The better the book the harder going slow is. I have conflicting emotions with wanting to make the experience last as long as possible, but needing to know what happens right now.

One of my favourite authors is Richelle Mead, and in particular her Georgina Kincaid series. Georgina is a succubus by night and a bookstore worker by day. She adores books, especially works by Seth Mortensen. In fact, she loves his books so much she only allows herself to read five pages a day, so she can make it last. After all, you only get to read a book for the first time once.

You only get to read a book for the first time once…

That is my mantra when I’m reading. How often do I live by it? Not as often as I’d like. Depending on the book, and the day, I can polish off a book in hours. One more chapter then I’ll turn out the light kind of books.

Sometimes when I finish I feel like I cheated myself out of something special. That I shouldn’t have rushed and the experience was over far too quickly.

However, I don’t beat myself up for long. If I’ve fallen in love with the book, I know I’ll re-read it. Some people find this bizarre. A lot of people I know won’t re-read a book the same way they won’t watch a movie twice, because they already know what’s going to happen. But re-reading something is like getting to fall in love with your husband all over again. How could you not adore that? Some of my favourite books I’ve read dozens of times. It’s because I re-read that my husband doesn't go made when I buy so many new books.

I’d love for you to tell me how you read. Devour or small nibbles?



Rain Chapman said...

Sometimes I devour a book, it's just so good I can't help myself. When I do this though, I always give it a couple months to settle and then reread at a slower pace.

I'm usually fairly good at going slow and savouring every word though. The best books always get at least one more reread regardless of the speed at which I read first. But I agree, you only get one chance to read a book for the first time. Slow morsels is the way to go.

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