Monday, April 12, 2010

More about being a Reader versus a Writer

But first, briefly: The week I took off leading up to Easter--I didn't make the (probably unreasonable) goals I wanted to reach, but I got a lot more done in those seven days than I had for most of the previous 33, in terms of editing. It is clear I still find it much easier to write (and edit to a smaller extent) when there's an external time-pressure, be it having less time because of a job or school, or deadlines when a professor of beta-reader is expecting to have the pages in hand.

If I know someone is waiting, I stay on the ball better. Left to my own devices, with essentially nothing but my own intentions to structure my day, I flail a bit.

But I did make progress, so that improves my frame of mind.

On to today's topic: Am I the Only One This Applies to?

I know there are some people that can reads multiple books simultaneously, while others need to start and finish one book, then start the next. I, on the other hand, do some sort of combination of the two. I start a couple of books at relatively the same time. Usually read a couple pages to a chapter or two, and then my attention hones in on one specific book, and I will read that one until it's done, then go back to the others, read pages here and there, until another book grabs my whole attention. [Another issue related to this is when I have a bunch in my TBR pile, and I want to read them all first, but this tends to devolve into the above.]

Here's the thing, it isn't that I like the other books any less than the first one that really grabs me. And there can be some writers or books that I love, but I can put it down for some reason, and it'll be weeks before I pick it up again. Most people might say that means I don't like the book, but I do. I just, lose the thread of it. Ex/A book my sister borrowed from the library about writing and psychology. I started to read it, then it was time to turn in, so I went and borrowed it on my own card. Even reborrowed it on my card, but I have just not been able to pick it back up. It's incredibly interesting, and appeals to two of my favorite subjects, but I put it down to finish up something else that was due back at the library, and couldn't pick up the thread of it.

Am I just weird?

~shrugs~ Just a thought I had yesterday, because this psych/writing book is due back at the library again and I haven't finished it. I'll turn it in today, and maybe borrow it some time down the road, and hopefully I "be ready" to read it again. Just one of the strange things my head does that I don't necessarily agree with.

Happy writing everyone,


Jennifer Ambrose said...

I think books are a lot like relationships. Timing is so important. Sometimes you just NEED a certain book in your life--the others can wait. And sometimes there's a really great book, just like a really amazing guy/girl who you just know you are going to fall in love with. But maybe today is not a good day to fall in love.

Unlike with people, you can just put the book down. You don't have to worry that it will find another reader. It will wait patiently for you to come back when you're ready.

What do you think?

Jennifer Ambrose said...

PS I'm glad you got some good writing done during your internet vacation!!

jjdebenedictis said...

I'm pretty much a serial monogamist with books. If something hasn't grabbed me within about fifteen pages, I don't usually bother pressing on.

Sabrina said...

I like it! :D

Slightly related--I feel like I've had a lot of conversations lately where people tell me how many books they read in a day or a week, and they seem surprised if I say I can go for a couple of weeks where I don't feel like reading anything. It's this same sensation for me (can't find the thread of a book), but on a larger scale. But I really like the relationship idea for those singular books that just grab your attention to the point of ignoring all others.

JJ--I've occasionally started reading a book, put it down, and never picked it up again. But there have been times (especially with manga) where I keep buying books in a 'meh' series. I can't stop even if I have no drive to read them. ~rolls eyes at self~