8.13.2013

The year of reading dangerously

A reader in her natural habitat.
According to my list, I've read a stupidly large number of books since last September. (I'll publish the full list in a few weeks when my book year ends.) I didn't know when I bought an iPad last year and switched to ebooks that I would be able to read so much more in a twelvemonth. I've been joking that turning pages in a physical book was wasting valuable reading time, but I had no idea how true it was until I updated my last last night. I've managed to cram in an extra thirty books over my yearly average.

While I've been able to read more, ebooks have changed my reading habits in ways that I'm not altogether sure are positive. I've hard to start taking notes on what I read for the first time since graduate school. This might be a good thing in that I'm not just slapping a review together when I finish a book. On the other hand, I'm taking frakking notes, people. I'm not able to remember plots as well as I used to. (No Alzheimer's jokes, please.) I can remember reading books. I can remember what I liked and disliked, for the most part. But when I talk books with people now, I have to refer back to the blog a lot more to remember why I liked and disliked it in the first place because I've probably read a couple dozen books since then.

Am I going to slow down? Hells, no! I'm not sure I could slow down. The subjective experience of reading for me is still as immersive and rich as always. Nothing else compares to it. I think my reviews have gotten better. I just worry that I might end up like my bookworm of a niece who reads so fast that she can't remember what she just read. Hence, notes.

I worried when I started taking notes that it would take away some of the pleasure of reading. So far, it hasn't. I think it's been keeping me reading deeply rather than just speeding through to see what happens next. Because I'm taking notes, I feel like I need to think up something worth the effort of breaking my reading stride and committing it to paper. So, I question what I'm reading, the authors' motives, the symbolism of the text, and on and on. I think it made me enjoy Sean Ferrell's The Man in the Empty Suit more than I might have if I hadn't been so determined to find and understand the subtext.

I wonder what my next book year is going to be like. I might pass from reading a stupidly large number of books to a truly terrifying number of books. Maybe I'll just tell people how many feet of book I read instead of giving them the number.

1 comment:

  1. Taking notes is awesome! Don't let anybody tell you differently.
    I have had a very slow reading year (for me) but hopefully I'll have the Cybils to propel me forward. I have noticed, however, in the year or so that I've had my Nook, that I tend to read the books more quickly.

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