Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reading habits

Ok, I'm on the road (just stopped for the night in Chattanooga, Tennessee) and these are the books I brought with me. And yes, I'm reading all of them. I can't seem to read just one at a time. My charmer has called my reading habits schizophrenic... I pick up a book, read a chapter for about ten minutes, put it down and start a chapter from another book almost immediately. To me, it's the equivalent of flipping channels during commercials. But that's not to say I'm not getting all that I can from each book. Somehow I manage to take it all in. When it comes to the anthologies, I've been waiting several weeks between stories to really savor them.

Does anybody else have bizarre reading patterns or read more than one book at a time?


--The Man Who Went Up In Smoke (A Martin Beck Mystery), Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
--The Goliath Bone, Mickey Spillane
--Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
--Serenity: Those Left Behind, Whedon, Matthews and Conrad
--Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
--Maigret And The Wine Merchant, Georges Simenon
--High Profile, Robert B. Parker
--Coronado, Dennis Lehane
--A Hell Of A Woman, Edited by Megan Abbott
--Texas Sheriff, Eugene Cunningham
--The Playboy Book Of Horror And The Supernatural

*I might not get a chance to make my usual rounds in the blogosphere this week. I'm traveling and also preparing Beat to a Pulp for Monday's debut.


Chris said...

Interesting post. Bizarre reading patterns? Well, my attention wanes--if something doesn't really grab me, I have to work to get into it. For instance, with that "Rain on the Halfmoon" story I just reviewed, I was finding it really boring until I put myself in the main character's shoes, imagined that my wife had just left me and I went after her, but the place she was supposed to have left from had been burned to the ground. I guess you might call it an exercise in empathy, corny as it may sound. With fiction, I often have to do this, or I will sit reading the same thing over and over again. On the flip side, this strategy has engaged me in many a story that I otherwise might have put down.

Georgie B said...

The only reading pattern that I can call bizarre is if a book grabs me.

If a book grabs me, I will read that bad boy cover to cover, no matter where I'm at.

Which can mean occasional problems for me at work.

If it doesn't, then it will usualy sit on my shelf with a bookmark with a bookmark at the last spot read, until I can get up enough energy to start reading it again.

Right now, I have about a half dozen books like that.

Junosmom said...

I'm in a funk with reading. Normally, I read voraciously. Lately, I've been reading a bit of a book, and finding it hard to find one that'll hold my attention.

Are you reading to prepare for writing?

David Cranmer said...

Chris, intriguing. I don't believe I have ever put myself into what I'm reading quite like that. I used to continue to read a book even if I hated it. Now I will just toss it aside for something new.

Georgie B, I have read a few books, in one sitting, like that myself. An uncle of mine who worked on a factory assembly line would read a book a day. Crazy.

Junosmom, Everything I read is to better my writing. I'm probaby only in second or third grade right now :)

Clare2e said...

David- That's how I read, too. Multiples at once, but of a variety of genres, sprinkled in with news and essays, miscellania.

And I'm also like Georgie B. If I love it (sometimes I don't even love it, but the author's diabolical), I'm absolutely compelled to finish and I have trouble doing anything else until it's done. Good, then, that I'm a fast reader. But I finish those books almost like a binge drunk, kind of dry and spent.

I've been working on closing out the many unfinished books, but to some I'm finally just going to say adios.

Scott Parker said...

I have a similar, yet different reading path: Audiobooks. My commute, one-way, is about 40-45 minutes. Thus, I'm reading at least one book and listening to another.

Before I turned my blog into a review site, I read haphazardly. Not quite as jumpy as you do, David, but still not one book, all the way through. Back then, I'd read one part of one book a night and then, if the mood struck me different, something else the next night. Now, with the need to create reviews, I select a book and plow through it. It's been pretty easy so far because I've wanted to learn from old masters on how to write (there's my answer to your question, Junosmom).

I'm in a minor reading funk myself. But, having just received a few birthday books (two Hard Case Crime novels and "Danger Zone", an anthology of Erle Stanley Gardner short stories), I have new things with which to capture my attention.

David: interesting thing to note: I'm reading a Maigret short story for my next short story review. It's my first Maigret story.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Love the Martin Beck books. I used to read more frenetically but now I usually read one at a time. I do ready short stories interspersed with novels though.

sandra seamans said...

I usually mix in a few short stories while I'm reading a book. But usually I stick to one book at a time, though I may start three or four before I find one that sticks. And like you and Scott, I've been reading a lot of different books in the mystery genre for learning purposes.

Barbara Martin said...

Not so bizzare, David. Sometimes I read three books on a daily basis, because I'm itching to read all of them. This takes away from my writing though, and I'm making myself read one at a time to fit in the writing.

David Cranmer said...

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with unique reading habits. I wish I could respond in full but my wife and I are still in the middle of traveling and I'm borrowing this barely connected wireless signal. More soon...


I just envy the places you're travelling around - can't wait for my American trip.

Cinema Journal said...

"A Hell of a Woman" is a great anthology! My favorites are by Sara Gran, Christa Faust, and Vin Packer.

I also just started a blog dedicated to pulp mysteries called "Pulp Serenade." Come check it out when you get the chance.

Charles Gramlich said...

I almost always read two to three books at a time, often a couple fiction books and a nonfiction one. Sometimes it's a novel, a short story collection, and a nonfiction book. More rarely I'll read four or five at a time, but usually at least one of those will be poetry or short stories.

David Cranmer said...

Archavist, And I'm still waiting to get to the UK! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on us rebels.

Cinema Journal, The Christa Faust story is tops for sure... I will check out your blog as soon as I have steady internet and thanks for stopping by.

Charles, I'm glad I blogged on this issue. Now I can tell my wife I'm not the only schizophrenic out there... glad to see you finished your paper grading.

Sarah Hina said...

Holy crap! That's some stack.

I usually devote myself to one book at a time. I love that immersion experience of being gripped by a story and seeing it through to its conclusion. And then diving into the next.

But I'm glad your reading appetite is so voracious! :)

David Cranmer said...

Sarah, I'm glad to see there are still normal book readers like yourself:)

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