Once a reader

Once a reader, always a reader – so the saying goes, and it is certainly true of me. Depending on my frame of mind I always have the appropriate book to hand; if not, I simply pick up another. Current books on the go:

Elizabeth the Queen Mother by Hugo Vickers Page30/375  (this is a second reading and makes light bedtime dropping off to sleep relaxation…..)

Encore by May Sarton, Page 158/332  (many readings and ditto above)

Forgotten Laughter by Marcia Willett, Page 30/375  (a library book billed as for those who like Rosamunde Pilcher – it hasn’t grabbed me yet.)

Life and Laughing my story, by Michael McIntyre Page 112/294  (lives up to the author’s gift for observational humour.)

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy Page 378/1356  (as part of my winter blog readalong at dovegreyreader.)

The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister Page 82/222  (suits a slow, meditative pace – a recommendation from the blogging world.)

The above list makes me wonder about a Kindle Reader, though I don’t travel as much these days there are still the motorhome trips and visits to family and friends. However, I’m still at the stage of liking the look and feel of each book. When I feel in need of a boost I can pick up the Michael McIntyre volume and instantly sense the inward chuckle rising. If I’m wistful and feel that life is passing me by I go to my seat in the porch and pick up Joan Chittister. Tolstoy is for serious days, whereas the Rosamunde Pilcher un-look-a-like hardly gets attention at all. Bedtime reading alternates according to mood but must be non-fiction and soothing.

Are you a one book at a time person, or do you like to have a few on the go?

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12 Responses to Once a reader

  1. Oh I am definitely a several books at a time reader. I went to return some books to Amazon yesterday (my pragmatic side took over) and discovered I could not return one of them because I had started reading it. One of the things I dislike about school is I must read assigned books. They are usually good….but, I like to read on impulse and that is denied to me most of the time. Good selection here. You know how I feel about Chittister…love her.

    Not as estatic as May Sarton. She grew quite bitter towards the end. Never could get into Rosamund Pilcher after “The Shell Seekers.” Read Tolstoy long ago.

  2. Had never been without books (library) from the age of seven, until my husband died. Oddly enough since then, all I have read have been theology, various “takes” on religion, books on heresy, atheism, life support type books and am currently reading “Is anybody up there?” by Paul Arnott. This has greatly helped and informed my conversion to Christianity but seems to have effectively ‘slain’ my sense of humour.
    Never mind, it will doubtless return sometime and then I’ll catch up with all my favourites – Le Carre, Pilcher, Margaret Forster, and dozens of others.
    I agree absolutely about holding a book as opposed to a gadget.

  3. Lyn says:

    This is lengthy, and for that I apologize in advance.

    “Once a reader, always a reader.” That made me think. I’ve always been a reader, but there was a period of about 20 years when I had a big problem. I loved reading, but my reading had become fragmented. I was always an avid reader as a child and throughout my adulthood. However, for several years beginning in my early 40s until recently, I was seriously disrupted in that love of reading. You see, when I was in college and graduate school, I learned to read in snippets, pages or paragraphs only, because to read more than the mountains of assigned pages and paragraphs was, well, unwise and usually impossible in the 24 hour day.

    When I graduated, I found I could not read a book from cover to cover. I had developed such a pattern of fragmented reading that I couldn’t keep my attention on the pages for more than a few at a time. It was almost like having ADD and struggling to keep my attention focused. It was grueling. When I picked up the book next time, I’d have to go back and get myself caught up, and then I could advance just a couple more pages. I have talked to several others who had the same experience, particularly following grad school.

    Then, just over a year ago, my daughter gave me a Kindle when I was facing surgery, not knowing what time I would be convalescing and thinking it would be nice for me to have many books available. There was something about it that made it possible for me to read …. avidly!! …. once again. The first week I had it, I read 2 or 3 books! In this year, I’ve read over 50 books! I have a couple theories about why it works for me, but bottom line is …. it doesn’t matter! I’m reading again!

    Another plus for me is that it is lightweight. I have some arthritis in my hands. It isn’t really bad, but enough that holding my hands in a fixed position for a period of time makes the joints begin to hurt. So holding a book, even though the weight is not extreme, hurts. So does gripping a steering wheel and holding crochet hooks and a paint brush for more than a half hour or so. The Kindle works because it is so light, and I shift the joints regularly to “turn the page.”

    I agree with you that the feel of a book is comforting (and I still read them, too), but the reality of my reading style makes Kindle best for me. Like you, I read several books at once, and with them in the Kindle, it is so easy to switch, especially if I go somewhere; I’m not limited to the book I picked up as I left the house. Right now I have four books in progress! I finished one last night and one the night before, so that was six books going at once a couple days ago. Much fun!

    OK, I’ll quit, as this is much too long. I think “real” books and Kindle books both ahve advantages, and for me Kindle comes out on top. Read on!!

  4. freda says:

    Lyn, your comment is fascinating and really deserves its own post. Thanks for sharing so much about yourself. I’ve noticed nowadays that some of my friends are getting so distracted with the online world, need to read snippets quickly and so forth that there seems less time just to read a whole novel, say for pleasure. I’m so glad you got your love of reading and ability to concentrate on books. I suspect a Kindle might be on my to-look-at-m0re-closely-list soon.

  5. freda says:

    Dianne, I think the Chittister recommendation came from yourself, and The Gift of Life satisfies my interests in ageing and spirituality. I know what you mean about May Sarton – one of her biographers told it like it was, but it still doesn’t put me off her writings. That must say a lot about the connection I feel with her, though on the face of it, there is no real reason, except that she appeals to something in me to do with journalling. (I am an avid journaller as well as blogger.)

    Ray, when we go through hard times we just stick with what works for us at that time. Whatever works for you is OK (so long as it is legal, of course.) I’ve not heard of the Paul Arnott book, must look him up. My theological reading is sporadic to say the least, probably the result of a surfeit whilst I was studying for my BD.

  6. Tim says:

    Mostly one on the go at a time – subject matter comes & goes in phases between theological and photographic (currently :)

  7. freda says:

    Tim. that’s why you take in and retain what you read, I suspect.

  8. RevRuth says:

    Strangely enough, I have always been a ‘one book at a time’ kind of reader. I think I am a bear with a very small brain and have trouble remembering all the characters and plots that I would just get terribly confused. However, that has all changed since I got my Kindle. Like you, I love the feel of books and will always buy them but the Kindle is just so handy for travelling, waiting in the doc’s surgery, and for picking up when you just need a little something to brouse. As all the Classics are free for the Kindle I’ve been downloading them willy nilly so although my bedtime reading is When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit, I am also reading Winnie the Pooh, the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Mennonite in a little Black Dress, and Moab is my Washpot before going on to read the latest book by Stephen Fry. Dickens and Trollope and Bronte await…

  9. LC says:

    I find your comments about Kindle interesting. I assumed I would miss the satisfaction of holding a book. But eyesight challenges are making me think again. I understand you can make text larger on a Kindle, and that may be just what i need. I usually have several books in progress, and having them all handy on a Kindle would be convenient.

  10. Sheila says:

    I love this topic and the comments! As a teacher, okay retired, (once a teacher always….) I noticed some tension about teaching reading and the meaning of “real reading” among my peers. Some people thought that reading comics or newspapers etc. didn’t count or that technological devices somehow compromised the process. I always loved the classics and the smell and feel of traditional style books but I know that for some kids the only way to get them to read is to get with the program. And you guys are so with it!

    I sometimes have multiple books on the go to suit my mood. Right now I have only one and feel a bit forced with it. Have to get a couple more. Also, thanks for the kindle comments. Incredible insights.

  11. freda says:

    I like the sound of your reading list, Ruth, and am interested to hear your comments about the Kindle. Perhaps it will go on my birthday list after all.

    Sheila, you’ve cheered me up about reading being valid no matter the genre. Multiple books must run in the family.

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