Saturday, January 23, 2016

What's your reading style?

Everyone has a reading style....that perfect setup needed to lose yourself in a book. Music on. Music off. Tea. Coffee. Snacks. Laying down. Sitting up. Hardback. Paperback. Ebooks. We're all different. Not to mention that we all prefer certain genres over others. Or some not at all. So many, many ways to enjoy the same activity with a personalized bent.

My husband and I are completely different styles when it comes to reading.

My husband is a snippet reader. He reads little bits of chapters here and there in "lost time'' moments. Waiting in line to pick our son up at school....he's reading. Waiting at the Doctor's office.....reading. Dinner isn't ready yet? Book time. He also reads one book at a time, and usually sticks with a series until he's read all the available books. Then he trolls the internet to find out how long he has to wait for the next book, if it's a continuing series. And he picks another book or series to fill that time until he can continue.

I drive him crazy. 

I'm an ADHD reader. :) I start a series and get partway through a book.....then switch to reading something else, coming back to the first book a few days later. I often have a stack of 7 or 8 books that I'm currently reading. And I flit back and forth between them.  When I read a series, I might read one or two books....then switch to a totally different genre and leave that series for awhile. It drives my husband nuts. 

Let's take the Dresden series, for example. We both enjoy it. My husband battened down the hatches and plowed his way through them all. Clear up to #15, Skin Game, that came out in 2014. I had it pre-ordered and delivered to him on it's pub day, just so he wouldn't go into hysterics that it was out there and he didn't have it yet. Crisis averted.

But....I'm meandering along. Enjoying the series like a fine wine. I get a Dresden Fix....then move on to Simon Green for awhile....then cozy mysteries....then YA fiction....maybe some classic science fiction....then Dresden again. 

I just finished book #9. Our reading conversations sound like this:  "Oh have you gotten to the part where he......oh wait, I can't tell you that.''  or "Just wait til this one thing won't believe it.''  "Has the dog done this really cool thing yet?''  Now I feel badly because my husband wants to have bookish discussions with me.....but I'm 6 books behind (and Jim Butcher has announced the working title of the next book in the series, which he plans to expand to at  least 20 books). My husband is in hysterics bugging me to catch up so he can talk about the series.

That's just not my style. I read a Dresden novel and then move on for something completely different. Then I come back. For me, a good series is something to be savored. Every time I have rushed my way through an entire series because I just couldn't put it down - it's come back to bite me in the ass. Cliff hanger ending --- no new book for years.  I can't even bring myself to talk about Game of Thrones. Sigh. Or the time I read a comic series before the compilation came out.....Hulk and Wolverine fighting. Hulk throws Wolverine's legs up a damn mountain! Cliff hanger ending.....and then NO MORE ISSUES for YEARS. And a stupid conclusion when it did finish. Every time. Total bite to the ass. I enjoy a series slowly and methodically and let the author stay ahead of 2 year cliffhangers, no delay to my gratification.

But my husband prefers the read & fret mode.  Reads everything.....then stews for months trying to find another series he likes to fill in the time. Publishing delays ..... oh my.....I hear about those for days. I finally told him not to even mention George R. R. Martin to me.  Then I told him I knew the story outline -- everyone dies...only one left is Hodor.....he becomes king.  I don't understand why everyone else can't see that? It's totally obvious. :) Yeah, I poked him right in the reader anxiety. We all jab at those we don't understand. :) And that series....well another bite to the ass for me. Big large almost decade long bite to the ass. 

That's why I'm sticking with flitting. My ass can't take any more.  I usually change genres at the toss of a hat, while hubby prefers to stay in his comfort zone of sci-fi/fantasy with an occasional biography.  I'm flitting from sci-fi to classics to YA to humor get the idea. I think it's a bit like wine tasting. I love books -- all books.  And when I get the taste of one genre in my's time to clear it, and try another vintage.  If I've enjoyed the bliss of a great sci-fi's time for a little Bronte, or maybe a biography of an old Hollywood star. Something to clear the palate and send my imagination off in a totally new direction. 

But in the end, it's wonderful to be married to a person who enjoys books. He understands when I pre-order a book months in advance, and he understands how despondent I am when I loan out a book and don't get it back. We just differ in our reading style. 

I finished a Dresden novel yesterday while snowed in.  Only six more to go.....7 soon. And my husband is giving me those "I wish you would just catch up'' looks in expectation of the new novel. 

I fixed the problem. Re-direction.  I went to my shelf and pulled out book one of Simon Green's Nightside series. "Here.....try this.''  He was immediately enthralled and immersed. "Oh my.....the train! What did you think about the train?'   Smile & nod.  I've read through book 5 of I'm safe on the book discussions for awhile.  So I can meander my way through White Night, while also reading The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, The City of Ember, Serafina and the Black Cloak, Labryrinth, The Second After, Bare Bones & the Key Lime Pie Murder.  

Compromise. It's a beautiful thing. :) 

1 comment:

  1. My dear husband would rather listen to a book on CD. And never the same genre as me! So we can't even discuss books! LOL! I'm a little like you and your husband combined. I flit from one book to another just fine, but if I find a book that's part of a series I need to find the rest before I'll even think about beginning the first one! And if I purchase and read a book that is part of a series without knowing it, I go to the bookstore as quickly as I can to find the rest! And then there's reading the same books over and over again - though with some time in between! :)