Thursday, March 25, 2010

The pause that refreshes or a deathly silence?

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Do you take breaks while reading a book? Or read it straight through? (And, by breaks, I don’t mean sleeping, eating and going to work; I mean putting it aside for a time while you read something else.

As someone who generally reads more than one book at a time, as well as having a fair bit of reading for school, it is the natural state of things to take breaks. Reading one book straight through is the exception, not the rule, although the length of the break could suggest that I have lost interest. Usually I switch between two or three books at a time as the interest strikes me; I'm not methodical about it. Sometimes a book will grab me by the horns as this one did lately, and this one, and then I will answer its call and read away until it's done. Sometimes, a book-in-progress sits for months atop the pile before I dive in again, reading 100-page chunks at a time. Middlemarch is like that for me. I know I will finish it. I'm just not in the right mood to read it through. With others though, that long pause is a death knell, the sure sign that I've moved on to another book, even if I can't quite admit it yet.

5 comments:

Nise' said...

My norm is to stick with a book to the end.

Lori said...

One book at a time, and a straight sitting, that's me. Here's mine.

Criticlasm said...

I'm the same. I usually have a few going at the same time; one will grab me and I'll race through, and others will go at different paces. And I find short story collections and some non-fiction I can read non-linearly, so I do that as well.

But yes, some pauses last a very long time. Like Magic Mountain that I started in 1998, or Middlemarch, or even Mansfield Park, which gripped me but in the Norton Critical Edition, which just takes more effort to read.

And then there's War & Peace, daily. :)

pussreboots said...

I read many books at a time too but have only taken 3 extended breaks.

beastmomma said...

It took me awhile to get through Middlemarch, but I found that the further I got into the story, the faster it went. Here is my response:
http://beastmomma.squarespace.com/from-shelf-to-hand/2010/3/25/booking-through-thursday-break.html