The Sunday Salon ~ Savoring Reading

November 30, 2008 at 8:27 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 12 Comments
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The Sunday Salon.comHappy Sunday, everyone!  I hope that this post finds you fat and happy after a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend.  Thanksgiving was fun this year because both girls had an understanding of what it is about and actually wanted to watch the parade with us Thursday morning.  This also promises to be a fun Christmas as well.  Both girls are starting to get on pins and needles waiting for Santa.  I can’t wait until Christmas morning!  Something tells me they won’t be sleeping in again this year like they did last year.

Savoring Reading

I want to, but I don’t – at least not recently.  This hit home last night as I was finishing up The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer.  I thoroughly enjoyed my first Regency Romance, but as the back cover got closer and closer, my thoughts were already shifting to my Mining ARCs spreadsheet and the book I would be reading next.  When I finished the novel, there wasn’t a minute between putting The Reluctant Widow on my nightstand where it awaits my review (most likely Wednesday) and picking up The Front Porch Prophet by Raymond L. Atkins.  The reviews of this novel have been wonderful and I’ve really been enjoying the first 40 pages.  Still, I know that as I get closer to finishing it, I will start drifting toward whatever might be the next novel on my spreadsheet.  I just don’t like this.

This wasn’t how it always was.  I distinctly remember sitting back in my rocking chair holding my copy of Life of Pi to my chest after I finished it.  I played the novel back through my imagination, stopping from time to time to pick up on portions of Pi’s journey that I missed or overlooked during my reading.  The Monsters of Templeton, Wicked, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, The Last Queen, Gardens of Water, The Thirteenth Tale, The Other Boleyn Girl, Innocent Traitor, The Witch’s Trinity, The Gargoyle, and The Kite Runner had similar affects on me.  I even miss the reactions I’ve had with books I didn’t care for such as Perfect Match and Eat, Pray, Love.  At this point, I’m reading books as fast as I can to fill all of the obligations I’ve made since July.  There doesn’t seem to be room to fully appreciate a great book or get my dander up over a book that pisses me off.  There’s always that next book pushing its way into my consciousness like a permanent tooth unwilling to wait until the Tooth Fairy has been summoned.

Although I was a little blue about this last night, It has occurred to me that all is not lost until my spreadsheet is completed, though.  When I write my reviews, I am also savoring my books in a different way.  It takes me between one and two hours to write my reviews, and that is after a day or more thinking through what I want to say.  That might not feel as luxurious to me as I would like, but it is very much time spent reflecting on what I’ve read.  Between the time I finish my review of A Civil General and Wednesday, I’ll most certainly be reminising over old times with Elinor as I prepare for my review of The Reluctant Widow.  And let’s not forget that there is nothing stopping me for rereading the books I would have wanted to spend more time with after I’ve finished plowing through my ARCs.  That’s even something to look forward to, now isn’t it?

Have you been savoring any books recently?  I’d love to hear about your experiences.  I have no problem living vicariously through others…


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  1. I do try to get to my books in a timely manner, but don’t worry about deadlines too much unless it’s a blog tour or I’ve actually committed to a certain date. I hope you get through your stack so it will stop stressing you. Life’s too short.
    I know what you mean about deadlines. I’ve had some of these books since June. I just want to be in control of them. Until I am, I need to force some organization upon myself. Hopefully it will get better very soon. February will be here before we know it. It’s unbelievable that we’re just hours away from December…

  2. Jennifer, I really do know how you feel. I’m ready to read some books just because I want to. I’ve actually taken the liberty to do that recently, but now without a little guilt. I really admire the fact that you’ve organized your reading list into a spreadsheet and are keeping with the schedule. I have a spreadsheet, it’s just been a while since I’ve updated it.

  3. I refuse to force myself to read books. I’d rather not receive free books than to have to read books I am not enjoying.

  4. Ah yes, this I understand. I do the same thing…start thinking about the next book I need to read, before I finish the first one.

    And lately I’ve been moody about it…I finished Flirting with Forty and wanted another fun romantic chick lit type book…not something heavier. Sigh. Life of a reviewer. 🙂

  5. I read a post on another blog today about savoring your reading. The author was talking about reading more slowly and carefully, rather than skimming over some paragraphs to get to the end more quickly. I must admit that I do skim over paragraphs if they are overly long or contain too much description of the landscape. If I forced myself to read all of that I would be bored to tears.

    Your version of savoring makes more sense to me. I am not a reviewer so I don’t have a timetable. I read for pleasure and to keep my mind sharp, so I can pick up any books I want. Last week, I thought I was falling into a reading slump because I didn’t pick up Book B immediately after reading Book A. Now I realize that I probably wanted to spend more time with the characters in Book A before moving on. Of course, there are times (like with the book “On Beauty”) where I want to get those characters out of my head double-quick!

  6. I am trying to get through all of the books on my list that require a review. So far, I am liking them but I have not been able to read my book club pick this month and we meet this Thursday. I am disappointed about that because the book club is what got me reading and I have neglected it.

    I know what you mean about finishing one book with another book ready to go on the back burner. It’s almost as if you can’t give yourself totally to the book in hand because your brain is already prepping for the next one.

    I’m glad your kids were able to enjoy the parade this year. My kids did the same! They got up and watched it from beginning to end and I was so happy because it’s been a tradition with me.

  7. I have a lot of books on my shelf which I would love to read, The thirteenth tale, Remains of the day, Things fall apart…
    and I have ArC’s too. So, I take the only choice available, I alternate my reading. After finishing an ARC yesterday, I picked up what I wanted to read most, Rescue by Nicholas Sparks. And I plan to keep it that way, no matter how many ARC’s I have.

  8. I can’t remember the last time I actually savored a book and didn’t have pen in hand while reading. I’m in the midst of The Silent Note by Patrick Davis right now, and loving it so much that I’m thinking I might just have to put the pen down and curl up on the couch with a cup of tea to finish it.

  9. I only feel that need if it’s a book I’ve really loved. Sometimes I don’t want to start a new book for a day or so after I’ve finished one – that is my mark of an instant favorite. It happens rarely, though, only twice in the past couple of years, and it’s fairly normal for me to move right on to the next one just a few minutes after finishing a book.

    I do worry about ARCs though. I have some here that I still haven’t read, and I know I have a gigantic pile at home waiting for me to read before February. I have no idea how I’ll do it.

  10. Oh, the problem of too many books and too little time. For a while I was spending too much time and effort while reading writing down things I thought I might want to use in reviewing the book. It seemed to take a lot of the enjoyment out of it, so I stopped. I have a spreadsheet I use that sets lists all of my books in the order I plan to read them. It was supposed to take some of the stress out of deciding what to read next, but sometimes, I think it adds to the pressure to read more and faster so that I can see more books crossed off the list. If only I didn’t have to work…

  11. I am a savorer. I read too slowly in all circumstances! I pay too much attention on the words and language on the page, other than taking them as they are. I keep a dialectical journal when I read along, with page references and comments. Maybe I should just quit doing that depending on the nature of the book. It’s very rare that I would be racing through a book.

  12. I can totally relate! I’ve been fortunate enough to get some review copies that I truly did savor (My Father’s Paradise, Guernica, Breakfast in Bridgetown) –books I wouldn’t otherwise have read–which makes up in part for that rush to get from one book to the next. And the ARCs have definitely slowed down for me. Now it’s that towering stack of library books that’s got me anxious!

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