Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What happens when you finish reading?

Here's a question posed to me this week:

What do people do after they've read a book? How do you absorb what you've read and work out how you feel about it?

It was a question from Daniel (henceforth known as "Golden Serpent" - see last post for explanation), who I now hope will share his thoughts.

For me, depending on the novel and how much it's impacted on me, I usually sit for a while and just let it settle into my brain. Often there's a meal waiting to be made (sometimes several hours late, depending on how desperate I was to get to the last page), so I'll think about it while I'm preparing food.

I also have a habit of going back to the book and re-reading pages, paragraphs or even entire chapters that particularly resonated with me.

I have a couple of avid readers among my close friends, so I'll usually tell them about a book I've loved/been fascinated by, and encourage them to read it so I have someone to talk to about it! I've also been known to surf the web for reviews, author interviews etc, so I can live with the book for just that little bit longer.

And, of course, now I write a blog!

I'd really love for anyone interested to share their thoughts (if you're reading this - that means you!) . It could make for a good discussion.


Daniel said...

Damn you and your initiative!
Yes, in response to your post, which if I may so is very timely:
I have a set routine that I like to follow with all books I find myself attached to.
Firstly, I never read books which I know are/will be good (based on reliable recommendations) on public transport...I only read "drugstore novels", magazines, essays etc on public transport/instances on which I need to past time.
Novels that I know will impact me, or I suspect will impact me, are read somewhere comfortable and in long sessions.
A book that possesses me automatically causes cancellations of any events that are cancellable.
So yes, the one thing I enjoy most after a first-rate book is a run.
Don the moisture wicking running gear, lace the running shoes and hit the pavement for about 40 mins and roughly 7km (not really much, but I’m not really that fit).
I find it’s great in just clearing your mind and letting your thoughts settle on the book.
I don’t normally re-read pages/chapters/lines immediately, but I might do so a few days later.
Wow, that was a whole lot of incoherent mess.

Bec said...

I...ummm....obsess! Yep, that's about it. And I don't just mean that I think about the book or talk about it a lot. I mean dreaming about it, and carrying the feeling of the book around with me - sometimes for days and days afterwards. Hence the reason I stay away from books that I know I will find disturbing or depressing. After reading Ben Elton's 'Blind Faith' I wanted to jump up and down on it, shake the ideas of it out of my head, and scrape the yucky taste of it off my tongue. Don't get me wrong - it was a good book. Clever, biting, dark.....but way too bleak - left me wanting to jump off a bridge (well not really but you know what I mean).

...should I be admitting to all this? Probably not. Does it make me deep, or shallow? No idea! Is this why Alice in Wonderland is one of my all time favourite books? Yep, you bet! Great dreams, wandering around in a constant state of wonderment, and an excuse to say 'curiouser and curiouser' a lot. Doesn't get better than that!

Oh yeah...and now, next time I pass a jogger on the street, I'm going to feel compelled to yell "what was the last book you read?" at him!!

Paula Weston said...

OK, considering the confession box is now open, I feel comfortable enough to admit that I too dream about books (and not always while sleeping - I often daydream about them, sometimes imagining the characters in scenes beyond the end of the book).... and yes it feels good to confess!

This is like Book Addicts Anonymous. I love it.

Paula Weston said...

Hey Bec,

I have a good antidote to your Ben Stiller aftertaste: The Year Nick McGowan came to say, by Rebecca Sparrow.

I read it in a single sitting over the weekend - light, fun and lots of 80s references. (Actually, I'm over the whole 80s lovefest, but it works in the context of this story).

It's like having a chocolate after cough medicine.