Reading Patterns

My wife and I read in completely different ways. I like to take my time with a new author and gradually work my way through their backlist rather than rushing headlong through the lot. My wife, as you might have guessed, does the exact opposite. I think it took me over a year to catch up with Ian Rankin when we came across him in 2000, my wife finished him off in just over a month. How many McCall Smith's are there? Five or six? She started at the front and read the lot, one straight after the other. I must admit this allows her to catch up, so she gets first shot at a new book we both want to read, as I've still got two or three in the to-be-read pile. And there's something about the way she gets a level of sly enjoyment out of knowing this... I reckon two or, at the outside, three in a row by any one author and I'm about done. Little things start to grate: characters' names being too similar; a turn of phrase re-used too often; and, hang on, didn't that other character say that two books back? No, a bit at a time is all right. Too much of a good thing all at once and I may not come back.

Two years or so ago I decided to re-read Ursula Le Guin's back catalog. I'm not sure how many there are, maybe twenty. I don't think I'm halfway through yet. And I'm loving it. Just taking it slow and steady, and savouring the experience.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 17, 2005 9:43 AM.

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