Thoughts on the Reading Experience

06 Apr

Do you ever find yourself craving a certain genre of book to read next?  Like, if it’s not that genre, then it’s nothing at all?  Have you ever found yourself frustrated that you can’t seem to find the time to read a fantastic book that you have started?  Do you ever finish a book, not enjoying it, and wonder why everyone else seemed to think it was wonderful?

All of these situations have happened to me at one time or another.  Our moods so often dictate how we spend our time or at least how we enjoy or do not enjoy our time.  And I’m not just talking about how we never seem to want to clean our house or apartment.  I am talking about the fact that what is going on in our lives dictates what friends we prefer to spend time with, what foods we prefer to eat, and what books we choose to read.

You see, on more than one occasion, I have finished a book and when I began to critically think about the book as a whole, I realized that my analysis almost mirrors how I read the book.  If I read it in spurts here and there, it felt as if the plot was choppy.  If I read it mostly in public places (i.e. noisy places), I come away thinking it wasn’t engaging because I was externally distracted.  Because of this annoying phenomenon, I have been working on evaluating my reading experience before I evaluate the book itself.  I never, ever want to form an opinion of an author or specific novel according to how I experienced their book or what was happening around me at the time.

Is there anyone else that can resonate with this?


Posted by on April 6, 2011 in discussion


4 responses to “Thoughts on the Reading Experience

  1. Melanie

    April 6, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I’m right with you on this. I have a hard time enjoying a book if it takes me a long time to read it. This is part of why I tend to prefer YA; since I can finish each book more quickly, there’s more fluidity while reading each text.

    This is also why I often prefer TV to reading when I have a lot on my mind. It can be difficult to quiet my mental to-do list while reading, and all that internal noise makes it hard to focus on books, too. The auditory nature of TV seems to make it easier for me to concentrate sometimes.

    I guess, knowing that my thoughts about a book are partially determined by the circumstances under which I read it, I try to minimize interruptions and distractions as much as possible.

  2. Annette

    April 6, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I agree with the “choppy” thing, or sometimes when I think I have difficulty getting through or connecting with a book. But I wonder, am I having difficult because of the BOOK, or do I have a mistaken impression of the BOOK, because of my mood, or the time I can devote to reading it. Sort of a chicken/egg problem???

    I really think if a book is something I like, I’ll find time to read it — if I’m clamoring to read, I’ll put aside other things to read. So, I guess I think that if a book is “choppy” because I can’t devote time to read, then it’s probably at least partly the book’s fault. IMO.

    Great thoughts!

  3. Kathy Maxwell

    April 6, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Excellent points! It is important for us to think about our mood and the environment in which we read before we pan or extol the virtues of a book because these are factors that other readers can’t replicate. It’s truly unfair to the author and makes the review quite subjective. You’ve put a whole new spin on it!!

  4. thatcovergirl

    April 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Sometimes not being able to read a book in one sitting affects my reading experience.

    Because I don’t have a lot of time to read, this makes me the most fearful of tackling series. Take for example, the Chaos Walking series. I have these three books (received them as gifts). I keep putting them off and putting them off because I know I will NEVER be able to read a book in one sitting and quickly move on to the next one. But I know I need to read them because I’ve heard they’re so good!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: