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14 January 2007 @ 06:29 pm
reading  
I used to like reading big fat books. The bigger and fatter the book the better, because it took me that much longer to read it. I deliberately picked up WISHSONG OF SHANNARA when I was 12 and we were driving up the California coast, because my parents told me, "Find the biggest book you can," and it was not only big depth-wise, but it was also trade paperback, making it definitely the biggest book I could find in the SF section at the time*.

Not so anymore. I'm reading msagara's SUN SWORD ... sextet (had to see how many there were), and while I'm *enjoying* them, I'm also finding myself stopping to read shorter books between chapters and sections, because my God, it's just too much commitment. These days it's hard enough to talk myself into starting *short* books (AUGH, somebody SAVE me!). I never used to be a read-multiple-books-at-once person (mostly because I can blow through five or six 100K word books in a day without a problem, if I'm having a day committed to reading and nothing else, so I never needed to), but now it's the only way I can manage big books. Some awful thing has happened to my brain. I feel like I'm wasting time, or something, if I commit myself to reading That Big A Book. Time in which I Should Be Writing.

This, in fact, is a real problem for reading books at all. *Especially* if I'm actively working on something, but apparently even if I'm not. I stand in front of the TBR shelves, stare at them, stare some more, and eventually wander away to play on the computer or do something else equally brain-rotting that does not require any mental commitment. Or any time commitment beyond the immediate sink. The fact that I could just as easily be reading as playing City of Heroes and the same amount of time will have passed after 2 hours of doing that...doesn't seem to make an impression. :)

So I'm really actively trying to stay away from the computer so much and spending time reading right now instead. It's a terrible thing when reading takes an active act of will. Nobody mentioned this aspect of being a full-time writer...!

*It also scarred me for life as a reader, because I read it, wept (silently, and to my huge embarrassment) over the death of a major character, finished the book, then turned to the back cover, where it said, "Don't miss the first two books in this exciting trilogy!" *AUGH*! I have, ever since, been obsessive about reading series in order. O.O

miles to Dunharrow: 50
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Sanguine Pen: Stitch Loves Bookssanguinepen on January 14th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
I've had to schedule 10 hours a week for reading. I just shoved it down so far on my priority scale. And well then there was the temptation of CoH and SIMS2 to compete with. But now the reading is getting done.
kitmizkit on January 14th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
That's a very good idea. If I were in any danger of actually following the schedules I say I'm going to set for myself, I might try that! :)

Cute icon, too. :)
The Angel of Vengeanceesmerel on January 14th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
I remember reading Wishsong, though Elfstones actually made me cry way more than wishsong did ;)
kitmizkit on January 14th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
*laughs* I was a real hard case back then. The only other book that I can remember making me cry was ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. :) Possibly the trauma of WISHSONG wiped any possibility of crying over the other books, although ELFSTONES is considerably more tragic a story. :)
Heiress of the Empire: Books!technocracygirl on January 15th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
I think Elfstones was the first fantasy book I read where things weren't okay at the end. Everyone who died stayed dead, and there was a fairly high body count throught that book, IIRC.

And not only did I cry upon first seeing Anne of Green Gables, I cried when I read the book, and I still have at least one or two tears running down my face at the end of that book, despite the fact that I have reread it multiple times. Anne of the Island also leaves me a bit weepy as well, but nowhere nearly as consistently as AoGG.
hegemony hedgehogagrimony on January 14th, 2007 08:44 pm (UTC)
I've never read the Shanara stuff. Weird, huh?

And I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about the SUN SWORD stuff. :) I got stymied in the first book because I wasn't making fast enough progress and during the semester, my reading time is /so/ limited... I want to actually see my reading list grow. :)
kitmizkit on January 14th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
That's exactly it! I want to show some forward motion on my reading list! And reading big fat fantasy doesn't help me accomplish that!

It's possibly I'm a little competitive. Even with myself... :)
Amberleyamberley on January 15th, 2007 02:52 am (UTC)
You could sort your books by order of length and read shortest first, so you build up good numbers early on.
Maybe that feels like cheating, though.
kitmizkit on January 15th, 2007 08:49 am (UTC)
I think it sounds like too much effort, really... :) Besides, I'd say, "Eh, no, I don't wanna read this one right now," and skip around anyway. :)
Victorengineerinhell on January 15th, 2007 09:43 am (UTC)
Here from ursulav's journal.

I tend to read online instead of grabbing dead-tree books, especially recently, even though reading on the computer tends to be less pleasant for long periods of time. Current books-in-progress (never used to have multiple books in progress at once...I think it's an artifact of various courses I've taken) include: Thunderbird Falls (really good, and I would've finished it quickly except that I got distracted somehow), three or four other novels, plus a few nonfiction books. My parents have a bench in their backyard that's in the sun most of the time, so lately I've been going out in the early afternoon and reading for a while. Most recently, I've been reading Robert Asprin because I need teh funneh.

It's taking me major effort of will to do much of anything creative lately, except cooking (which I haven't been able to do for just over two weeks because being sick is not fun, and it's not creative *enough*), but I need to do something creative because otherwise I'll just vegetate, and, well...vegetation doesn't provide the right kind of green....
mostlymaylonemostlymaylone on January 15th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC)
*AUGH*! I have, ever since, been obsessive about reading series in order. O.O

I agree. Esp when it come to books written by a 'famous author'. One must be willing to search and wait even for a used copy to show up only to find they can't figure out what they did with the middle book. When I find it I'm going to glue the three of them together and chain it to my bedside table. When I make a bedside table after we figure out what we are actually goingt ot do in the bedroom for furniture, after the repairs to the hous...Ooh look, a flutterby.
(Anonymous) on January 16th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC)
finished the book, then turned to the back cover, where it said, "Don't miss the first two books in this exciting trilogy!" *AUGH*! I have, ever since, been obsessive about reading series in order. O.O
Funny you should say that. I read Thunderbird Falls without realizing it was the second book until somewhere towards the end. But I gotta say, if I hadn't loved it as much as I did (and still do) I probably wouldn't be as anxious for Coyote Dreams to be in stores.
And I too had chosen it as a thick book for vacation reading. And I read it before the other books I'd gotten. ><;