Sunday, July 12, 2015

On Reading

Over on Goodreads they have a reading challenge that starts at the first of the year. Last year my goal was 35 books, I read 52, a book a week, not too shabby. Although I did talk to someone the other day that scoffed at the number before she knew I was proud of it. To call her an avid reader is like saying cats like to sleep.

I'm on track with my reading goal so far. I hit the mid point just as the year hit the mid point. I've been behind a couple of times but have ramped right back up. I'm pretty happy about it.

I've told you before I read the same way I knit. I currently have four books going, one audio, one kindle, and two paper. I have found that the media helps keep stories separate. My two paper books were ill timed since they are the same author just different series. I could have used media to keep them separate.

I really like reading romances on my kindle so I don't have to hide the cover of the book. I never like people knowing I was reading about heaving bosoms. Even when I was not reading about bosoms, it is assumed romance novels are just trashy. Personally I like my books to have a plot, even if it includes a lot of swooning. I just started Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James. I had started the third book in the series before I realized it was a series.

So tell me if I am the only one, when I find a series of books, I usually do some research and start from the beginning. This can be problematic especially with a long series since hopefully authors hone their skill as they write. The books should steady improve. But how many and how bad to they have to be to stop you from going on with a series? Recently if I had only listened to the first book in a series (Hamish MacBeth by M.C. Beaton) I never would have continued. Since it was a package deal and I was running low on audio books I listened to the slightly better second book. I am still rather torn if I will continue.

What is the harm of starting with the best book first? Well there is really no harm just a big part of me that likes to read them as the author wrote them. By doing this how many good books have I talked myself out of reading? Surely the best book of a series is rarely the first or second book. Why should I struggle through the bad when I could just skip it? Get to the part of the story that I am drawn to, not the endless introductions.

Yeah I have not found the answer to that one yet. I did try skipping ahead in a series to a title I've always been drawn to, I did not like it. (Sticks & Scones by Diane Mott Davidson) Sometimes the author may improve but I still don't want to spend time with the characters they've created.

And the whole never ending love/like triangle? Joanne Fluke, I'm looking at you. Don't even get me started! Pick a dude damn it. Which one will it be? Will she won't she? I certainly know who won'

And speaking of things that annoy me...cliffhangers. (OK this one is directed at a TV show.) A very big part of me views this as a lazy storyteller. If you can not write an ending, I certainly am not going to supply one. I know I am probably in the minority on that issue.

Sometimes I like to read about things that I would never ever do, climbing Mt. Everest (Into Thin Air), hiking the Pacific Coast Trail (Wild), biking cross country (I forget the title). For the most part I enjoyed these books because they were the type of adventure I enjoy...arm chair.

You can lose yourself in a place that you would not normally be. Plus you get to meet people that you would never want to actually spend time with.

Oddly enough books are one of the ways that my sister and I connect even though we have wildly different tastes. I can thank her for getting me into mysteries and detectives again.

Anyways that is what I've been thinking about and reading recently.

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