9 May 2012

Regrets or Relief?

Are you ever regretful that a book is finished, or do you heave a sigh of relief?
This post should probably be read in conjunction with yesterday's A Tome, or a Delight? because it is also an attempt to get to the heart of the matter.
However it doesn't just allude to longer books.

Sometimes, I must confess, I do get to the stage where I am impatient to find out how a book ends, how the plot threads resolve.
And I am never quite sure whether it is really because the author is getting too long winded, whether I have already spent more than 3 days on the book (and am therefore falling behind my self allocated schedule*), or whether I already have my eye on what I am going to read next.

*my schedule in arithmetic terms is 365 (days of the year) divided by 166 (books) = 2.2 days.
Gone are the days when I read a book a day, generally, so each book's time allowance works out to a little over 2 days. When they take 4 or 5 days either because of length or because I just reading slowly, I really do get antsy.

The funny thing is that I can actually have enjoyed reading a book, or later, when I am writing my review, I come to a realisation of just how much the book gave me to think about, and I will still give it a high rating.

The other strange thing I have noted recently is that my reading often seems to speed up in the second half of the book. I can't quite decide whether that means I am skimming a bit more without really noticing it.

What about you? Are you an impatient reader?

6 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - I've definitely had that feeling! More than once I've felt eager to finish with a book, even a book I was really enjoying. Sometimes it's been long-windedness on the author's part, and sometimes it's been because of something going on in my life. Either way I do know what you mean.

Maxine Clarke said...

more often than not I am rather pleased to get to the end of a book - particularly as crime fiction becomes most predictable, and hence boring, at the end! However, the odd book I read I really never want to end - eg the one I've just finished which was so good it is going to be my best book of the year, I feel pretty sure even though it is only May.

Sarah said...

I agree with Maxine in that I rarely feel like this with crime fiction. Usually it is a race to the end to get to the denouement.
I have felt like this with other books. When I reread Bleak House for example I never really want to leave Dickensian London.

Marce said...

I can't wait to get to the end to know what, why and how, sometimes it is a total let down and I regret the time I put into it.

Once during a series I was regretting/sad that it was ending.

It can be different reasons, author takes to long to get to point, to much description, unnecessary red herrings or I am just way to excited about my next read that I am not concentrating on the current, that is not good.

Peter Reynard said...

I'm very much an impatient reader and I invariably skim through the book because what I find interesting are the details about how the clues fit together and the final reveal rather than the language/prose of the text. I didn't realize how much I was missing until I sat down to write a novel and realized that I had no idea how to go about it. So, I forced myself to read a Christie slower than I usually would (a few chapters a day instead of finishing it in a single sitting) and it helped me notice a lot of things including plot construction and nuances in dialogue that I had been skimming over for decades. That said, when I read for pleasure, I will be impatiently skimming. :)

Of course, skimming doesn't work so well when I'm reading classics though. I have to force myself to slow down and read each line or alternatively listen to the corresponding audio book.

Claudia said...

I think crime fiction tends (generally) to keep an author on track, though with general fiction, often an author may write well, but get long-winded or fail to wrap things up in an interesting way. I was about 3/4through Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things, and just got tired of it not really going anywhere.

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