Monday, February 26, 2007

SBD - Multiple books

I've been looking over my blog and trying to figure out how to streamline the damned thing. I sorta make these promises to myself that I'll stop posting fourteen paragraph essays about some weird thing which happened in my political life. I keep writing about horses, but I don't really get along with a large sector of the horsie community, so that just starts up weird wars over things I'm not that upset about.

(Oh. But don't get me going on Rolkur. Oh, what the hell. Here. I think it's dangerous, painful, and disgusting looking, and this woman wrote about it so much better than I ever could, so go read it over there. Then you can come back and beat me up over here. And you're talking to a girl who rode a horse in draw reins--but never to this extreme. These are International Riders at the top of their classes.)

(Shouldn't have just posted those links--the crazies are coming, the crazies are coming.)

I keep posting long screeds about my son and his behavior and his schooling. (I have another meeting on Wednesday Afternoon! Oh, goodie!) I keep sorta meaning to get around to posting about books.

Monday is Smart Bitches Day, so named by the ever lovely Beth. We are supposed to write about something which gets us passionate in books or reading. (Lord. I spelled that "pationate" about four times, stared at it, erased it, and then typed it back in as pationate. I'm a goober.) I keep meaning to even write ONE thing about a book I've read, let alone a scheduled post on a topic of import to me within the larger sphere of books.

But that's kind of how I read. I'm all over the place. Which gets me (Ta! DA!) to my SBD topic: Reading more than one book at a time.

This seems to confuse those who do not partake of multiple books at once. I am often stopped by friends who are amazed that I read this way. To me, their amazement is mutual. Why are you amazed? Doesn't everyone read this way? I'm still shocked when I find people who are surprised that I read this way.

When I last totalled it up, I was reading I think seven books concurrently. I've finished Sorcery and Cecilia, so I guess that reduces the number, but then I added in a very over the top Romance my daughter found for me. Oh dear. We must work on her tastes a touch. So I guess I'm back to seven again.

But I'm not only interested in horses, in fact a lot of my friends still don't know that I keep up with breeders and with horses. I'm not only interested in local or national politics. Some days I research this, some days I dream about that, some days I shrug off stuff which would have been fascinating a few days ago. Some days I write and blog, some days I don't. But I'm always me in the middle of all of that. And that's why I have to read a bunch of books at once. Some days some books work, some days they don't.

When I totally fall into a book, forget it, that's the one I read all the time. I just went through a Sabrina Jeffries and Eloisa James glom which was like this. But normally I have a Romance (or two), and usually about four general fiction books going at the same time. I guess this is why I don't have a TBR pile. When it comes in the house, it's getting read. It's not set aside for later.

Do I get plots confused? No. Do I get characters confused? Generally, no. They belong to their plots, don't they? Do I forget their names? Hell, yeah. I enjoy names a great deal, but especially in Romances, the names don't stay with me if I'm reading a bunch together.

Two reading tendencies which come out in this scheme. First, I skim a lot. I read the back chapter first, so I can orient myself in the story, and sometimes if I've forgotten whether I liked the book or not, after a few days apart, I reread the last chapter again. It becomes my back cover blurb. Second, it takes a while for me to get to Did Not Finish status. If it's tapering off or I'm getting distracted, I set it aside. And I do that over and over again. Until one day, I pick up the book, read the last chapter, and say, "Nope. I'm not wasting my time with you anymore."

But if I fall into a book, look out. Bread, water, and book. All others get set aside.

So I guess I'm just going to have to leave the messy blog as it is. Is it a horse blog? (I'm a on a horse blog list somewhere. Oh, dear.) Is it a Romance Reader's blog? (Not judging my the number of books I talk about. Oh, dear.) Is it the annoying ramblings of a frustrated mother and politician. (That sounds just like a blog I don't want to read. I'd run screaming into the night if someone sent me a link to a Mommy Politician. Oh, dear.) But I'm all of them and none of them. Somewhere in here there's a point. Something about a generalized survey course giving you a fairly good overview of the complexities of the matter without delving deeply into the details of how or why.

(Is it possible to delve shallowly? Trivially? Desultorily? Mmm. Delving desultorily. There's a cumbersome Rock Group Name.)


sxKitten said...

I tend to have 2 or 3 books on the go at a time, too - one in the bedroom, one in the bathroom, and one in the living room. Usually one sci fi, one 'literary' and one that I've picked up for my daughter. I used to manage more - 5 or 6 - before the kids came along. I could still keep track of that many plots, but the books themselves tend to go missing if I leave them lying around these days. I don't skim, though, I dive right in. If I find a really good book, I'll carry it from room to room, ignoring the others 'til it's done. If it's boring, I just stop reading, which is something I never did until I had kids. Before that, if I started a book, I finished it. Hated some of them by the time I was done, too, which is why I don't bother any more if they don't hold my interest.

As for the messy blog, well, join the club :-)

EvilAuntiePeril said...

I always keep at least a few books of different types on the go at once. Even to the extent that I use books as bookmarks for each other... (bad habit, that).

But for me, reading is a very personal thing. Even when I'm really into a book, I sometimes like something else to dip into to slow down the inevitable end.

And as for messy blogs? Did I mention I like mess? If I was blogging as a service that would be one thing. But I'm blogging for me and to keep in touch with friends who I don't see nearly enough. Strict guidelines would confuse the issue and make me miserable.

Marianne McA said...

Messy is fine, but reading the ending first has to be an unforgivable sin.

As for the multiple books, I read like that as a child, but I can't do it now. My brain is so much less sticky than it used to be.

(I love reading about the politics, and the children. Horses, not so much. Though it did enable me to make a semi-intelligent remark to a horse-mad friend of my daughters. So pleased with myself.)

Suisan said...

SexKitten and EAP: glad to know that I'm not the ONLY one who reads this way.

Marianne: Unforgivable sin? Sniff. I don't think I can HELP it though. Is there a pater noster I can say?

CindyS said...

You know, I never would have put 'anal' down as a descriptor for me but I think I can only read one book at a time because I get anxious about finishing it.

Now, I can read mags and books on design or anything else but not another fiction book. Unless I'm desperate which usually means I forgot to bring the book I'm currently reading in the car with me, hubby has stopped at Home Depot and thank God I left a book in here somewhere!

My problem is that if a book doesn't grab me in the first 60 pages then I'm done with it.

Oh, and defining blogs is so last week ;) Now, if we had named our blogs something like 'Book reviews every two days!' then yeah, we'd have to do something about it. Until then, I refuse to worry about what the blog should be about.

And, if I may say, I never thought I would read anything to do with politics and yet, I come here and read about it whenever you post. Makes me feel all brainy ;)


Suisan said...

Cindy--and I never thought I'd be a politician. So I'm doubly confused by my interest in the political life.

I just came back from an hour and half "chat" with our Director of Special Education. It's so neat to me in a room with someone who's completely passionate about their job. Excited to come to work, dedicated to making a difference--you couldn't really get me hyped up about what she's hyped up about, but I truly enjoy listening to people who are smart and dedicated to changing things for the better.

And I guess that's what politics in its purest form really should be about.