Saturday, 5 May 2012

shiny sparkly books

I am having a problem settling down to read a book for the past two weeks.  I keep picking up one book, reading a few pages, then going to another one, then seeing's not that I'm not enjoying what I'm reading, on the contrary!  I'm enjoying every book on the go, from The Morville Hours, to In the Garden with Jane Austen, to Les Miserables, to The Winds of Marble Arch, to Women Food and God by Geneen Roth, to Smokin' Seventeen.  I want to read them all!  And they are all in progress!!!

 I think I have so many books that I want to read, that I can't find the one that says 'me' with that quiet voice, because it's too heavy to carry with me everywhere - Les Miserables. So I end up carrying other books or trying to find other books to read on the bus journey to and from work, which end up spilling over into my evenings.  This is good for my reading totals, but leaves me feeling a little distracted. Between library books and books that I keep looking at on my shelves, I am being distracted by shiny new books:

- Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
- River Marked - Patricia Briggs
- Hanging Wood - Martin Edwards
Raising Stony Mayhall - Daryl Gregory
 - Deadline - Mira Grant
- Hexwood - Diana Wynne Jones

These are books I've held in my hand, opened to page one.....then thought, no I have to finish something else.....usually a library book.  Then I go to the library books and try to finish one or two of them.  I feel like I have ADHD with books - every cover sparkles, and I open it, and then I get distracted by another, and another.....and I want to read them all!  Over at So Many Books blog, Stefanie described feeling something similar earlier this week, only hers were about library books.

I really am not complaining, I know I have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to new books to read.  I am thrilled I have so many. It does make me wonder though, Gentle Reader:
Do shiny new books distract you from your reading plan?  Does the cover of a book matter?  How about the feel of a book?

I ask this because I opened my copy of The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot, and decided the print was too small, even though it's a Penguin classic.  I really want to read a classic soon, I'm behind on my own reading plan for this year.  At the bookstore last week, I came across another edition,  that when I held - I think it was New American Library paperback edition, and I loved it and started reading it in the store!  I wanted to buy it and hold it and read it.  But I already owned a copy, so I put it back, wistfully.

  It's the same reason that when I did hold Les Miserables later that night, I thought, 'yes!" It felt right in my hand, and I loved the feel of it, the paper, the cover, everything about it. If only it didn't weight over 5 pounds even as a softcover, I could carry it with me everywhere!

So I bought it, and have been enjoying reading it, though I find it distracting to have to put it down  and start another book for the bus to and from work because with my knees inflammed with osteoarthritis at the moment, any extra weight I carry really bothers them.  It's just too heavy with my lunch bag to take on the bus. So it stays at home and waits for me.

So, my questions on this lovely Saturday afternoon are: do you find that you need to read a book straight through to finish it?  Or can you pick one up, and then another, and another, and read several simultaneously?  And, do different editions matter?  Should I go and buy that other edition of The Mill on the Floss just because it felt so good in my hands, and I wanted to read it?  And, are you being distracted by new books vs library books, shiny new book covers, this spring?


Becky said...

I try to have several books going at once. Though different types of books going at once. I might have a nonfiction, a classic, a mystery, and a YA book going at the same time. So no matter my mood, I have something to read.

Cath said...

I tend to have several on the go at once too. A non-fiction, a bedtime read, and a sort of 'main book' which I read during my serious reading time.

As you know I've had trouble settling too. It often happens after a couple of good reading months and this is exactly what's happened again. It's like I run out of steam.

Not that it stops me buying books! I just bought the urban fantasy, Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch for my Kindle. No idea why really, other than it sounds great but it's not as if I don't have plenty of books for OUaT already. So yes, I am distracted by shiny new books and lovely covers (this one is a map and I'm a sucker for those.)

But I am pleased that I have at least got one book under my belt this month. A Katie Fforde, Living Dangerously, which I loved. (It's rather Pride and Prejudice in plot.) I have a couple more of hers to read and I'm hoping they'll get me back on course with my reading.

And personally? I'd buy the copy of Mill on the Floss. :-)

Donna said...

I too have several books going at once, usually different types of fiction and nonfiction. One is usually a bedtime book. I sometimes buy a book even if I have a copy, particularly a long book if I prefer the type size (just can't read that tiny type any more). I'm collecting the new Harper Agatha Christie's because all of the copies of those mysteries I have are in mass market (tiny type) format. These eyes can't read that any more.

Susan said...

Becky: Yes, different types of books is best, I find, too, for having on the go at once. I do like how you put it, something for every mood! lol

Cath: Rivers of London - I just read that! We have it as Midnight Riot. I read it for RIP, last year I think, and really liked it. Shiny new books indeed! lol I hope you like it :-) I think I still have to do a review for it! I'm so far behind....

You did a post about Living Dangerously, I think I will see if it's out over here. You make them all sound so tempting when you review them! lol

I think I will buy that copy of Mill on the Floss, too :-) thanks! I was just flipping through my copy again, and it's the colour of the pages - almost tan, not clean at all. I think it's supposed to be easier on the eyes, but it just makes me not want to touch the paper, which is unusual for me to react to! Any excuse for a shiny new edition, right? :-D

Donna: This seems to be a habit we all have, of different types of books on the go.

I am very glad they are making so many more books available with the large print, too. Or larger size prints, because I've seen several kinds, depending on teh publisher. These days I prefer a bigger font on my computer, too!

Cath said...

Just popping in to say thanks for your e.mail... just off to Cornwall for several days so will reply when I get back.

And don't buy Ninepins! LOL. (But do get that Mill on the Floss.... ;-))

Susan said...

Cath: I won't by Ninepins! It's not out here! So I will wait for your copy, thanks!

have a good trip and happy birthday!

Kathleen said...

I'm actually one of those people that has to finish one book before picking up another but that doesn't stop me from buying more books while I am reading one! Ha!

Susan said...

Kathleen: that is unusual on the blogging sphere! lol I used to read one book at a time, a long time ago. When I'm really into a book, I tend to read only it, so i guess getting distracted is a sign that I'm not completely swept away, or I'm trying to delay the ending of the book!