Slow Reading, Rereading, and Other Reading QuirksThis is the kind of reader I am: I like big books, panoramic books that I can get lost in. Even better are big books that are part of a larger world the writer has fully imagined, like Trollope's Barsetshire and Palliser Series. My favorite book is Middlemarch, and one of the things I love about that novel is the largeness of the book.
I like old-fashioned writers who directly address the reader. You know: Dear Reader. Or, as Trollope often does: I won't tire the reader with further description of Mr. So-and-So's history. I know many contemporary readers don't like this, but I already know I'm reading a book, and I like the writer addressing me directly from beyond the grave. That leads to another thing I like (love might be a better word). I love the fact that I am having a conversation with the writer, that his or her brain and my brain are engaged in a collaboration across cultures and time and even the great divide that separates the living and the dead.
When I really love a book, I always go back and begin reading it again, as soon as I've read the last page. I don't reread the whole thing, but usually the first chapter or so. Then I just sort of wander around in the book, going from chapter to chapter and rereading. Most books of any real value should be read at least twice.
And I love rereading. I mean I really love it. Reading a book just once makes it an aquaintance. If a book means anything to me, I usually start to hanker for a reread. This doesn't help me in my lifelong mission to read all of Anthony Trollope's novels, and it certainly doesn't help me to tackle my TBR
All of this makes me seem like a slow reader, even though I know that I read faster than most people--a talent I completely squander. But I find slow reading so much more rewarding than fast reading--even though, when I look over the list of books I've read at the end of a year, it never seems like enough. In between novels and big books, I read short stories (as many as I can) and poems. Another reading quirk I have is that when I read a book that is That Good (the kind that takes off the top of your head) I can't just pick up another book right away. I have to let the book that was That Good continue to work in my brain for awhile.
What reading quirks do you have? Any other slow readers, rereaders, or wandering around in the book readers out there?