What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cleansing the Mental Palate (Discussion)

I love getting swept up in a book. My favorite ones are the ones that pull me in so completely that I am completely unaware of my own reality. But there has been a theme in my recent reviews, where I've noticed that I am often having trouble getting into a book from the beginning. It's been taking me 100 pages or better (if I'm lucky) to get a feel for the story enough so that I can start to become a part of it. And it's got me thinking. Maybe it's not the books. Maybe it's me.

I fell behind with my reviews when my Dad was in the hospital. Hard to read when you are all torn up in knots. Additionally, with my upcoming trip next month, I've been trying to make sure I'm prepared (both on the blog and in real life) to be out of town. So maybe I've been pushing myself a little with my reading. I'm generally a fast reader. I can usually read 200 pages in a few hours. So reading fast isn't unusual. But I've started to wonder if maybe I need to take more of a break between books. The problem doesn't seem to stem in the middle of the book, it seems to come in the beginning. So I'm thinking, maybe I need to cleanse my mental palate.

What kind of breaks do y'all take when reading? Do you sit and kind of absorb what you've read? Do you start your review immediately? Or do you finish a book and then immediately pull the next one off the shelf? I usually do a mixture of these, depending on how I feel after reading, but as I said, I've been trying to do a lot recently because of what all is coming up. So it's possible that I haven't been giving myself enough time between books. Then again, maybe it was the books!

So what do you guys think? Is it better to take a break and cleanse your mental palate? Or can you just as easily jump into the next story?

By the way, I am hitting the road for Austin today, to hit up Austin Teen Book Festival tomorrow! I'll be tweeting live from the event, so make sure to follow @FuzzyCoffeeBks to get all the awesome live updates! Have an awesome weekend!

12 comments:

  1. I tend to jump right into the next book, but I usually try to switch up the genres so it's a different type of book. I typically finish a book at night too since I don't read too much during the day so I have time to sleep on it. If I do finish a book during the day I will usually try to start writing out the review to get some of my thoughts out of my head. Have fun at the Teen Book Festival!!

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    1. That's a good idea. Maybe when I finish something in the evening, I should just stop there, and sleep on it! And thanks, I'm super excited about everyone who is going to be there tomorrow!

      Courtney

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  2. I immediately start the next book -- and then, I find myself sometimes forgetting the endings. I'll think about a book, and be able to tell you what happened -- but not remember the end. I was just considering writing a post about this -- and thinking that maybe I need to "process" before I start the next book -- But I always can't wait!

    I haven't had the specific problem you are talking about, though. I haven't had problems jumping right into the next one, but still our problems may be related...

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    1. Yeah, I'm kind of the opposite. I'll remember more about the ending than how we got there. I just need a little bit more of a break than I've been taking recently.

      Courtney

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  3. after I finish a book, I jot down a few notes for when I get the chance to write my review. then I choose my next book (currently I'm plowing through my review list, not too many personal choices). But I usually take a short break between books unless it is a series and I can't wait to start the next book...watch a tv show, or if I finish during the day, then my break is doing something with my kids or getting dinner started or laundry or whatever household/kid task needs done.

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    1. Sometimes I take notes or highlight if I am reading on my eReader. Maybe my reading time is just too structured. I guess I schedule it so much that I just try to power through things during my "reading" time. I need more spontanaity!

      Courtney

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  4. I usually can read an average book in about 3 days but I've noticed that if I finish more than one a week I experience "reader fatigue" similar to what you're describing. So lately I've been dedicating a week to a book, especially if I have to write a review for it, and that way I'm all receptive and excited about the new adventure when the time comes for it.

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    1. It depends on length for me. Less than 300 pages and I can usually finish it in a day and a half. The one I'm reading now is over 600, and is going to take at least three days. But it's good that you give yourself the time to really enjoy it as you read. Sometimes I am just pushing to the end.

      Courtney

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    2. You mentioned earlier that you schedule yourself, is it in how much you read, or what you read, or both? I tried to stick to a pretty strict schedule & then realized it was taking all the fun out of reading for me. You might be right about needing spontaneity!

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    3. It's more like, oh, I have an hour and 23 minutes that I can read today, so if I finish one within that time, I immediately pick up the next. Ya know what I'm saying? But I agree, that can take the fun out of it. I'm hoping that I'll get myself to a point where I can slow it down a bit. Halloween is just a crazy time, and since I'll be out of town in October...heh.

      Courtney

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  5. I think it is definitely a good idea to take a little break from reading upon finishing a book, usually. I don't even mean a long one. If you finish a book in the morning, maybe wait until mid afternoon before starting another. Just to let your brain finish digesting the one you just read.

    There have definitely been times where I finish one book, and immediately grab another. And if I am in that kind of book, great.

    But often I like to take at least 4 hours before starting another one. I want to enjoy what I read, and often enjoyment is still occuring once I finished a book. Does that make sense?

    I do usually write down some of my thoughts for reviews after finishing a book, though. So I don't forget things.

    Have fun at the Austin Teen Book Festival!

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    1. I think I am going to take your suggestion. Actually, I finished one a few hours ago, and haven't picked up the next one yet. Just been digesting! :) Everything you said made complete sense, thanks for the suggestions! I'm trying to stay more caught up with my reviews, write them pretty quick after I finish a book, so I think that will help too!

      And I had a great time at the Festival, thanks!

      Courtney

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