Select, Salivate, Read and Savor

I am an excellent reader. When I can’t think of what to write, then I just fuhgeddaboudit and read a book instead. I’ve actually become a bit of a book snob. Not snobby in the sense that I can only read “literature” or best sellers, or award winners, or that I even know what I’m talking about when it comes to books. No, I’m just snobby in the sense that I try only to select books that really interest me, because I find that reading for pleasure is still an effort for me.

I love to read, but it’s an effort? Sounds like a contradiction, so let me explain. I’m not the kind of person that sits down and reads for hours until I finish a book in the wee hours of the morning. I might as well just pop a sleeping pill and go to bed. There are few books that could truly keep me awake if I was tired, and I am always tired. I read in spurts, chapters here and there, always anxious about the next short block of time I can carve out just for reading. I sometimes read during my lunch hour, in the car at soccer practice, or before I go to bed at night. My progression through a book is a little like watching a soap opera, except that unlike watching soaps, eventually I do finish the stories.

This technique is known in scientific circles as SSRS. That’s no BS, truly. You can tell that’s no BS because there are no vowels in either SSRS or BS, so it must be true. It goes like this – SSRS – select, salivate (um, figuratively), read, and savor. After going through this process, then I rush to the book shelf to start over… SSRS. So exciting! Yeah, I really don’t get out so much…

It sounds hokey, but to me reading a book is a little like opening a door and stepping into a different reality … what’s behind door number one? Number two? Lots of little doors I have opened this year so far, fourteen to be exact. A modest accomplishment for some people, but I’m pretty sure it’s a record for me, and it’s still just October.

I try to finish every single book I start, so I definitely don’t want to select a stinker because I will feel compelled to read it anyway. After all, someone spent a year to write the dang thing, I should at least be willing to spend a few hours a week to read it. Not sure why I’m like that, maybe I don’t want to hurt the author’s feelings. Only a couple of times in my entire life have I started a book (meaning, a novel) that I didn’t finish, and deep down I felt a little guilty when I closed those books and decided to put them back on the shelf. One of the books was as dull as dry toast. I don’t remember a thing about it except reading words for about ten pages and suddenly thinking, I am reading this book but the story is missing. Then skipping back a few pages and trying to find the story. Forward ho again for twenty more pages, and then, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I’m so sorry, nameless author, I couldn’t finish your nameless storyless book. The other one, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Definitely a story here, but I couldn’t get past the first five pages. I attempted it because it is my friend Carrie’s favorite book (or one of them) and, of course, it’s a classic. I enjoy classic literature sometimes, but this one is more difficult than most. Either that, or I am not such an excellent reader after all. Or maybe I wasn’t in the mood to think so deeply.  Whatever, that book is a bi-atch! It still sits on my shelf, daring me to pick it up, and I will… someday.

So, check out the books I’ve read on the Just Books tab, if you wish. That tab holds a few of my excuses for not writing regular posts for my blog. There are about a million other excuses why I don’t post regularly, but that’s another blog post. Still, my blog tugs at me from time to time, when I ignore it for weeks on end. It is like a living being begging me for attention, not so different from Zoe bringing me a smelly sock. Write me, it says. No, I’m reading, I say. Then bite me, it says, but I just can’t listen to such negativity.


4 thoughts on “Select, Salivate, Read and Savor

  1. I haven’t read in so long… I need a book club or something to hold me accountable… and my blog lags too… I try to do once a week and actually try to leave 2 hours of “her at preschool” time devoted to doing a blog… last two weeks I’ve made it! but i’d rather be having lunch with a friend… hint….

  2. Well, call me any time for lunch! Most days I’m available unless the $#it has hit the fan at work!!! I loved our little book club, but I think I am a better reader now than I was then. I know I give it more thought now.

  3. I understand your system – savoring what you read is important. Oh, I’ve had a few stories that I stayed up late coz I HAD to know what happened. But mostly I like to read a few chapters and let my psyche absorb what’s going on…then I may go absorb something from another book – I tend to hop around among 4 or 5 books at the same time – depends on my mood. In your 2010 list – I read Water for Elephants and LOVED it – I have her new one Ape House on my table waiting. I also read A Reliable Wife and found it disturbing actually. Keep reading!! And enjoy! 😉

  4. I do savor them, but I must confess, it’s mostly a time thing. If I have 30 or so minutes to read at lunch, then I read. I try to read a little more later in the day or at night if I can, but I always have a book in progress. If a book is involved, with lots of characters, I usually won’t start another book until I’m finished, but there have been occasions when I found myself far from home without my book. Horror of horrors – had to go buy a new book! I liked Reliable Wife, but you are right, it was disturbing. Definitely didn’t see some of those things coming. I loved Water For Elephants, too, and Ape House is on my list, but I usually wait until they are out in paperback.

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