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On Reading Deeply

February 23, 2010

The past two days, I’ve had a mini-reading slump. Thus, I haven’t finished any books since Sunday and am caught up on reviews. In trying to decide what to post, I found this in my draft folder! I originally wrote it in December, but I’ve updated it a touch.

photo credit

Once upon a time, before I had even heard of blogs, much less book blogs, I was a very different reader. I reread my favourite books on a regular basis. When I found a new author that I loved, I’d go out and read almost everything else they wrote as soon as possible (saving one or two in reserve for rainy days). Then, I began book blogging, and my reading horizons grew immeasurably wider.

This is a good thing. But…even though I’m not Aristotle’s biggest fan, I do think he was on to something with that whole Golden Mean thing. Last year, I read broadly. Most of the books I read were by new-to-me authors. And while I did read more than one book by some authors, that didn’t define my reading. It was more a coincidence than anything else. And I love that I gave so many new authors a chance, because I discovered many that I want to explore further. But at the same time, I miss that other style of reading.

So next year, I’m going to concentrate on reading deeply. What does that mean? It means that instead of constantly seeking out new authors, instead of being attracted by the shiny new book, I’m going to read more of authors I already know and love. It means that, for now at least, I’d rather know one author very well than five authors superficially. It means that I’m giving myself permission to scale back a bit. I probably won’t be ‘visiting’ as many countries via books as I did last year. I won’t be giving as many new-to-me authors a chance.

That doesn’t mean I won’t be reading new books. In fact, I think part of my yearning for rereading is more a yearning to read authors’ entire backlists. And it doesn’t mean I’ll be any less committed to making sure my reading includes 50% POC authors. Or that I’ll join fewer challenges or make fewer resolutions. I’m a fan of structure. ;) It just means that I’m approaching my reading from the opposite side…if I read a book and love it, I’ll put the another book by the same author on hold. And I went through my ‘books read’ lists for all the years I’ve been blogging (three now! how crazy is that?!) and noted all the authors I’d love to read more of. Then I went to my library’s catalogue and checked to see which other titles were available and wrote them all down. Lists are good for me, and now I have that info at my fingertips for when I’m joining challenges or just deciding what to get from the library.

Now, this isn’t an exclusive thing for me: I’ll still be reading new-to-me authors. And I don’t want to do a hard-and-fast ratio the way that I do with POC stuff. But, I’m hoping that for fiction at least half of my reads will be by authors I’ve read in the past.

In my head, this post was a lot more eloquent and insightful. I think I just really like the idea of reading broadly vs. reading deeply. Both styles have their place in my own bookish life, but in the past few years I’ve been pushing aside old friends in favour of new ones. Now I need to retrain myself. Do you tend to read more broadly or deeply and why? Or do you have a good balance going on? Have you read (almost) all the books of any authors?

85 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2010 11:40 am

    This is a very lovely post and one that I agree with. Last year with my introduction to book blogging, I was like a kid in a candy store, reading anything and everything that I could get my hands on. Which, of course, is not a bad thing. It just isn’t very directed. This year, however, has turned into the year of the series. I’m reading several series throughout the year and I’m very pleased with that. I’m remaining with authors and characters I love, while not necessarily sacrificing anything else.

    • February 24, 2010 8:27 pm

      Love the kid in the candy store image. :) Series are so fun!

  2. February 23, 2010 11:40 am

    I know what you mean! I miss consuming an author’s entire backlist as well.

    Yet, now that I know about reading this other way, I’m afraid I wouldn’t be content with this either. In short, I think I will always be feeling my mortality while I read.

    • February 24, 2010 8:27 pm

      That’s a good point! I figure I’ll probably alternate between the two styles. :)

  3. February 23, 2010 11:43 am

    With the exception of a few autors who I reallyyy love (Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt), I tend to read broadly. These two exceptions have captivated me in a way that makes me read EVERYTHING in their catalog of work, but that’s a rarity. It’s something I’d like to change, too, since I think it’s more meaningful to explore an author’s work deeply.

    • February 24, 2010 8:28 pm

      For me, it’s more a matter of finding the time to read more books by an author, not motivation! hehe

  4. February 23, 2010 12:21 pm

    What a great post–and apt any month, me thinks: there was a reason it was hiding in your Drafts folder. ;)

    If there’s a method to the madness in which I read my books, it’s unknown to me. Sometimes, when I’m in the mood, I pick a book based on the general color of the jacket, haha–over the years, I’ve tapered down my shelves to reliable authors/books I have a good feeling about, so this isn’t as random as it seems. Deeply and broadly? Deeply one week, then broadly and adventurously the next by delving into hidden parts of my TBR?

    There are several authors whose entire booklist I’ve read, or at least getting there. I love waiting for their new books. And I love rereading favorites. (Which reminds me, I’m due for a revisit to, among others, Jane Eyre!) But I also love reading new-to-me authors–those “I have a good feeling about you” kind of books? And there are writers whose first books are out this year that I’ve had the pleasure to read, and that’s one of the many upsides to blogging.

    Also, I have rambled, haha. Happy week ahead! :)

    • February 24, 2010 8:29 pm

      Thanks Sasha! If you read from your own shelves, it makes sense you have a certain ‘theme.’ :) Since I read mainly from the library, I have to consciously choose from all of the books calling my attention each month!

  5. February 23, 2010 12:48 pm

    Interesting post! I think reading extensively (many writers) and intensively (many books by one writer) are interesting in their own different ways. I tend to read extensively – I don’t remember reading all the books by a single writer at many times – even my favourite writers. But it is definitely interesting to read the books of a writer across her / his career, because we can see and appreciate how a writer’s style, storytelling and theme of books keeps changing across the years – it is really fascinating! I remember a thriller writer whose books I used to like very much during college days – his initial books had a lot of information and were closer to non-fiction and then his plots became more interesting and entertaining and some of them were made into movies and then his later books were ‘movie-friendly’ – it looked like they were written in such a way so that they could easily be made into movies!

    • February 24, 2010 8:31 pm

      I’ve totally noticed books that seemed more like movie scripts than novels. It drives me crazy! lol I love seeing how authors explore/play with similar themes at different stages of their writing. :)

  6. February 23, 2010 2:54 pm

    I couldn’t agree more, hun. I love discovering authors and reading through everything they’ve written but I do miss not having the time to reread my old favourites. I should definitely start focusing more on quality over quantity.

    • February 24, 2010 8:31 pm

      It’s so hard when book bloggers talk about so many awesome new books!

  7. February 23, 2010 3:03 pm

    I definitely head to an author’s backlist if I stumble upon someone I absolutely love. I probably don’t do it as much now as I have in the past, but I do still do it. In college I read everything by Alice Hoffman I could get my hands on. I read every book by Francesca Lia Block. I read most of Joyce Carol Oates books. Recently I have read several books by Joanne Harris, a few by Tracey Chevalier and most of Maureen Johnson’s. That is what I can think of off the top of my head. I still sometimes get that giddy feeling when I come upon an author whose work I really love and will go out and look for other works. And I look forward to new books by my favorite authors. I do read a lot of new authors too, but I like to think there is a balance.

    • February 24, 2010 8:33 pm

      I read all of Block when I was 14 or 15! She’s so perfect for that age. :D I want more balance too; I’m certainly not cutting new authors out completely!

  8. February 23, 2010 3:03 pm

    I’ve definitely been reading broadly but within very narrow confines (if that makes sense). My goal is to expand my reading to new authors, genres, countries, etc this year. I think after I have done that for awhile I will be ready to read more deeply like you talk about here. But my reading focus has just been too narrow for me to think about reading deeply now. I think that will come when I am a more “mature” reader!

    • February 24, 2010 8:34 pm

      That does make sense. :) You have to know what your favourites are before you can explore them more!

  9. February 23, 2010 3:12 pm

    I tend to read deeply when I find an author I like. I’ve read all of Richard Russo’s novels. All of Adriana Trigiani’s.
    Good luck with your new goal!

    • February 24, 2010 8:34 pm

      Thanks! I’ve never read either of those two authors. Where would you recommend I start?

  10. February 23, 2010 3:14 pm

    loved this post–there is a lot to be said for old friends

  11. February 23, 2010 3:39 pm

    Eva, I feel so much the same way you do! I used to discover an author I loved and then read everything by them that I could get my hands on (not very much, though, in my little town in the Phils.) but yes, I love reading that way, deeply, as you say, because I know I’ll be in very good hands and that I’ll be reading something I know I’ll enjoy.

    And then. Last year. Blogging. Yes. I joined way too many challenges so I had to read here and there. Plus the few review copies.

    So this year I will be reading more the works of favourite authors. For the past two months, so far, I have read 4 titles by one author; 3 books by another; and 2 by another. I feel great! Wishing you the best!!

    • February 24, 2010 8:35 pm

      I think another reason why I’ve been trying more new authors is my library; taking a chance doesn’t cost me any money, lol. If I were buying all my reads, I bet I’d go with tried and true ones! Anyway, I feel better now that I’m more balanced.

  12. February 23, 2010 3:47 pm

    I love this post, Eva! The idea of reading broadly versus reading deeply is one that I kind of struggle with myself, mostly because I tend to read more deeply than widely! There’s always a little voice in my head saying “you should be reading new things, expanding your horizons, getting in touch with all the great available literature out there” (do you ever hear the voice, or is it really just a me thing, hehe?) but when comes time to actually pick up a book, I can’t help but just want to return to the old standbys that I already know I’m going to love! What a great question to put out there.

  13. February 23, 2010 4:16 pm

    When I was younger I read deeply. There are a few authors that I’ve read most of what they’ve written. I miss doing that. I ‘m so glad you’ve brought that up. I’ve read almost every book by Cisneros by Caramelo (great review!). I think I may have to reassess my reading for this year to include not only re-reads but also an author’s backlist or newest books.

    • February 24, 2010 8:38 pm

      I want to read more Cisneros now! lol I’ve found it pretty easy to incorporate more books from authors’ backlists into my challenge lists. :) Of course, many of the authors are ones I just discovered last year, or even this year!

  14. February 23, 2010 4:28 pm

    That´s a great goal! I think book blogging had a similar effect on me, I´m always running out to get the books everyone is recommending, and these are mostly by new to me authors.
    When I find a new favorite author ( although I´m usually basing this opinion on having read only one or two books by them) I want to devour all others they have written. But after I did that with Agatha Christie, and now I´ll probably spend my life trying to find another crime writer I like, I panic and try to pace myself, especially if the authors are dead ( I do that with Wodehouse). I only recently discovered I like Joyce Carol Oates´ writing and there´s a lot of it :) Good luck with reading intensively!

    • February 24, 2010 8:39 pm

      I tend to always save one or two from an author’s backlist, just so I always know I can read more of them when I want. ;) But honestly, I’m just as a big fan of rereading my very favourite authors! The books might not change, but I do, so it’s like a new experience each time.

  15. February 23, 2010 4:33 pm

    Eva, my challenge is to broaden my horizons!! I am naturally a ‘read deeply’ kind of reader. If I love an author, then I want to read everything they write. I’ve always been this way, so when I read Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden as a child, or later Agatha Christie, I read everything I could find by them. I find it interesting that you’ve noticed these two kinds of reading; I had never put it into words before. I think because reading shows me the writer’s mind, that if I like the writing, I know a connection has been made and I want to make as much connection as I can! Does that make sense to you? So it’s always harder for me to move from author to author without looking for more books by one if I like them. I don’t necessarily stop and read everything by a new to me author, but I will collect everything I can by them so I can start reading their work more constantly over the years.

    • February 24, 2010 8:40 pm

      That does make sense! It’s interesting that we have the opposite challenge. :)

  16. February 23, 2010 4:37 pm

    I usually read more deeply. As an English Lit major you have so many classes that just give a taste of many authors from a certain time and place–a great way to read broadly. So for my electives, I was drawn to courses that focused on one or two authors. And I have many authors that I’ve read almost everything, or even everything, they ever published. But lately I’ve been trying to read more broadly in order to be more familiar with contemporary writers. I skim the surface of today’s literature, but when I find a great author, I still dive deep.

    • February 24, 2010 8:40 pm

      I tend to automatically read deeply with classics more than contemporary lit. Which is kind of weird when I think about it! :) But most of the authors that I read multiples of last year were classics.

  17. February 23, 2010 5:31 pm

    That was very insightful. I dont think that I have ever thought of my reading habits in that light before. I am not sure what kind of reader I am. Until I started blogging, I definitely did a lot fo re-reading and stuck with authors that I am familiar with. If you have ever looked at my Great Author meme, you will notice that I usually have a lot of books by the same author. If I know that I enjoy their writing, I am always keen to read more of them.

    More recently though, I have been reading more new books rather than re-reading. But the books I read are still pretty standard I think, well known books that is.

    Sometimes I think that I should broaden my reading, but I also know what kind of books I enjoy. I should probably just read what I want to and not worry about whether it is a broad range or not, but sometimes that can be challenging.

    • February 24, 2010 8:43 pm

      Thanks Becky! I think we’re all different kinds of readers; while I do go outside my comfort zone semi-regularly, most of my ‘broad’ reading is still within some pretty clearly defined boundaries! Like, I’ve never felt the need to read broadly in every genre out there.

  18. February 23, 2010 7:30 pm

    It’s funny… I feel like I’m just starting to experience what you described. Having just started blogging, I’m definitely reading a lot new authors than I normally would. For now I’m really enjoying it, but I know that at some point I’m going to want to curl up and reread my Shopaholic books for like the 15th time… so hopefully I can strike a balance between “reading broadly” and “reading deeply”? We’ll see! Thanks for giving me something to think about!

    • February 24, 2010 8:44 pm

      If I hadn’t had a couple years of reading broadly, I wouldn’t have such a long list of authors I want to read more of! So enjoy exploring all those great books out there. :D

  19. February 23, 2010 7:41 pm

    I have read all books by Sidney Sheldon, some 16 I think. I have even read a couple of books that have his name but he claimed to never have written :)

    I do try to read other books by an author I love. Even today I seek out my favorite authors as a comfort read. Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas, Mary Higgins Clark, Robin cook are authors that will always find place in my reading no matter how many new shiny books I find :)

    • February 24, 2010 8:54 pm

      That’s weird that there are books he said he didn’t write! My comfort reads are always authors I’ve loved for a long time too. :)

  20. February 23, 2010 7:48 pm

    I’m still very new to book blogging, but I’m already feeling the pressure to read books that others direct me to rather than those I am naturally drawn to. As you say above, this is actually a good thing – I’m certainly discovering things I never would have come across otherwise. But at the same time I feel a bit lost and that I’ve let others influence my choices too much. I’m no longer reading for pleasure and education but to fulfil a strange sort of social obligation.

    I applaude your resolution.

    • February 24, 2010 8:55 pm

      Oh no! Fight that obligation bit. ;) It’s funny, as much as I love book bloggers and reading book blogs, many of the books I read are ones I just stumble across or research.

  21. February 23, 2010 8:37 pm

    I try to read both deeply and widely, but life is generally chaos and me feeling like I’m missing something.

    Authors read in entirety or close: Jane Austen, David Mitchell, Peter Carey, Sherman Alexie. Currently working on same with Dickens, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, and P.G. Wodehouse. :)

    • February 24, 2010 8:56 pm

      We have similar reading taste! :D (Except for the Dickens thing. Cough.) I’ll have to give Carey and Mitchell a try! I know I have Oscar and Lucinda hanging out on my shelf somewhere. :D

  22. February 23, 2010 8:58 pm

    Hm. I can’t remember how I read before I started blogging, but nowadays when I discover a brilliant book by a new author, I often get anxious that their subsequent books will disappoint me, and so I put off reading more. Not sure if that’s the shiny-toy syndrome of which you speak…

    • February 24, 2010 12:14 pm

      This has nothing to do with your comment, but I have to say, what a lovely avatar!

      • February 24, 2010 7:28 pm

        Oh, thank you! It’s from a stained-glass window in Norwich Cathedral (Julian of Norwich is my confirmation name saint). :)

    • February 24, 2010 8:57 pm

      I have that problem too, but only with YA authors! (Weird, right?) It took me forever to read the second books by Melissa Marr & John Green, and now I have to psych myself up for reading their third ones. lol Amy pointed out how silly that is…she was like, “Ah yes. So read a book and love it, then never read anything more by an author. Perfect strategy!” lol

  23. February 23, 2010 9:17 pm

    I don’t think I read enough to read deeply OR widely! But I know what you mean about finding a new author and wanting to read everything by him/her! I’ve had that feeling a few times recently, too :-) It’s so exciting to discover someone new, and then to become an advocate of that author. I like your approach. Maybe one year one way and the next another way is the way to go!

    • February 24, 2010 8:58 pm

      It is! Although I get nervous about other people reading my gushing, then reading the book and not liking it as much. It makes me feel bad. :/ I think alternating works perfectly! lol

  24. February 23, 2010 10:44 pm

    I fully applaud this! (and love the new blog look). On my own, I tend to read deeply, reading everything I can by favorite authors, and then following where that leads me. I agree — once I started book blogging (and I don’t even read/blog NEAR as much as you), I started reading more broadly, mostly because everyone seemed to be gushing over some new book/author and then I wanted to read it, too. But last year, my reading suffered. I didn’t enjoy things as much and I felt like I needed to read “more, different, better” rather than just following what I liked. So this year I’m just reading what I like and trying not to get all attracted to whatever everyone is oohing and ahhing over. I feel torn about this, but already I’m enjoying my reading more. So. There you have it.

    • February 24, 2010 8:59 pm

      Thanks Daphne! I don’t think my reading suffered, necessarily, (except that taking chances will always lead to a few duds)…but I feel like something’s missing when I don’t read books by my faves. :) I’m glad your reading now is going better!

  25. February 24, 2010 3:57 am

    I used to read deeply but with fewer authors. Since blogging, I now read broadly and I feel that at some point I will need to do the same as you. I have read books I loved and wanted to read more by that author, but I end up getting sidetracked by something shiny and new and creating havoc in the blogging world. I think I will definitley look at my list of books read and do the same.

    • February 24, 2010 9:01 pm

      I think there’s a natural cycle for book bloggers to go through, lol. Like the seasons! :)

  26. justbookreading permalink
    February 24, 2010 5:00 am

    My reading has changed since I started blogging. I’m reading more new to me authors than before and loving that but I sometimes do miss my favorites. Whenever I can, I go back to my favorite authors and series (I love a series!) and give myself permission to indulge even if it means putting aside a new author for a comfort read. I like to read what makes me happy and sometimes that means turning to a well-known to me author.

    • February 24, 2010 9:02 pm

      I love a good mystery series! :D And it makes sense to read what makes you happiest! (Fyi, your name isn’t linked to your blog.)

  27. February 24, 2010 7:23 am

    I loved this post, Eva! And I’m glad you stepped back and realized that maybe you’d like some time to go back and embrace your “old style” of reading. I’ve no doubt that you’ll still end up reading faaaaaar more broadly than I will. ;)

    I feel like I don’t have much choice in defining my overall reading these days. Simply because of homeschooling. But when left to my own devices, I think the way I prefer to read is sort of by soaking up a “subject.” A mix of fiction and non-fiction all relating to “something.” Until I get tired of or filled up by said subject and I’m ready to move on to something else. I suspect that someday I’ll get back that way of reading. But like you said, book blogging has sooooo expanded my horizons that I doubt I’ll ever become as exclusively focused as I used to sometimes get.

    • February 24, 2010 9:03 pm

      That’s so neat! I’m kind of doing that w/ countries this year, but I don’t think I soak things up as much as you. :) I understand how homeschooling has taken over your reading-you’re SUCH a good teacher/mother.

  28. February 24, 2010 8:54 am

    I’m like you. I read almost everything by authors I loved until I started reading book blogs. Now I very rarely read more than one book by the same author. Realy interesting post, Eva!

    • February 24, 2010 9:03 pm

      Thanks Dana! Do you think you’ll change things consciously, or just wait for it even out?

  29. February 24, 2010 9:24 am

    Great post! I know I read differently these days…however, I do enjoy exploring new authors and books I wouldn’t have considered before.

    However, I still order books by my favorite authors and due to a meme “My Favorite Reads,” I am stacking up some rereads.

    • February 24, 2010 9:04 pm

      I loved my broad reading, so I get that. :)

  30. February 24, 2010 9:41 am

    I have to tell you that I like your blog. A lot. I started an online reading group last month:

    After I put mine up, I started to look around at other book related sites and most are confusing and overloaded, not very clean and user friendly and then there are a lot where people are reading books that maybe aren’t really literature. Today, I come across your blog from who knows where and I am so happily surprised that it is great!

    It looks great. Keep it up.

    • February 24, 2010 9:04 pm

      Thanks Sea-I’m glad my blog appeals to you. :)

  31. February 24, 2010 11:18 am

    I tend to read widely, lots of new to me authors. As a teen I demolished authors back catelogues and reread all the time, but I think my options were narrow then. Since uni I have read much more widely and bookblogging has just added to that.
    I have read everything but one of Sarah Waters books and all of Jane Austen apart from the short stories

    • February 24, 2010 9:05 pm

      I’m spacing Waters out! hehe I think I’ve only got 2 left though-she needs to get to writing! ;) And oh Jane-I’ve read all of her books so frequently. :D

  32. February 24, 2010 12:25 pm

    Wonderful post! Made me think how I read and I must say I tend to read broadly rather than deeply, but then there are the favorites (and reading broadly there will be more and more those with time :)). I have read all the novels by Sarah Waters and Camilla Gibb, and I think I have read all the poetry by Sylvia Plath. I have also read most of the books by Virginia Woolf, Jeanette Winterson, Jane Austen and Elizabeth Peters -and J. K. Rowling. :) Some of the writers I like have only published a few books this far, like Gibb or Sophie McDougall, so it has been quite easy to read all their books. Then there are, in addition to Peters, quite a few other series of (historical) mysteries that I have read in entirety, but I guess this comment is long enough already. :)


    • February 24, 2010 9:06 pm

      Loved your comment Tiina! :D I don’t think there’s anything inherently better about reading broadly or deeply…it seems more like a personal preference thing. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! ;)

  33. Sam permalink
    February 24, 2010 1:22 pm

    A few weeks ago I decided this would be the year of series and backlists. After discovering book blogs a few years ago I read a variety of different authors and subjects. I started to miss the days of reading a good book and then going on the hunt for everything that author has written. Now I’m going back to what I missed by favorite authors and am limiting nonfiction reading to just a few subjects this year.

    • February 24, 2010 9:06 pm

      Enjoy getting back to your roots! :D

  34. bethfishreads permalink
    February 24, 2010 3:53 pm

    It too used to read everything I could my hands on by a new to me author if we hit it off. But it’s not all blogging’s fault that I don’t right now. I think we change our habits as we get older — I know mine have. I’ve learned to just let it flow: I read according to my my mood and place in life. If I need to read more by a certain author, I will; if I need to read broadly, I will. I guess I’m saying that I tend to let my reading just be; I have to stay on top of so many other areas of my life — work, house, bills, yard, marriage, committees — that I have learned to let reading take its own path and I follow right along.

    • February 24, 2010 9:07 pm

      I love that philosophy. :) Part of why my reading is structured is that I get almost everything from the library, so deciding what to request makes me focus more! Of course, I’m also still pretty young-I wonder why my reading will be like as I grow.

  35. February 24, 2010 5:49 pm

    I’m not sure my reading style has changed much since I started blogging, although I have found a lot of new books through blogs that I might not have otherwise. I tend to read widely, although I will keep an eye out for other books by an author I like.

    It’s good to focus on what you want to read, not what you think you should be reading.

  36. February 24, 2010 7:38 pm

    I tend to read much more broadly. That’s how I’ve always been, I can’t read too much of the same “type” of books in a row, or I start to get bored, same with authors. There are a few exceptions to this for me, such as Harry Potter. Maybe I’ll try reading deeply when I’m older, but for now, I’m quite enamoured by all of the different authors and books I own but haven’t read, from classics, to fantasy, to YA, to adult, so I suppose my reading lies in finishing what I own, which is a broad selection.

    • February 24, 2010 9:08 pm

      That makes sense! I don’t usually go on author binges, but I would like to read a backlist slowly-maybe one book a month, or every two months. :)

  37. February 24, 2010 8:15 pm

    Hi Eva,

    I enjoy this post very much.

    Whilst I’ve tended to read series and book by favourite authors, I also read genres, thus I read widely and eclectically. I also read books with anthropological eye: I read them as an expression of cultures and the inner lives of those who inhabit these places/times/locales.

    Book blogging has caused me to change my buying habits rather than my reading habits -a good thing, because now I’m using the libary again, rather than buying ever more books. This is much to the relief of my bank account and husband!

    The other effect that book blogging has had on me is structure and discipline. I love the subtle pressure and order imposed by joining challenges or creating your own and putting them out there for others to see. I find this motivates me to read, to meet the goals I’ve set for myself and share these achievements with a community of like minded others.

    • February 24, 2010 9:09 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Amanda! :) And I love hearing what book blogging as changed about you. I too love challenges for the structure they provide. :D

  38. February 24, 2010 9:31 pm

    I used to read deeply! Looking back at my lists, I can see all my patterns. The last deep reading was Don Robertson back in 2004. Larry McMurtry, Anne Tyler, John Updike, Jean Rhys were other authors whose canons I plowed right through.

    • February 28, 2010 8:19 pm

      I STILL need to read Lonesome Dove! I didn’t have great experience first try (gave up after 2 pages, lol), so I’m determined to give it a proper chance this year.

  39. February 24, 2010 9:32 pm

    Oh, I forgot…J.K. Rowling in late 2004-early 2005.

  40. February 25, 2010 7:09 am

    I’ve written similar drafts too. Actually, I think this sounds a lot like my reading deliberately post for 2010!

    Last year, thanks to book blogging, I was a very superficial reader. Then in September and October, thanks to the Classics Circuit idea, I started reading more deeply in certain eras. And I love that. I think, while I ultimately want to have read broadly, my current focus will also be more focused and narrow. I just can only read so many books a year, and I want them to be by authors I, too, have loved!

    Great post.

    • February 28, 2010 8:20 pm

      I totally connected with your post on reading deliberately, so it doesn’t surprise me that we have similar views! :D

  41. February 25, 2010 7:49 am

    I do feel conflicted between reading widely and consuming the works of my favourite authors… they are, after all, favourites for a reason.

    Last year (and the onset of blogging), I discovered some great books but I also neglected those writers that I am passionate about and those books I have been meaning to read. This year I intend to be waylaid less in my plans and focus more on my nearest and dearest authors (to my heart).

    Looking again at your favourite authors I see that of the many we share I have read most of their works: Jane Austen (excluding the unfinished works but including some of the juvenilia as opposed to the big six); Neil Gaiman (exluding graphic novels); Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Sarah Waters. Rushdie I consider a favourite but I haven’t read a lot of his work yet and plan to rectify that. I tend to buy up everything an author has published in the hope of consuming it and then I ration it instead…

    • February 28, 2010 8:21 pm

      That’s neat that we have so many of the same favourites! :D I’ve read over half of Rushdie now, but still have quite a few books to go! Like you, I’ve read all of Gaiman’s non-graphic work, and several of his graphic novels (though I’ve given up on the Sandman series, at least for now). I wish Adichie had more novels out there for me to read!


  1. Bookish links for Saturday, Feburary 27, 2010 | BOOKS AND MOVIES
  2. One Thousand! « A Striped Armchair

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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