New BIB The Collaborator – Gerald Seymour (recommended by my friend on the bus)
What is your time between books? I find when I have a stack to get through that I am anticipating I will read them back to back. Which is great if they’re all good.
However, it depends on what else is going on in my life, as you’d expect (like writing this blog!). But also, how I felt about the book I’ve just finished. If it was fantastic and you have another eagerly anticipated book to follow then it’s easy to read them back to back and just enjoy your reading life. On the other hand, if you have a stack with no particular book chosen (or if it’s a BIB) then I find it difficult to start the next book, like I can’t bring myself to leave the last one, I’m still digesting it and don’t know if I can spend the emotional energy on an untested text. Am I mourning this finished novel? Or I don’t want to be disappointed in another reading experience living up to the last one perhaps?
If the finished book was a little disappointing, see ending well, then it’s a struggle to start another potentially disappointing book.
So I think it’s all about anticipation for me.
I think I also go through phases of reading where I am a voracious consumer of any books I can get my hands on, and at other times am more select. In fact I have gone for long periods without reading or only able to read short stories because I didn’t have the emotional energy to commit to a book or the attention span (this was when I was training as a teacher – I’m not a teacher now by the way).
When I was planning this post I was going to refer to a refractory period – as I’ve been using this regularly in conversations, mistakenly thinking it meant time between activities, but as I researched this post I discovered a rather different meaning in wikipedia. Similar but not the tone I was looking for, although I do enjoy a good climax in a book! I think I’ll stop now! I won’t be using it in the next meeting I’m in (as I have done in the past), I wondered why people sidled away from me over coffee.