Literary Blog Hop: March 8-11

Literary Blog Hop

The Literary Blog Hop is organised by The Blue Book Case. It’s a monthly event for blogs that discuss primarily literary fiction and classics. Hop over to The Blue Book Case if you want to join in!

This week’s discussion question is:

How do you find time to read, what’s your reading style and where do you think reading literature should rank in society’s priorities?

My answer:ย The short answer on where I find the time to read is that I don’t work or study. In principle, every day is for my to fill in as I like. In practice, there is a household with 2 teenagers and a husband to take care of, although that doesn’t take all day. So, I fill up the rest of my time with other activities, like blogging, exercise, socialising, etc.

As a rule, I don’t read much during the day. Just as I never watch day-time television, I don’t sit down to read. Except: I read at all meal times, at “coffee break”, and sometimes I steal an hour during the day when I have a book that needs to be finished soon. Mainly, I read in the evening. Because by then I’ve already done all the chores that working people need to do in the evenings, I can spend evenings (and weekends) reading. That’s the secret behind me reading so much!

My reading style: fast, faster! When I have a great book in my hands, I want to read it with great speed. If I have a not-so-good book, I want it finished soon, too.๐Ÿ™‚ What bothers me, are some literary books that you can’t read fast. I dislike them for slowing down my readingย and I love them for being written so well. Mixed feelings!

In general, if a book takes longer than 4 days to read, I’m getting restless.

As far as society is concerned, I think it’s great when people read at all. Just taking out quiet time to put your nose in a book sounds like a good idea for everyone. I think it’s a pity lots of people get stuck in simple romances that are (for them) brain candy but don’t stretch them in any way. Still, reading those is better than nothing!

I would like it if people were shown some slightly more demanding books, under the guise of “If you like this book with the half-naked man on the cover, you might also like to read this book set in the 1960s in which Jane finds herself with a lover who seems to good to be true” (I made up that last bit). But what I mean is: a bit of encouragement and showing people some other books would be good. I think World Book Night does that a bit, but a few of the books there will still be way too intimidating for a lot of people.

What about you? Do you recognise this in your own reading?

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

29 Responses to Literary Blog Hop: March 8-11

  1. Mel u says:

    I like your comments about reading fast. For example I am now reading Adam Bead by George Eliot-the level of prose is of course very high but there are lots of long conversations in country dialect that slow me down so much I almost abandoned the book.

    When I saw the question about reading as a social priority I thought about life in the ten million plus Asian city in which I reside. We have some of the biggest swankiest malls in the world, the well off live behind ten foot walls with cut class in them, and guards with sawed off shot guns, have helpers just for their pets (called a dog or cat Yaya) but we have no public libraries. Millions of kids grow up never having their own books. Once my wife and I went to an outreach at a local orphans home. We gave each of the fifty kids a book our daughters had out grown. It was almost heartbreaking to see the children hug the books.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks for your comment, Mel. Yes, pages of country dialect would make me wonder too, if it’s worth continuing the book. If the storyline pushes you along it’s fine, but otherwise, it’s hard to keep motivated.

      How sad that your city doesn’t have any public libraries! There is obviously a very clear divide between the poor and the rich. I’m glad there are people like you trying to help out, but it’s never enough of course. Helpers for their pets, pah!

  2. Wendy says:

    I’ve just watched the World Book Night video from your link and was just so excited about such an event. I wish we had this going on in Australia! To go to an event where authors read from their own books, is just so delightful. And to have 20000 people hand out 24 books each would be an inspiration. Free books – it stirs my soul! Thank you for the link, my heart is full! xx

    • Leeswammes says:

      Oh, I know, Wendy! It’s such a brilliant event. I’m in the Netherlands, but I watched the BBC last year – they had a whole night (THE night) full of bookish programmes and I loved reading blogger’s posts about how they had handed out books. It’s a wonderful event and I hope my (and your!) country will join in in the next few years.

  3. I read the exact opposite of your style. If I like the book I try to read it slowly. Why rush through a potential best?๐Ÿ™‚ I used to rush through, with excitement but in the 90’s I heard someone say ‘enjoy every word, read slowly’. So this is my strategy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Are you boys readers? Do they read some of the books you read?

    • Leeswammes says:

      Funny how we differ, Mari! I’ve always been a “fast” person, not just with reading, also with chores, walking, etc. (I explain my general speediness as an attempt to finish quickly so I can get back to reading!). I prefer a book to be big, if it’s good, rather than me having to slow down to make a short book last.

      My 14yo is a reader, he needs his Daily Dose. My other son (13) is a reluctant reader. When he has a great book going, he *may* pick it up by himself in order to continue reading it, but otherwise, I have to make him sit down & read for a little while each day.

      We do read each other’s books sometimes. At the moment, my oldest is reading one of my books, *A Monster Calls* by Patrick Ness. My youngest read my copy of *The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time* a while ago*.*

  4. I know what you mean about loving and hating well-written books that you just can’t get through quickly! Thank you for being so well written but this is taking so long!

    • Leeswammes says:

      That’s just how I feel sometimes, Alley. With more literary books I should just relax and enjoy and accept that it will take a bit longer.

  5. mechristine says:

    I’ve never heard of world book night! that’s really neat! An interesting way to encourage reading.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Christine, WBN is a great idea. I wish we had it in my country (the Netherlands). Instead, I’ll be following what’s happening in the UK – last year was great.

  6. Leslie says:

    I read at a medium speed because that’s when I get the most out of the story. If I don’t like the book that much I will speed up to get to the end. I never watch daytime television. Ever. Vast wasteland even with all the cable channels. And as I’ve mentioned (many times!) I listen to audio books during day while doing boring chores and yard work.

    My book for World Book Night is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Hopefully not too intimidating for light readers.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Leslie, nice to find someone who agrees on the daytime television. To be fair, this winter we as a family have sometimes watched films in the afternoon in the weekend, when the weather was really unpleasant. But otherwise: no. I even forget to watch when there are special events (sports, royal weddings, etc.).

      I hope to read Henrietta Lacks soon! At least the topic is very interesting so hopefully people less interested in reading will try it.

      • Leslie says:

        Movies don’t count, and neither do live sporting events, I was referring to the talk show, reality show, game show garbage that has polluted the airwaves. Ok, one game show I will watch is Jeopardy if I’m at my dad’s house. It’s his favorite show. The questions are challenging and the contestants are super smart.

        I think you’ll enjoy Henreitta Lacks.

      • Leeswammes says:

        Leslie, talk shows I don’t care about at all, but I could imagine getting addicted to a silly soap or reality show. I don’t want my life revolving around tv. Like: Hairdresser: appointment Wednesday at 10.45? Me (thinking: Oh no, that’s when Some Silly Show is on!): Can we make it 11.45 instead?

    • Leeswammes says:

      I hope to read Henrietta Lacks soon! At least the topic is very interesting so hopefully people less interested in reading will try it.

      Leslie, nice to find someone who agrees on the daytime television. To be fair, this winter we as a family have sometimes watched films in the afternoon in the weekend, when the weather was really unpleasant. But otherwise: no. I even forget to watch when there are special events (sports, royal weddings, etc.).

  7. Emily Crowe says:

    I’m so glad you mentioned WBN in your post because I had forgotten all about it in mine. I have high hopes for it to bring an awareness of the value of books and reading.

    • Leeswammes says:

      I hope so too, Emily. I don’t know what the impact of WBN was last year in the UK. I hope it got more people into reading.

      • parrish says:

        Hi Judith & Emily, can’t say what effect WBN, had on a national level except that it was deemed successful enough to do it again with Germany & the USA on board. On a local level 48 people were introduced & given a book they were unaware of, a lot more were made aware if the event & myself & my (then) 10yr old daughter had a great time, got to enjoy ourselves & also feel like we’d done something worthwhile. This is the reason that my 11yr old daughter & I are doing it again this year – this time with a book we both have read, so as we can promote it better & again we’ll tweet & blog it (hopefully).

      • Leeswammes says:

        Gary, I didn’t know Germany is also doing WBN, how nice. I just hope WBN reaches the people that it’s after – I mean other than handing out the books, I hope other reluctant readers become aware of the event and maybe become interested in trying a book.

  8. bibliosue says:

    Lately I’ve found myself to be an impatient reader, if that makes any sense. I’m thinking about the next book I’m going to read, rather than concentrating properly on the one in my hand. That’s probably a sign that I shouldn’t be reading that particular book, right?

    • Leeswammes says:

      Sounds like you are then not reading the right book, Suzanne. I am impatient in that I know how much else is on the TBR pile and I want to hurry up the reading a bit – but I hardly ever start fantasizing about the next book!๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Rikki says:

    Ah, that is your secret! Now I know and I envy you.
    I do read fast, but only a little every day (actually mostly at night), so my “output” is little.
    Interestting about your boys. Nobody will ever tell me again that reading runs in families or that people who don’t read come from non-reading families. Our 8 year old hates reading. You have to cajole him into 5 lines and that is alread torture for both of us. The house is full of books but does he pick up any? Nah!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Rikki, there is hope. My boys didn’t read much at that age. My oldest son got a book for his birthday when he was 9 or 10 and it was the first of a series. When he finished, he agreed to read the next book and before I knew it he was hooked to the series. So, after that series I gave him the first book of another series, and off we went again!๐Ÿ™‚

      That’s how he started, now he’ll read anything (I’m just a bit worried that he doesn’t seem to have particular preferences, he just reads anything).

      • Rikki says:

        I am glad to hear there might be hope. I tried to hook him on The magic treehouse series and he likes them to be read to him or as audiobooks but not read them himself.

      • Leeswammes says:

        Rikki, maybe he’s not a confident reader? He might need very short books on topics that he’s interested in.๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Stephanie says:

    Yes! I love that you shared this and that you acknowledged that, first and foremost, it’s not how much you read, but that you read at all. This is so frustrating to me because I feel that in our culture, there’s pressure on you if you don’t read (which is, yes, bad), but if you do read, that’s not good enough because you’re not reading three books a week (a sort of unspoken pressure) and all the “real” readers are. Not everyone has that kind of time! But I do envy that you have that sort of freedom!๐Ÿ™‚

    • Leeswammes says:

      Stephanie, that’s true, it never seems enough. What I don’t like is when people say they have no time for reading, what they mean is they have 157 things that they find more important than reading so they never get round to reading. Those people aren’t readers!๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Sometimes the only thing that gets me through a bad book is thinking what to read next and setting a goal number of pages! I’ll do nothing but read when I have an excellent book.

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