Books,  Knitting

How to Savor a Book.

I mentioned in my last Reading Better post that I had been devouring books, reading many of them in a day or two. and I continued that pace into this month. The combination of good books, bad weather, still staying home more than not … I’ve been reading more than just about anything else. Saturday was a perfect case in point. I finished a book on Friday afternoon and had mostly caught up on podcasts by that morning. Marc was playing golf (Sara was in New York!) and I planned to spend some alone time on the porch with Unsettled Ground. I brought my knitting and Nothing to See Here (on audio – available for immediate download, thank you Libby!) along, too. I had been looking forward to reading Unsettled Ground for months. I ordered my copy from Blackwells as soon as the Women’s Prize shortlist was announced so I could have that gorgeous UK cover. and then I read all the other short list titles (except Transcendent Kingdom) AND all of Claire Fuller’s backlist … really I was saving this one!

I stopped reading in the early afternoon and texted Katie I was saving the last 100-ish pages for Sunday. I listened to more of Nothing to See Here and finished it (it’s a short book). Marc was watching the US Open and Sara wasn’t going to be home for a few more hours. I decided to just read a little more. and then I was done.

I LOVED the book. but wow. I’d waited so long to read it and I was sorry to be finished with it in A DAY (I’ll for sure re-read it before our Read With Us discussion in September).

For sure, I didn’t want my experience with Transcendent Kingdom to be the same … I wanted this one to last … at least a little longer. I started it Monday. and right now I’m barely past page 100.The restraint is challenging for sure … and now I can remember this as the week I read the book, instead of the day I did.

Of course I haven’t been reading less – if anything, keeping myself entertained while not reading one book has simply made me start a few more. Yesterday – while not reading! – I updated my Goodreads queue. Here’s what I’m currently reading

and what I’ve added to my TBR None of these books were even on my radar when I shared that “what I’ll read to finish my Bingo card” list (just 12 days ago!) … all thanks to Sara at Fiction Matters and mostly this month’s Patreon Bibliobrunch (a monthly Zoom call for members to share current reads and recommendations). I took careful notes and limited my selections to ones that were made and co-signed by readers with similar tastes – and those that were available at the library. The two on the left and the two on the right are downloaded/checked out and ready to go. The two in the middle were treats from bookshop.org’s free shipping during Amazon Prime.

Sara published a fantastic backlist summer reading guide on her blog last weekend. All the books are available in paperback, which means short – if any – library hold times. Nothing to See Here, My Ex-Life, and The Golden Cage are all titles from her guide. and I enjoyed/am enjoying all of them.

I am not necessarily taking my time with audiobooks – or the knitting! The sweater shown above has grown considerably since Saturday – and it’s about 2″ longer now.

Clearly I have some “balance” issues here. I started reading more words on the page to slow down my knitting πŸ™‚

What was the last book you purposely read slowly, to savor?

13 Comments

  • Juliann

    Okay, now we can talk about Unsettled Ground. I just recommended it to my sister on our call today. And I am laughing at your idea of pacing – so very different from mine! I have a few of those books from your want to read list tagged on my library account too.

  • Evelyn

    Unearthed a box of books in the attic and am rereading “Prince of Tides”. One of my favorites and I’m savoring every page. Thanks for all the great recommendations.

  • Sarah

    It’s so, so hard to read slower when a book is good, isn’t it? There have been so many times I’ve tried to really savor a good read and take it slow, but usually I am so anxious to find out how it ends that I can’t really slow down. It’s definitely easier to do when it’s a hard copy that I own or a library borrow with no wait list. Whenever I get a library book that has a lot of holds on it, I feel like I need to read it even faster so that the people behind me don’t have to wait longer just because of me!

    I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about Transcendent Kingdom!

  • Kat

    I am on a very long wait list (this morning still 20 weeks…sigh) for Unsettled Ground, so I may have to purchase it. I hope you love History of Rain as much as I did! (I also simply loved Transcendent Kingdom… so much!) You have a few other books that I am putting on my list! Thank you so much!!

  • Margene

    Sometimes when I love a book I start readinig it again and take my time with it just so I can savor it. Unsettled Ground is one of those books as is Piranesi. Woman’s Prize podcast has a new episode with a few words from each author. We have had a weath of beautiful books this year so far and I hope it continues.

  • Carolyn

    Well, I’m not an especially fast reader…or knitter…or anything (except walker! I AM a fast walker…) so this does not really apply to me! However–I slow down even more when I’m doing spiritual reading, journal reading, or poetry. I just picked up another of May Sarton’s journals, The House by the Sea. And that’s one I’ll have to be disciplined to put down in order to experience it in the way it was written.
    Always love glimpses of your beautiful porch, Mary!

  • kym

    Mostly, I’m a savoring kind of reader. I take my time. But sometimes, I get swept away and just go on a tear. Generally, I need to give myself some space with/between books. Otherwise . . . I tend to get them all mashed together in my head. πŸ™‚ I’m always so glad there are always great books coming out! So many great books to choose from . . . no matter how quickly we read them!

  • karen

    I’m reading ultra slow because of my limited reading time but I’m not savoring anything…I cannot remember savoring a book – I do love when a book grabs my attention and I cannot wait to read more πŸ™‚

  • lydia

    I’m actually getting more reading time in since summer bingo started. i finsihed my tome I started at the lake the other day and have moved to my “Author you Love” square and it’ll be a quick/engaging read. One audio book nd 1/2 way through audiobook #2 thanks to 22 hours in the car last week. Getting some rounds on the 2 socks I have going-no sweaters on the needles until the fall [I expect].

  • Bonny

    It’s a rare book that I can read quickly (usually life interferes), but I do love that feeling of being totally immersed in a book when it happens! I wanted to savor Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout but it was just too good to read slowly (maybe I’ll savor it during a re-read).

  • Jane A. Wolfe

    Unless the plot is very compelling, as in turning the page as fast as possible to see what happens next, I take my time with most books. Perhaps because I usually have two or three going at the same time. Your reading looks like it is very satisfying. I was dog- tired yesterday and for the first time in ages spent a few afternoon hours reading. It was glorious. I need to do it more often.

  • Alexa

    Taking time to savour sounds kind – and disciplined – and not always easy. I’m waiting for Unsettled Ground from the library at present, so am a bit ‘behind’ you. If I read too many books in a short space of time, I tend to emerge blinking into the daylight of my life feeling a bit discombobulated, so this summer I am reading slowly and in short bursts.