19 May 2011

When reading habits take a hold

BooksI must be over the hill: while Seamus McCauley has the ability to keep track in his head of which page he has reached in his current book. I find I have trouble keeping track of which book it even was.

To be honest: marking-the-right-book is the real purpose of my Kandinsky postcard sticking out from behind the cover, because it never marks the right page (how can it when I have fallen alseep the previous evening, slumped drunk exhausted in my armchair, the book sliding to the floor ?)

With nothing to mark my place, my page-finding strategy, each evening when I resume duty, is to locate where the book naturally falls open (I admit it: I am a creaser and spine breaker) and then turn back a few pages until I find something I can remember and then re-commence from there.

Alas, this strategy is flawed and can prevent me from ever reaching the end of a dullish book - indeed I habitually go backwards as with half a book completed and enthusiasm waning, I turn eight-or-ten pages back hunting for the familiar before re-reading just six-or-seven pages forward and then falling asleep all over again.

I must possess at least a dozen books where I have read chapters 1-7 quite quickly, then most of chapter 8 five times before abandoning the book when re-encountering chapter 7 a second time from the opposite direction.

Perhaps I should get a Kindle.

But I worry that the systematic, ungamable organisation of a Kindle might shame me out of ever abandoning a book again: Do I want waste my life plodding through all those dreadful chapters 9 to 15?


pascal said...

When your mother and I were first married, and you were either a twinkle or a new-born, we were habitual readers in bed. I would invariably fall asleep and , the following night, would trawl back 20 pages or so, and read another 10 before falling asleep again. Thus I became very adept at reading a book backwards.

It's all in the genes, you know!

Incidentally, we were both very keen on science fiction at the time and I would read aloud short stories of Isaac Asimov. This probably accounts for your mother frequently falling asleep.

M4GD said...

So, Botogol, you were actually born like the rest of us then…good to know…and all those years I thought you were hatched;-)

Me wonders: How many pounds in your collection hat for a Kindle after this oh so subtle timely post of ‘I want a Kindle for Father’s Day?’ Still collecting or did you get one on the Day?:-)