“As I’ve gotten older, I’m more likely to stop reading a book I’m not enjoying, and take my time to truly savor every page of a book I am.” Tweeted by @jasonpinter 6:44PM 2/16/20
Funny, I was just thinking the same thing, Jason. Although I have a few years, if not decades on you, and it took me a lot longer to figure this out. I actually came to this conclusion because I love to travel and I love to read and when I can read leisurely while traveling, I have hit the jackpot. I found myself dividing my TBR (To Be Read) pile of books into two major categories. There are more, but I will spare you the subcategories. One pile is a mountain of books I want to read, but can be done in snippets that often end with the book on my nose after I’ve fallen asleep. The other is towering with books I want to devour, savor, and digest.
I would accumulate the second pile until ready to take a trip. I’m more than willing to make wardrobe sacrifices in order to accommodate pounds of books. (I appreciate e-Readers, but nothing will ever replace a physical book for me.) Wherever I went, I was certain to find the time and place to savor one of the gems I’d pack, whether under a palm tree in the Virgin Islands, a ferry on the way to the Aran Islands, or in front of a fireplace high on the Blue Ridge Mountains.
For the past several years, I’ve been spending January and February in Mexico. The prospect of eight weeks of reading pleasure ahead of me had me squealing with pleasure all the way to the bookstore, which resulted in a pile of books I named, “Books I Saved for Mexico.”
I don’t rush through these books. I savor them, stopping to think about what a particular character just did, going back to see if I’d gotten an earlier point right, just lavishing myself with the time and enjoyment the book and I both deserve. If I encounter a word I don’t know, I am in ecstasy. I don’t guess, relying on context. I look the word up, write it and its meaning down. Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently used the word “perfidy” in a public address. Commentators scorned him for it, suggesting he was being pretentious. I was delighted to hear someone use a word I first remember reading in an Elizabeth George novel on my first trip to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her books always go on the Books I Saved for Mexico or wherever I know I will have the time and space to relish each word.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the rush of a thriller that leaves me breathless, but I also know books like that make me skip words for the price of the thrill. They have their place for sure, but this week on Miss Demeanors I’ll take a look at the “Books I Saved for Mexico” and tell you why. I hope it will be a week for readers to join in and share and for writers to learn more about what readers want from them. Say tuned.