What Kind of Reader Are You?

I have a confession to make. Sometimes it takes me months to get through a book. I experience the initial tinge of excitement upon finding a book online or in a store, buy it, and then begin to read. Overtime, if I’m still reading it, I’ll see ads for other books, or read a review, and then the book that I’m still reading begins to become something to get through in order to get to other books that had captured my interest.

I have two books I’m reading concurrently, Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Ganet and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The first book I heard discussed on a podcast and I thought sounded like something I should read, the second was a paperback my mother, who passed away several years ago, had on her bookshelf. I have to admit to enjoying Water for Elephants more than the Ganet, but the Ganet, which I read a few pages of in bed before I go to sleep, stays with me more, it’s images and characters linger in my mind. The well-researched and finely drawn narrative of Water for Elephants takes me to another place and makes me feel as if I’ve been there when I set the book down, the pleasures are straightforward. I read a few pages every few days and don’t want to put it down when my minutes for reading are up.

I have two books I’ve been waiting to read all summer: Alexander Chee’s How to Write an Autobiographical Novel and Andrew Sean Greer’s Less. By the time I finish with the other two the seasons will have shifted deeply into fall.

People who read have a relationship with reading. I which my relationship was more. I’m a slow reader, a distracted reader (A.D.D. – very nineties), a hungry and promiscuous reader. I want to read everything. There are so many great books I’ve never read; so many classics I’d be interested in, but there are so many great new books coming out. I love all genres, all kind of stories. Like a lot of people I wish I could have, days, weeks, months to read.

I’m not the all-in-one-or-two-sittings reader. I’m not the person who can read 300 pages quickly. I’ve never been the person with their head always in a book, or the one with the huge stacks on the side of the room. I’m not the angry reader, or the overly critical, or the board reader who demands to be entertained.

I’m just someone who reads books and sometimes writes them.

I’ll finish the two books I’m reading now and start the books that are waiting for me. It’s important to keep reading, no matter how fast or slow, or well-read or not well-read you are.