Sunday, December 14, 2014

Browsable Books, or...(GASP!)... I Don't Always Read Every Word in a Book!

I don't care who knows it...I don't always read every word in a book.

Some of my best book experiences have been these sorts of reads. I might read a few chapters, and then skip a few chapters. I might read Chapter 3 first and then Chapter 7 and flip back to Chapter 2.

I can do that, if I want to.

And that's what I'm doing this weekend and for the rest of the year. I've got a huge pile of browsable books accumulated for this busy Christmas holiday season and I'm RAW (that's Reading At Will).

I've just read bits and pieces of Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience this afternoon. It's a delightful collection of letters. I've read E. B. White's magnificent reply to a jaded young man twice already and I feel like copying it down to save it for those days when I might need to read it two more times.

I roamed around through The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently this morning and I'm inspired to doodle more.

I know that the 818 page Lives of the Novelists is going to be perfect for browse-able-ness later today...what 818 page book isn't?

And doesn't Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers by Janet Malcolm sound like it's going to be quite browsable? I'm pretty sure it will.

Have I shocked you? Are you composing a letter to my former teachers right now, informing them of my scandalous reading behavior?

Well, I urge you to let that go and give this edgy way of reading a try. It's quite freeing.

Then go ahead and really stick your neck out...write down the book you browsed on your official List of Books Read. Do it, if you want. It counts, if you say so.

Do you read this way? Any browsable favorites?



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22 comments:

  1. Well, I think the ones you mentioned are ones that I would definitely browse, but I don't think that's the case for me and novels. If the novel isn't catching my interest, then I won't skip around, I'll just skip completely.

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  2. I rarely read a novel this way. Though there are times I cut to the chase and skip to the finale....

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  3. I have been adept at browsing books that go on and on about historic details that don't tell me much...LOL. But I recall feeling guilty about it. Thanks for relieving that guilt! And for visiting my blog.

    Enjoy your week!

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  4. Although this doesn't work for novels, I love browsing essay collection and list-type books. The most recent is By the Book, a collection of columns from the NYTimes.

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    1. Well, I must add that one to my wish list. Thanks, JoAnn.

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  5. Since I primarily read mysteries, I don't do this or I'll miss an important detail. However, I've done this with other types of books. Sometimes I do feel guilty, but it's good to know there are others who do it too.

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  6. I am OCD in my reading. I might give this a try on a book I find browsable in the future.

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  7. I only browse through non-fiction books that dwell too long one particular point, or if it is a cooking or crafts book, I skip the chapters not pertaining to my interest.

    In novels I try to read every word, except for those long descriptive passages that don't add to the plot and should've been tightened in the editing. Then I don't feel guilty skipping. So I guess I am a skipper, not a browser :)

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  8. I can't generally browse books except for essay collections - I wish I could read more flexibly, it might expand what I choose to read.

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  9. I only browse through self-help books, cook books, art books. I cannot do this for novels, even if it's 800 pages: i need to read every word there's nothing right or wrong, so no you are not shocking me. It's just the way I'm built

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  10. I think I might be hyperventilating a little bit here. Definitely too OCD to do this!

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  11. I don't know if myself would let me do it. LOL I always read every single word, even the boring technical stuff. I'll try, but don't see it happening. I'll probably end up going back to the beginning and reading all the way through. LOL
    Here's my Sunday Post - http://fuonlyknew.com/2014/12/14/whats-new-on-my-bookshelf-89-and-the-sunday-post/

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  12. I used to be an OCD reader: every word no matter what. But as my reading list is growing and my concentration span recedes with age ( ;-) ) I start browsing when a point or a description is too long-winded. Still I feel I do not do the book honour :-)

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  13. Too fun, Deb :)
    Definitely browser for non fiction or should I say 'grazer' - a bit here then over to there for a bit more..
    actually cookbooks are a good example of that aren't they ? ;)
    Thanks for the permission - glad to have partners committing ' reading crimes' - happy browsing!

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  14. Deb they all sound very browsable. I must look out for the E B White one. When I read fiction, I sometimes skip sentences. Or even the occasional paragraph. Non fiction - well go in wherever, often it doesn't matter.

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  15. I've never really tried your technique--I'll have to keep this in mind and give it a try.

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  16. I skim sometimes, but I never really skip around too much. I might skip an entire paragraph of description. Some books I even only really read the dialogue. But I only do that for books I'm not really enjoying as much.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

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  17. I certainly see the advantage to skimming and jumping around non-fiction. I don't do that often but I am terrible at peeking at the endings of novels...

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  18. Oh I agree with this! I actually just bought Letters of Note recently and it is EXACTLY a browsable book. I love having the freedom to page here and there a bit. I like doing that with short story collections as well.

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  19. I own so many books that lend themselves to this style of reading (including the Letters of Note book) but even with them, mostly I stick with reading every page in order. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I'm afraid that I'll miss something wonderful. Or the habit is just so thoroughly ingrained in me!

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  20. I guess I would only browse it was a reference type book or perhaps a book of essays etc. but otherwise no.

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