Tolkien, artist

Reading

 A discussion that started out as a crit on a chapter in a longer tale has morphed into a discussion about reading habits and has led me to thinking about my own.


I admit, I am one of those people who read the ending of a book before I am even half-way into the actual text. I know, many of you will shudder at that admission, but it is what I do. I was trying to think about how long I've done that, and it actually is relatively recent - maybe the last fifteen years or so. I don't know why I developed that habit, but I do find that if the book is well written, it doesn't change my feelings about the book and I still go on to finish reading it.

Reading

I also have found, that since I got my NookColor, I don't do that any more. I could still do it - each book does have a table of contents and, by utilizing that, I could quite easily flip back and forth. But I don't want to. I want the plot to unfold in the way that the author has crafted. I don't know if this is a function or aftereffect of my own writing efforts, or just a function of the fact that the book is an electronic one, but it is the way that I am currently reading. I will state for the record, however, that there is nothing wrong with knowing the end of the ride. It doesn't change the experience as you get there, and in some cases it actually can augment those experiences. If I didn't love the journey, I would never read and re-read the books that I dearly adore as many times as I continue to do. Why not choose a book that you dearly love to immerse yourself in today? I'll be buried in Kuchner's "Swordspoint" - recommended highly by friends and having hooked me within a chapter.
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I'm one of those who shudders. For me, reading the ending early really does ruin the book. Fiction is pretty much the only place I like surprises. (And there is a connection to my writing-- I usually start my novels without knowing the ending. The characters will take me where the story need to go.)

Am a bit curious-- why a NookColor? (I will eventually get an ebook reader, so I'm interested in why people choose what they chose.)

Why not choose a book that you dearly love to immerse yourself in today?

Good question! Now which one…
When I wanted an E-reader, I did a lot of research. A kindle is less expensive, but there is a lot of proprietary stuff along with it that I really didn't want. The NookColor is basically a small tablet computer that operates on the android platform. It was the only thing on my holiday wish list and I have not passed a day since I got it without it in my hand. I have a bunch of purchased books on it, but also pdf's of various other books, and e-pubs of a lot of fanfic. I use it both for reading current novels that I am interested in, but also for my research. I use my Silm on there a lot - the search feature is lovely to find just the right Feanorian reference - LOL. The storage capacity is huge, the ability to change the screen to meet conditions under which it will be used is perfect for me, basically, it fills all of the criteria I had, and then some. I love it. I have never regretted asking for it, although my DH wishes he could get my nose out of the screen sometimes.

- Erulisse (one L)


Edited at 2011-04-14 02:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I've already ruled out a Kindle (for the reasons you mentioned), and I'm wavering between an iPad, a Sony reader, and a NookColor. I want portable Internet, too, because I don't have a laptop.

I don't see me reading a lot of published books on it, though. Mostly, I want it for fanfic reading so I don't have to print out my favorite fics.
That's a lot of what I read on mine. I get my fanfics into rtf format and then use a program called Calibre to convert those to epub format. I have a ton of fanfic that I read on my NookColor. But I also want my research materials and some novels here and there, and purchasing Ebooks is less expensive than purchasing paper/ink books. There are also places like the Guttenburg file where classic books are available for download. It's versatile as heck and I love it.

- Erulisse (one L)
I used to do that sometimes as a child, especially if the book got too suspenseful for me - but by now suspense is one of the things I enjoy. I reread books I love, but I only have the opportunity to be suprised by plot twists once, so when I read a book for the first time, I want to discover it for myself. Rereading a book when I know the ending is a different experience - I'm currently rereading GRRM's Game of Thrones, who is infamous for killing of his main characters if he feels like it, and knowing who is going to die makes the experience somewhat different from the utter heartbreak and shock I felt when I read it for the first time.

Swordspoint is a wonderful book - I'm certain that you'll love it! :)
I am absolutely loving Swordspoint, but I knew I would when I realized who of my friends were recommending it to me. No question but that I'm in the corner of also recommending it without hesitation.

I read ahead in a book for one of two reasons. One - because I am curious about the ending because I want to see how the author will get there. Two - because the book is so transparent and badly written that I want to see if it is worth my time to bother reading the rest of it. Unfortunately, I have had some of both cross my path in my 50+ years of reading. Fortunately, the good ones keep me coming back time and time again.

- Erulisse (one L)
who has to admit that GRRM is NOT one of my favorite authors and I am very hesitant to get involved with Game of Thrones again because I hated the writing so much.
Hmm, I've personally never liked reading the end. I like to guess what'll happen before the fact. On a few occasions, I will flip to the last few paragraphs, but only when I'm very sure I'll never finish the book on my own.

And speaking of the Nook, what do you think of it? I'm more of a smell-and-touch-the-paper type of reader, so my Nook is pretty much ignored. Though oftentimes a Nookbook is a lot cheaper than a regular book.
As someone who owns more than 10,000 books, I fully understand the love of pages and paper. However, I love the fact that I can switch back and forth from research to a novel and back to a different novel in three sweeps of my hand with a package less than 1/2 inch thick. It's perfect for me.

That said, if I had one of the older Nooks, instead of the NookColor, I probably would not be using it as extensively. The fact that I can use my Nook as a tablet computer if needed is a real plus for me. It is a tremendously versatile instrument and I have found it suits me perfectly.

- Erulisse (one L)
Hmm, I have an older Nook. I should probably go check out the colorized one, then. Sound much more handy.
For some reason, Swordspoint didn't immediately hook me - I started reading it, set it aside for a few days, and then picked it back up again. On the second attempt, it hooked me.
I don't know why it is hooking me. She is overly descriptive of her scenery, and a little too minimal in character development, plus she is dealing with a stratified society in extremis, which is also usually not my cuppa. But for some reason I want to find out more and so I am reading as fast as I can get time to put my nose into my NookColor.

And of course, my DH managed to crash his computer {sigh}, so I get to take his computer to my guru tomorrow and hope that my guru can do a quick fix on the darned thing. Oy vey!

- Erulisse (one L)
I am with you on the reading the end page thing - I'm not sure why - but I often like to know where they are going before I find out how they got there.

A you say, If I didn't love the journey, I would never read and re-read the books that I dearly adore as many times as I continue to do.
I'm so pleased that I'm not the only one who will read ahead. I do tend to let mysteries grow as they need to, but drama - well, drama is not harmed (usually) by reading ahead.

- Erulisse (one L)
I come in late to movies also and then stay to watch the beginning. My life is filled with suspense, being not able to guess how things will come out, and dreading the unhappy ending or desperately hoping for the happy playing out of events. I guess I don't need that in my fiction. I have had far more adventure in my life than is healthy. I like to feel in control of my imaginative life. It's an emotional response for me to enjoy the choice of checking the ending of a book. I'm sorry if that cuts across some authors intentions. I still enjoy their efforts at trying to torture me. I do allow myself to experience it when reading mystery novels, which I have actually read a lot of over the years. I was surprised at how many people are involved in both writing and reading within the same circles in fanfiction and were so intense about being protected from spoilers. That was when I started looking at the different approaches to the question.

Glad you are enjoying Swordspoint. When you finish you can think about getting yours hands on Nook copies of The Fall of the Kings and The Privilege of the Sword. They are particularly interesting in that while written in the same world are as different as they can be from one another.

Have you ever read my write up of a lunch date I had with Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman about a year ago? That was hell to write because people had given me lots of questions to ask about the books, while others wanted me to avoid spoilers in the write up of our get together. I tried to please both by saving spoilery comments for near the end of the article: http://heartofoshun.livejournal.com/207714.html

Edited at 2011-04-14 08:02 pm (UTC)
I had not read your interview, although I had purchased all three of the books. It's longer than I have time for right now, but I look forward to reading it at my leisure soon. Thank you for the link :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
Have you ever read my write up of a lunch date I had with Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman about a year ago? That was hell to write because people had given me lots of questions to ask about the books, while others wanted me to avoid spoilers in the write up of our get together. I tried to please both by saving spoilery comments for near the end of the article: http://heartofoshun.livejournal.com/207714.html


So, I finally had a chance to read through your interview without interruption (something that seemed extremely difficult to successfully achieve). I do envy you the opportunity to speak with EK for an extended period of time.

I've finished Swordspoint and am almost through The Priviledge of the Sword. I think one of the things that really pulled me into the books is the relationship between Alec and Richard, not because it is so omnipresent, although it is, but because in so much of the books it is just an undercurrent. The two of them are magnetic - attracted to one another to the exclusion of everyone else, yet pulled apart again and again. I could wish that they would be able to settle down together, raise bees and live a simple life, but that's not possible, even in fantasy. She's got me hooked though. I can't put my Nook down.

- Erulisse (one L)