Want to win a copy of The Courage Tree? Check out Emilie Richards’ interview of me on her blog and leave a comment. Good luck!
In my last post (which must have set a record for the number of comments on my blog!), several people mentioned two quirks about reading novels that fascinated me. The first is that they reread books they love. The second is that they read books quickly the first time, skipping details to find out how the stories end before going back to read in greater depth. This made me think about how I read as well as how I write.
I rarely reread books, even books that I absolutely adore. Only two stand out in my memory as books I’ve reread: Pat Conroy’s Prince of Tides (because I wanted to explore how Conroy created the pained, sarcastic funniness of his main character) and DM Thomas’s The White Hotel, (which I read two times, ten years apart, to see if it was as emotionally draining the second time around. It was). I’ve reread parts of many other books, studying them to see how the writer does what he or she does. I never studied writing in school, so I’ve made up for it by analyzing the work of writers I admire. But I’m fascinated that many of you read some books repeatedly for story alone — for a story you already know. Don’t get me wrong. I love that you reread my books, but I’d love to better understand what prompts you to do so.
And who among you is a “detail skipper”? I occasionally skim over details if I feel they’re getting in the way of a story I’m reading. Usually I attribute that to either my impatience or to an overabundance of description that slows the story down. Then there are books where the writing is so seamless that I can’t skip a single word.
Are you a “rereader”? A “detail skipper?” I’d love to know!
Finally, in my last post, I ran a teeny contest offering personalized bookplates for my new book, Secrets She Left Behind, to five commenters. I used my handy random number generator to determine the winners, and they are Ronnie, Lindsay, Ann, Ashley and Margo. Congratulations! Please send your snail mail addresses to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you want the bookplate personalized to you or someone else.
Happy reading (and rereading. . .)!