Seriously! I will stand up and confess. I’m addicted to books. I love to collect books, certain authors, certain genres, new books, old books, sets of books, first editions or even those that are tattered and torn and thrown in the trash. It doesn’t matter the size, condition or content. They’re books. They’re meant to be read and savored. The fact that I don’t have time to read them all is moot.
It’s a known fact in the writer’s community that the number of books an author reads goes down proportionately with the number of books written per year. But that’s not the reason I’m a slow reader. I’m a slow reader because I love words. I love wonderful stories, but I also love how the words and the sentences, paragraphs and scenes make it all come together.
When I read a book, I savor each and every rounded vowel and each and every flat or sharp consonant. I like how the sound of some words can actually mimic the meaning… and the way some sentences are strung together. I like silly words and soft words, harsh words and redundant and/or confusing words. I like metaphors and similes (in the right places and not cliché), and speaking of metaphors, I just finished reading a Tom Robbins book titled “Skinny Legs and All.”
Robbins is the king of metaphors and I won’t even tell you how long it took me to savor every word in this unique book. Robbins not only writes from the viewpoint of a can of beans, a stick and a conch shell, he layers themes and ideas like pasta and mozzarella, tomatoes and hot Italian sausage in a homemade lasagna. I savored, salivated, and even drooled a little at his bizarre artistry with words. Salivated is a good word, isn’t it… kinda sounds like what it means. “Otiose” --pronounced “oh-she-ose.” Isn’t that a great sounding word? It means “idle, ineffective, not needed, lethargic…” It’s from “Skinny Legs…” and doesn’t it sound like what it means? Oh..kay. Back to the book. I will admit, Robbins’ style of writing is not for everyone and it took me a while to get into the zone. But what fun would it be if all books were the same?
I also have a tendency to choose books for a particular period in my life. I have books from my cooking period, books on history, government, (the political period) biographies, thrillers, mysteries, self-improvement, public speaking, chic lit (dating period), and I can’t even count the number of romance novels (my favorite genre) on my bookshelves and in my TBR (to be read) stack. Not only do I write romance novels, I’m a hopeless romantic.
However, my love of words, or rather, my need to savor words I love, has affected my reading. Since my first book, way back in June of 2000, my TBR stack seems to have grown exponentially and now looks more like a mountain than a stack. My new book, THE PROMISE HE MADE, is out in mid August. It’s my 13th book and my TBR pile is at least triple that number. It’s sad, really. All those books with all those wonderful words, just sitting there, waiting to be savored. Sigh.
So many books, so little time. What does your TBR stack look like?