Are you a monogamous reader?
Today, we’ll consider an important question about your character: Are you monogamous?
No, not that kind of monogamy — that’s your business, and we don’t need to know about it. We mean literary monogamy. Do you read one book at a time? Or do you have two or more going at once — say, a novel, a nonfiction book and a collection of short stories?
Alison Morris, a Publishers Weekly blogger, has identified several species of polygamists. They include: the Whimsical, who dips in and out of multiple books at once; the Placebound, who reads several books simultaneously but each in its own locale -- at home, at work, on the subway; and the Noncompetitive, who reads one fiction book and one non-fiction book at the same time, or some similar combination.
Dave: In school, I juggled several books — a novel for African-American Lit, a science textbook and nonfiction for government classes. But now, I’m a one-book man. I like to focus, to get comfortable with the author’s pacing and language. And I want to keep track of the subtleties of a character, setting or plot. I may have a magazine article, comic piece or short story handy in case I only have a few minutes to read. But I prefer at least an hour of quiet — and one book.
Nancy: I love to read, and I do it just about all the time. But what if I’m not in the mood for the collection of political profiles I picked up a few days ago? Well, I just pick up the graphic novel about zombies. Or the Mexican crime novel. Or re-read Pride and Prejudice. You get the idea. I just don’t want to be hemmed in. Do I ever get confused or lose my place? Sure! I’m fairly certain that after eight months, I’m going to have to start the translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses all over again. But most of the time, it’s a system that works for me.
What are your reading habits — do you subscribe to Davidite monogamy or Nancyist polygamy?