Monday, June 23, 2008

Reading and Being Anal


I am not anal when it comes to reading books. I admit I probably/maybe have a couple of traits which lend themselves to being called anal (or just being an asshole, I don't know which), but reading is not one of them.

The reading trait I am referring to is the need to read books in a series in the order in which they are written.

Now I know there are a lot of series out there, Harry Potter for example, which would be a little difficult to read if you read them out of order. A little harder than most series I admit. But a lot of writer's will allude to things in previous books, but you can figure out what is going on anyway and continue with book 6 before you read book 4.

I just decided after watching the TV show "Bones" for the past couple of years or so I just might like to read the books behind the show. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? Also, it will be a couple more months before the next Laurell K Hamilton book is out and I have packed up all the others, so I can't go back and reread any of them. Ditto Jim Butcher.

Anyway, I go tripping down to my local library and check out all the Kathy Reichs books (with the exception of Cross Bones) and drag them all home and sit them on my bedside table. Since I have all but 1, I decided to read them in order and looked up online what goes where and proceeded to read.

Oh my God. I was so disappointed in Deja Death, the first book. I tried and tried to wade my way through it, becoming increasingly downhearted about the book. It was ok, but slow and very hard to get into. I did finish it and debated starting the second one, having the hardest time at this point to see where anything was inspired by that book. But I had the whole stack there, so I started, with some doubts, on the second.

A BIG difference! I have now gone through about 6 books in a week. The rest of the series is interesting, fast-paced and a joy to read. What is really funny is I work with a woman who reads mysteries about 99% of the time. At lunch one day she was complaining she had gone to the library the night before to get something new to read and couldn't find 1 book by this certain author....Kathy Reichs! I started giggling and told her I knew exactly where those books were....on my bedside table. I am reading them and passing them on to her, however, I am reading them too fast for her to keep up. And yes, she too felt the same way about book 1 and was glad I said something to her about it as she felt it was just her.

So, unlike my BF and OD, who HAVE to read a series from book 1 forward, I can jump around in a series and have, like when I "discovered" Jim Butcher and his Dresden File books (also inspiring a series...do I watch too much TV?) I do have some "quirks" however. For example, if it is a book I want to keep and reread, I will not loan it to BF. She is murder on books, especially on paperbacks, folding them back and every which way. I don't mind "cracking" the spine to open up a book, but when the pages are all pooshed back.....

Or books that I am reading and I find insightful, thoughtful, or helpful to the point of highlighting portions of them, I don't like to loan those out. It seems too personal. Or books by authors I like to keep, Laurell K Hamilton, Jim Butcher, Katie MacAlister for example, ones that will get read over and over. I am loaned them out in the past and they never get returned, so those don't go out. I'll recommend someone buy them and read them, but don't get loaned. Have to watch OD though with the Katie MacAlister's, she lugs them off and it's months before they emerge from her room.

I am hard on magazines though. If you think you will read "O" after me, forget it. I rip out articles, clip out pictures and phrases as I go through. It becomes "holely". So no, I am not anal about reading material.

Oh, and if I buy a book and you want to read it first! Forget it! But I am not anal about books!

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