Sep 07

A quick report on our Summer Reading assignments, to be followed up by an online/call-in book group. Different ways to read books: fast or slow, all at once or in bits and pieces? In our Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read segment, Ann tries hard to not cry while discussing To the End of the Land.

Handing In Our Assignments

Ann and I have finished our Summer Reading assignments; the books you voted for us to read, The Poisonwood Bible and Middlesex, respectively. We both loved the books and we both thank the Books on the Nightstand listeners who voted! We don’t say too much about the books on this episode because we’re going to have two live call-in book group shows! I’ll be discussing Middlesex on Monday, September 27 at 9pm EST and Ann will talk about The Poisonwood Bible on Tuesday, October 5 at 9:30pm EST. More information is at our page on TalkShoe (the site we’re using for these calls), but full details will be announced here on the blog, just before the calls. In the meantime, get cracking on these books so you can join the discussion!

While we were wrapped up in our assigned books, a couple of big book releases slipped by us. Sorry we didn’t give Mockingjay and Freedom that coverage they deserved! We vow to better keep you informed of all of the big books coming out, even if we don’t get a chance to read them all. We’d love your help. Please always let us know what books you’re most looking forward to. You can email us, call our voicemail line or leave comments here on the site.

How Do You Drink Your Books? (8:22)

A blog post at Tor.com debates reading books in big gulps or small sips. Jo Walton, the author of the post, says she reads all the time (“…if I’m [at a restaurant] with you, I’ll get my book out for the two minutes while you’re in the bathroom.”), and doesn’t need to read for long stretches to fully enjoy a book. Ann and I share our opinions on this topic. For us, it matters on what kind of book it is (dense literary fiction vs. a page-turner mystery). Ann also thinks gulping or sipping could mean reading quickly or slowly. It’s a rare book that you want to race through to find out what happens and, at the same time, slow down to savor the writing. For Ann, one of those books is The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. The first book that sprang to mind for me was The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. Please share with us your thoughts on gulping vs. sipping, and any books you wanted to read both quickly and slowly.

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (17:25)

I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard amazing things about Ape House, the new novel by Sara Gruen. I loved Water for Elephants. The new book is in stores now, and follows a family of bonobo apes who are “liberated” from the language researcher who has cared for them for years. Ann has been deeply moved by David Grossman’s To the End of the Land. It’s the story of Ora, an Israeli mother whose son has returned to the front lines. Rather than wait for what she feels is the inevitable bad news, she sets out on a hike with a former lover, reconnects with him and fills him in on her life and that of her son. To this day, Ann still has trouble even thinking about this book without getting emotional. To hear a wonderful interview with David Grossman, check out this episode of the Guardian Books Podcast.

  • Sheryl B

    I am going to risk sounding stupid and ask a question that has been nagging at me for a while which is, what determines what genre a book falls into? For example, what constitutes literary fiction as opposed to contemporary fiction or historical fiction? Can a book fall into more than one category? While I know what a graphic novel is, or science fiction or dystopian, I’m not as sure about some of the other descriptions. As far as that goes, does the term ‘novel’ always refer to fiction? Are all fiction books novels? Or does the length of a book determine if it is a novel or not. I always thought that a novella is just a short novel, but I’m not sure that is correct either. I know there are some terms that I am leaving out, but maybe you could address some of these terms and give us some insight into what determines a book’s catagory.

    Also I’ve listened to some of the other podcasts you’ve suggested and enjoyed them – some more than others, but yours is by far the best. And based on Michael’s description, I’m looking forward to reading The Bell when it comes out.

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Good idea for a podcast! The Bookrageous podcast talked about this on their latest episode, but there’s no reason we can’t bring our own opinions into the mix!

      • Sheryl B

        I forgot to answer the question:

        I sip, gulp, inhale, savor, swallow, digest and regurgitate. (Regurgitate in a good way.)

        I’ll check out Bookrageous, but I heard another category that I’m not sure about: narrative fiction.

        • http://parchmentgirl.com Kate

          Interesting that you included regurgitation in that list describing how you read. I do the exact same thing–I have to talk about what I’m reading, hear myself say it to really internalize it. Plus, no reason letting all that good knowledge go to waste! = )

  • Sheryl B

    I am going to risk sounding stupid and ask a question that has been nagging at me for a while which is, what determines what genre a book falls into? For example, what constitutes literary fiction as opposed to contemporary fiction or historical fiction? Can a book fall into more than one category? While I know what a graphic novel is, or science fiction or dystopian, I’m not as sure about some of the other descriptions. As far as that goes, does the term ‘novel’ always refer to fiction? Are all fiction books novels? Or does the length of a book determine if it is a novel or not. I always thought that a novella is just a short novel, but I’m not sure that is correct either. I know there are some terms that I am leaving out, but maybe you could address some of these terms and give us some insight into what determines a book’s catagory.

    Also I’ve listened to some of the other podcasts you’ve suggested and enjoyed them – some more than others, but yours is by far the best. And based on Michael’s description, I’m looking forward to reading The Bell when it comes out.

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Good idea for a podcast! The Bookrageous podcast talked about this on their latest episode, but there’s no reason we can’t bring our own opinions into the mix!

      • Sheryl B

        I forgot to answer the question:

        I sip, gulp, inhale, savor, swallow, digest and regurgitate. (Regurgitate in a good way.)

        I’ll check out Bookrageous, but I heard another category that I’m not sure about: narrative fiction.

        • http://parchmentgirl.com Kate

          Interesting that you included regurgitation in that list describing how you read. I do the exact same thing–I have to talk about what I’m reading, hear myself say it to really internalize it. Plus, no reason letting all that good knowledge go to waste! = )

  • http://carolinebyline.blogspot.com Caroline Starr Rose

    I sip, gulp, and savor.

  • http://carolinebyline.blogspot.com Caroline Starr Rose

    I sip, gulp, and savor.

  • Callie

    I am a gulper, and I rush through books, often because I just have to know how it ends, but then I end up missing some of the little things. The last book this happened with was The Help, which I could feel myself rushing through and had to constantly consciously slow down and force myself to savor. My preferable way to get through a book though is in a few long, luxurious sittings. Otherwise I forget what’s going on and I forget plot details.

  • Callie

    I am a gulper, and I rush through books, often because I just have to know how it ends, but then I end up missing some of the little things. The last book this happened with was The Help, which I could feel myself rushing through and had to constantly consciously slow down and force myself to savor. My preferable way to get through a book though is in a few long, luxurious sittings. Otherwise I forget what’s going on and I forget plot details.

  • http://noteschris.wordpress.com Christine

    The sad reality is that by default – that is, LIFE with a toddler and working full time and owning a house with a yard – I’ve become a book sipper. Sad, because I am MOST satisfied when I get to read in a long uninterrupted chunk, and able to really get into a book, its setting, mood, characters, the sense of place and people – and usually, it takes a little bit of time to get to that place where I am absorbed in the writing and flow and place that the writer have created. For the most part, I rarely can read for longer than 15 minutes at a time these days, the exception being when our toddler goes to sleep at 8pm and I have until 11 or midnight to indulge (if I’m not blogging, catching up on episodes, or cleaning….) OR when we go on vacation. Conclusion: more vacation please!

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Yes, please!

  • http://noteschris.wordpress.com Christine

    The sad reality is that by default – that is, LIFE with a toddler and working full time and owning a house with a yard – I’ve become a book sipper. Sad, because I am MOST satisfied when I get to read in a long uninterrupted chunk, and able to really get into a book, its setting, mood, characters, the sense of place and people – and usually, it takes a little bit of time to get to that place where I am absorbed in the writing and flow and place that the writer have created. For the most part, I rarely can read for longer than 15 minutes at a time these days, the exception being when our toddler goes to sleep at 8pm and I have until 11 or midnight to indulge (if I’m not blogging, catching up on episodes, or cleaning….) OR when we go on vacation. Conclusion: more vacation please!

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Yes, please!

  • Bill

    I either sip because I’m struggling or because I’m savoring. I gulp the exciting books like the Stieg Larsson trilogy or adventure non-fiction.
    The best are the long, slow sips which require the re-reading of sentences. Haruki Murakami and David Guterson come to mind.
    The worst is fighting through a book with short sips because I really don’t like it and it doesn’t hold my attention.

  • Bill

    I either sip because I’m struggling or because I’m savoring. I gulp the exciting books like the Stieg Larsson trilogy or adventure non-fiction.
    The best are the long, slow sips which require the re-reading of sentences. Haruki Murakami and David Guterson come to mind.
    The worst is fighting through a book with short sips because I really don’t like it and it doesn’t hold my attention.

  • Elizabeth

    Another wonderful podcast! I’m just curious–are there particular types of books that you read at certain times of the day? For instance, I have to read a novel before I go to bed…non-fiction keeps me up all night. Not that fiction is boring, it’s just, I guess, soothing? And I like to read essays in the morning to get my brain (sort of) working. Short stories and non-fiction in the afternoon. Anybody else have similar preferences?

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      I confess, sometimes I read business books before I go to bed, thinking that I’ll be able to just read a bit and then put it down (as opposed to a novel that I might get caught up in). But often, I find those books are actually better than I expected, and I still stay up too late!

  • Elizabeth

    Another wonderful podcast! I’m just curious–are there particular types of books that you read at certain times of the day? For instance, I have to read a novel before I go to bed…non-fiction keeps me up all night. Not that fiction is boring, it’s just, I guess, soothing? And I like to read essays in the morning to get my brain (sort of) working. Short stories and non-fiction in the afternoon. Anybody else have similar preferences?

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      I confess, sometimes I read business books before I go to bed, thinking that I’ll be able to just read a bit and then put it down (as opposed to a novel that I might get caught up in). But often, I find those books are actually better than I expected, and I still stay up too late!

  • http://age30books.blogspot.com Heather J.

    Just a quick note to anyone who is considering reading The Poisonwood Bible – if you are into audiobooks, the audio version of this one is EXCELLENT.

    Oh, and I’m definitely a sipper. I prefer to gulp, but my life usually only permits sipping and I take advantage of every available minute. :)

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Thanks, Heather! Hopefully you’ll join us for the online discussion!

  • http://age30books.blogspot.com Heather J.

    Just a quick note to anyone who is considering reading The Poisonwood Bible – if you are into audiobooks, the audio version of this one is EXCELLENT.

    Oh, and I’m definitely a sipper. I prefer to gulp, but my life usually only permits sipping and I take advantage of every available minute. :)

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Thanks, Heather! Hopefully you’ll join us for the online discussion!

  • Carla jo Thompson

    I posted this over on Good Reads, but thought I would share it here as well. I am a gulper! Throw away the cork and hand me a Tupperware tumbler! In all fairness though, all I do is audio, so I can read while doing just about anything, and I do mean anything. I love to be swept away by a great book. I tend to cook food that is in the book or makes me think of that region. We ate a lot of shrimp while I inhaled Beach Music by Pat Conroy. I get lost in the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon and after finishing Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, I want to try Ethiopian food. So, here’s a toast to the sippers of the world, I am just not one of them. Great pod cast. I can’t wait to find The Bells from the previous pod cast and Ape house from this one. I read Lucy written by Laurence Gonzales and loved it and now can’t wait for Ape House.
    Carla

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Carla, I had the same craving for Ethiopian food when reading Cutting For Stone, even though I’ve never had it and don’t know what the flavors are like!

  • Carla jo Thompson

    I posted this over on Good Reads, but thought I would share it here as well. I am a gulper! Throw away the cork and hand me a Tupperware tumbler! In all fairness though, all I do is audio, so I can read while doing just about anything, and I do mean anything. I love to be swept away by a great book. I tend to cook food that is in the book or makes me think of that region. We ate a lot of shrimp while I inhaled Beach Music by Pat Conroy. I get lost in the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon and after finishing Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, I want to try Ethiopian food. So, here’s a toast to the sippers of the world, I am just not one of them. Great pod cast. I can’t wait to find The Bells from the previous pod cast and Ape house from this one. I read Lucy written by Laurence Gonzales and loved it and now can’t wait for Ape House.
    Carla

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Carla, I had the same craving for Ethiopian food when reading Cutting For Stone, even though I’ve never had it and don’t know what the flavors are like!

  • Elaine

    Ann and Michael,

    In regards to books that you forgot to talk about:

    I am glad that you focus more on the “little” books. Books like “Mockingjay” and “Freedom” have been so hyped in the book news (like the verbal BJ Franzen got from the NY Times podcast), that it’s refreshing to hear about other books that we might otherwise have overlooked because they get less press.

    I, and I’m sure others who listen, appreciate that aspect of the podcast.

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Thanks, Elaine. We try to strike a balance but, like Michael said, sometimes certain books don’t *need* our help. Still, every once in a while I feel that some books are hyped for a reason, and we shouldn’t ignore them just because they are everywhere else. (In truth, though, these 2 probably would have gotten at least a mention, but it’s been a bit of a crazy month).

  • Elaine

    Ann and Michael,

    In regards to books that you forgot to talk about:

    I am glad that you focus more on the “little” books. Books like “Mockingjay” and “Freedom” have been so hyped in the book news (like the verbal BJ Franzen got from the NY Times podcast), that it’s refreshing to hear about other books that we might otherwise have overlooked because they get less press.

    I, and I’m sure others who listen, appreciate that aspect of the podcast.

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Thanks, Elaine. We try to strike a balance but, like Michael said, sometimes certain books don’t *need* our help. Still, every once in a while I feel that some books are hyped for a reason, and we shouldn’t ignore them just because they are everywhere else. (In truth, though, these 2 probably would have gotten at least a mention, but it’s been a bit of a crazy month).

  • http://bibliosue.blogspot.com Suzanne

    I am generally a gulper. I find I need a pocket of time to properly sink into a book, but depending on the book the pocket might only need to be 10-15 minutes; anything less than that and I usually have to re-read those passages.
    That said, I am reading Ulysses right now (about 3/4 through – yay me) and I can only sip that one, even though I’m reading it for an hour or so at a time.

    I picked up Middlesex from the library and am going to try to read it in time for the online book discussion on the 27th. I might join in on the one for the Poisonwood Bible as well — I read it a few years ago but it didn’t do much for me, though I might take Heather’s recommendation and check out the audio.

  • http://bibliosue.blogspot.com Suzanne

    I am generally a gulper. I find I need a pocket of time to properly sink into a book, but depending on the book the pocket might only need to be 10-15 minutes; anything less than that and I usually have to re-read those passages.
    That said, I am reading Ulysses right now (about 3/4 through – yay me) and I can only sip that one, even though I’m reading it for an hour or so at a time.

    I picked up Middlesex from the library and am going to try to read it in time for the online book discussion on the 27th. I might join in on the one for the Poisonwood Bible as well — I read it a few years ago but it didn’t do much for me, though I might take Heather’s recommendation and check out the audio.

  • Martha

    Unfortunately given the time demands of daily life, I end up sipping … reading for whatever few minutes I can find. For the last few years, though, the summer camp I went to as a child has offered a week for adults that is very unstructured … you can do whatever you want and they feed you and give you a cabin to sleep in. So I go with a stack of books and read from about 6am to 11pm every day and only surface for meals. It’s a rare chance to simply read books that might have been on my TBR pile for a while … all from a screen porch next to a lake in the Maine woods.

    By the way, I was surprised at the choices for your summer reading. I tried The Poisonwood Bible twice and just couldn’t get interested. I read Middlesex all the way through but disliked it with every fiber of my being. I’m kind of curious to hear your comments … maybe you’ll convince me to give them another chance!

    • Callie

      This camp sounds amazing. I would do this in a heartbeat!

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      OK, I must know … *where* in the Maine woods? It sounds heavenly!

      • Callie

        I didn’t even see that it was in Maine- it just got upgraded to something beyond amazing that I would do in half a heartbeat.

  • Martha

    Unfortunately given the time demands of daily life, I end up sipping … reading for whatever few minutes I can find. For the last few years, though, the summer camp I went to as a child has offered a week for adults that is very unstructured … you can do whatever you want and they feed you and give you a cabin to sleep in. So I go with a stack of books and read from about 6am to 11pm every day and only surface for meals. It’s a rare chance to simply read books that might have been on my TBR pile for a while … all from a screen porch next to a lake in the Maine woods.

    By the way, I was surprised at the choices for your summer reading. I tried The Poisonwood Bible twice and just couldn’t get interested. I read Middlesex all the way through but disliked it with every fiber of my being. I’m kind of curious to hear your comments … maybe you’ll convince me to give them another chance!

    • Callie

      This camp sounds amazing. I would do this in a heartbeat!

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      OK, I must know … *where* in the Maine woods? It sounds heavenly!

      • Callie

        I didn’t even see that it was in Maine- it just got upgraded to something beyond amazing that I would do in half a heartbeat.

  • http://www.columibactlibrary.org/adult.htm CarolK

    In this segment Ann apologized for not mentioning 2 blockbusters hitting the streets, Please don’t! Most of the time we’ll hear about these books. I want to hear about the books I might have missed, the gems that get overshadowed by the bestsellers. If BOTNS truly can’t wait for us to read books like Mockingjay and Freedom that’s fair and I appreciate the heads up. Perhaps you could add 1 book “we want you to know about” to highlight those debuts and those receiving less press on a more regular basis. In your jobs and links to bloggers, booksellers, publishers and followers of this podcast, I’m certain you come across many books that are undiscovered treasures.

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Thanks, Carol :)

  • http://www.columibactlibrary.org/adult.htm CarolK

    In this segment Ann apologized for not mentioning 2 blockbusters hitting the streets, Please don’t! Most of the time we’ll hear about these books. I want to hear about the books I might have missed, the gems that get overshadowed by the bestsellers. If BOTNS truly can’t wait for us to read books like Mockingjay and Freedom that’s fair and I appreciate the heads up. Perhaps you could add 1 book “we want you to know about” to highlight those debuts and those receiving less press on a more regular basis. In your jobs and links to bloggers, booksellers, publishers and followers of this podcast, I’m certain you come across many books that are undiscovered treasures.

    • http://www.booksonthenightstand.com Ann Kingman

      Thanks, Carol :)

  • http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.com/ Melissa W.

    It depends on the book and the moment. Sometimes I sip and sometimes I gulp and that sometimes happen within reading the same book. But it largely has to do with how I feel at the time and how I much I am enjoying the book. If a book grips me, I can usually read a good chunk of the book in a short period of time, but if I get into a section that seems to drag, I will tend to read it in short sips. And if I am really tired and/or really can’t concentrate, I will tend to read in sips, but if I am fully awake and aware, I will likely read in gulps and still savour the book. It also doesn’t help if I have to get off at a certain spot on a bus route; I am usually trying to make sure that I haven’t missed my bus stop.

  • http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.com/ Melissa W.

    It depends on the book and the moment. Sometimes I sip and sometimes I gulp and that sometimes happen within reading the same book. But it largely has to do with how I feel at the time and how I much I am enjoying the book. If a book grips me, I can usually read a good chunk of the book in a short period of time, but if I get into a section that seems to drag, I will tend to read it in short sips. And if I am really tired and/or really can’t concentrate, I will tend to read in sips, but if I am fully awake and aware, I will likely read in gulps and still savour the book. It also doesn’t help if I have to get off at a certain spot on a bus route; I am usually trying to make sure that I haven’t missed my bus stop.

  • http://thewrittenwordendures.blogspot.com/ Vanessa Deniston (Boston, MA)

    Ann and Michael,

    Great podcast! I wanted to comment on the sip or gulp segment. I think whether I “sip” or “gulp” a book is very much dependent on the length of the book, the author’s style and complexity of the story line. Finishing a book always feels like a great accomplishment — whether long or short — because it means I have made a small dent in the mounting piles of books in my tiny apartment. While I can get very wrapped up in stories, characters and lasting messages from a book, there is always a little voice in my head egging me on to pick next one I’ve heard so much about. So, I try to keep up a good pace. If I decide to commit to a long read, I have to read it in large gulps or else I feel discouraged at how long it is taking me to finish and the fact that it is most certainly taking away time from other potential gems I could be discovering.

    For instance, I just completed “Enduring Love” by Ian McEwan — as per you’re recommendation — and loved it! This was a “sip” book for me. Mostly because, the plot line is fairly simple, it moves at a good pace and it’s not too terribly long. I certainly found myself speeding through certain areas because Jed Perry was such a strange and creepy character, I just had to know more about his psychosis. Nevertheless, I can read this at a slower pace because I know I am approaching it’s end within a few weeks and I can be on to the next book on the stack.

    The Passage, however, that I’ve been listening to over audio with my boyfriend demands constant attention. We have to listen at least an hour or two a night to feel like we’re making any sort of dent. The plot jumps around a lot, there are are many different characters and story lines to keep track of, and the size of the book itself is just daunting! Although we are greatly enjoying it — pausing it in certain areas to share theories and predictions — I think we will breathe a sigh of relief when we finally reach the end. Although I’ve heard, much to my chagrin, that the ending is a cliff hanger and the sequel doesn’t come out for another two years…. but at our rate, that should be perfect timing!

    Anyways, I hope that explanation wasn’t too convoluted. In short, it really depends, but I can enjoy a book either way! Can’t wait for next week! Thanks so much guys!

  • http://thewrittenwordendures.blogspot.com/ Vanessa Deniston (Boston, MA)

    Ann and Michael,

    Great podcast! I wanted to comment on the sip or gulp segment. I think whether I “sip” or “gulp” a book is very much dependent on the length of the book, the author’s style and complexity of the story line. Finishing a book always feels like a great accomplishment — whether long or short — because it means I have made a small dent in the mounting piles of books in my tiny apartment. While I can get very wrapped up in stories, characters and lasting messages from a book, there is always a little voice in my head egging me on to pick next one I’ve heard so much about. So, I try to keep up a good pace. If I decide to commit to a long read, I have to read it in large gulps or else I feel discouraged at how long it is taking me to finish and the fact that it is most certainly taking away time from other potential gems I could be discovering.

    For instance, I just completed “Enduring Love” by Ian McEwan — as per you’re recommendation — and loved it! This was a “sip” book for me. Mostly because, the plot line is fairly simple, it moves at a good pace and it’s not too terribly long. I certainly found myself speeding through certain areas because Jed Perry was such a strange and creepy character, I just had to know more about his psychosis. Nevertheless, I can read this at a slower pace because I know I am approaching it’s end within a few weeks and I can be on to the next book on the stack.

    The Passage, however, that I’ve been listening to over audio with my boyfriend demands constant attention. We have to listen at least an hour or two a night to feel like we’re making any sort of dent. The plot jumps around a lot, there are are many different characters and story lines to keep track of, and the size of the book itself is just daunting! Although we are greatly enjoying it — pausing it in certain areas to share theories and predictions — I think we will breathe a sigh of relief when we finally reach the end. Although I’ve heard, much to my chagrin, that the ending is a cliff hanger and the sequel doesn’t come out for another two years…. but at our rate, that should be perfect timing!

    Anyways, I hope that explanation wasn’t too convoluted. In short, it really depends, but I can enjoy a book either way! Can’t wait for next week! Thanks so much guys!

  • http://silentsgirl.wordpress.com/ Graceann Macleod

    I gulp and sip, depending on what’s going on in my life and how much time I have to read. I choose light titles when I’m traveling, not only so that I can dip in and out of them, but so that I won’t feel guilty leaving them in whatever hotel room I’m in when I finish them. More intricate works get read at home so that I can savor them.

    As to books that I wanted to both gulp AND sip, my major shout goes to The Grapes of Wrath. The language is so heartbreakingly beautiful that I want to rest in the pages, but the story is so compelling that I can’t help but keep turning them. I actually grieved the upcoming end of the book, but couldn’t stop reading.

  • http://silentsgirl.wordpress.com/ Graceann Macleod

    I gulp and sip, depending on what’s going on in my life and how much time I have to read. I choose light titles when I’m traveling, not only so that I can dip in and out of them, but so that I won’t feel guilty leaving them in whatever hotel room I’m in when I finish them. More intricate works get read at home so that I can savor them.

    As to books that I wanted to both gulp AND sip, my major shout goes to The Grapes of Wrath. The language is so heartbreakingly beautiful that I want to rest in the pages, but the story is so compelling that I can’t help but keep turning them. I actually grieved the upcoming end of the book, but couldn’t stop reading.

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  • Jana

    I feel like I just gulped all of the podcasts iTunes allowed me to download. I love you guys!

    I, like many here, am forced into “sippage” because of a busy schedule. I love a rainy weekend or a long flight when long stretches of reading can occur. Also, I really try to have an hour uninterrupted when I begin a book.

    Oh… And Poisonwood Bible and Middlemarch are both on my favorite books shelf. I look forward to your upcoming discussion!

  • Jana

    I feel like I just gulped all of the podcasts iTunes allowed me to download. I love you guys!

    I, like many here, am forced into “sippage” because of a busy schedule. I love a rainy weekend or a long flight when long stretches of reading can occur. Also, I really try to have an hour uninterrupted when I begin a book.

    Oh… And Poisonwood Bible and Middlemarch are both on my favorite books shelf. I look forward to your upcoming discussion!

  • http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.com/ Melissa W.

    A little over 3 years ago, I missed a particular Greyhound bus to the town that I was working and was forced to take a later bus. But what happened was that I was able to read for most of the 3 hour bus ride and got about half way through the book. Usually during a Greyhound bus ride, I would read for about an hour and then end up looking outside at the passing scenery, even though I had seen the same scenery for a few months at that point. What I find is important to me if I am going to read large chunks of a book anyway, is the noise level in the place. As somebody who has a sensitivity to sound (I have Asperger’s Syndrome), I find it hard to concentrate on a book when there is a lot of sound around me (I even find listening to podcasts a bit distracting while reading a book, as I am trying to focus both on the podcast and what I am reading; sometimes it is easier to concentrate on both) and therefore find myself mostly reading at my bus stops, as I wait for my bus to arrive. And yes, I have read while walking, but since I find even texting hard while walking, I haven’t tried reading in quite sometime.

  • http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.com/ Melissa W.

    A little over 3 years ago, I missed a particular Greyhound bus to the town that I was working and was forced to take a later bus. But what happened was that I was able to read for most of the 3 hour bus ride and got about half way through the book. Usually during a Greyhound bus ride, I would read for about an hour and then end up looking outside at the passing scenery, even though I had seen the same scenery for a few months at that point. What I find is important to me if I am going to read large chunks of a book anyway, is the noise level in the place. As somebody who has a sensitivity to sound (I have Asperger’s Syndrome), I find it hard to concentrate on a book when there is a lot of sound around me (I even find listening to podcasts a bit distracting while reading a book, as I am trying to focus both on the podcast and what I am reading; sometimes it is easier to concentrate on both) and therefore find myself mostly reading at my bus stops, as I wait for my bus to arrive. And yes, I have read while walking, but since I find even texting hard while walking, I haven’t tried reading in quite sometime.

  • http://www.aaronsbooksonline.com Sam

    Hearing Ann talk about the books she gulps vs. sips made a little bell go off in my head (ding, ding, ding). I’m a huge cozy mystery fan, and also prefer lighter fiar lit fiction (good southern happy ending stories), and hearing Ann say that the books she sips tend to be those plot driven, rahter than the deeper books. I think this is WHY I like those types of books- I rarely have more than 5-10 minutes to sit down with a book. I pull a lot of the more “literary fiction” books off the shelf (or out of the ARC box) to read, but rarely ever get past 10 pages. I would like to read “deeper” books, but those DO need to be gulped, rather than sipped. When I do get a day to myself without a to-do list yelling at me, I do like to read the more “literary” books; and that must be why- I FINALLY have the time to digest it better than sipping 5 minutes at a time.

    Thanks Ann & Michael!

    Sam @ Aaron’s Books

  • http://www.aaronsbooksonline.com Sam

    Hearing Ann talk about the books she gulps vs. sips made a little bell go off in my head (ding, ding, ding). I’m a huge cozy mystery fan, and also prefer lighter fiar lit fiction (good southern happy ending stories), and hearing Ann say that the books she sips tend to be those plot driven, rahter than the deeper books. I think this is WHY I like those types of books- I rarely have more than 5-10 minutes to sit down with a book. I pull a lot of the more “literary fiction” books off the shelf (or out of the ARC box) to read, but rarely ever get past 10 pages. I would like to read “deeper” books, but those DO need to be gulped, rather than sipped. When I do get a day to myself without a to-do list yelling at me, I do like to read the more “literary” books; and that must be why- I FINALLY have the time to digest it better than sipping 5 minutes at a time.

    Thanks Ann & Michael!

    Sam @ Aaron’s Books

  • Troy

    Sip or Gulp?
    As a father of 4, reading is truly a challenge at times. I love to Gulp when I get the chance, but I tend to be more like Michael and SIP if that is all I can get. I would rather read a little at time then go through feast and famine times.

    I just want to say thanks for another great podcast.

  • Troy

    Sip or Gulp?
    As a father of 4, reading is truly a challenge at times. I love to Gulp when I get the chance, but I tend to be more like Michael and SIP if that is all I can get. I would rather read a little at time then go through feast and famine times.

    I just want to say thanks for another great podcast.

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