Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Polygamist? Who Me?

Today I'm stealing ideas from the Read Street blog over in Baltimore. They reported on this Publisher's Weekly article about the type of reader relationships you have.

Alison Morris says she's identified these three types of polygamist readers:

1. The Whimsical Polygamist: you dip in and out of multiple books at once -- whichever strikes your fancy or fits your whim anytime, anyplace.
2. The Placebound Polygamist: you read multiple books simultaneously but each in its own locale -- say, you've always got one book you're reading at home, one you reserve for your workplace lunch break, and another that's the sole domain of your subway ride.
3. The Noncompetitive Polygamist: at any one time you are reading one fiction book and one non-fiction book, or some similar combination of multiple books that does not involve reading two books of the same type at the same time.

I guess if we're being technical I have to admit to being a polygamist, BUT...at the same time, I could say I'm a monogamous READER and a polygamist LISTENER (which is essentially what Morris says she is). I typically will only ever have one book that I'm reading at a given time. But when you throw audio books into the mix, I always have one in my car and then usually I am also listening to one either on my stereo, on my mp3 player or both. The exception to this is, like Dave Rosenthal over at Read Street, I had to read multiple books while I was in college. I usually didn't take more than two lit classes in any one semester, but it still amounted to a lot of reading.

All in all, I like to really digest my books. I'm often conversing with the characters in my head when I'm not in the midst of the book, so it would start to be too confusing if I had too many characters floating around at the same time. And I wouldn't be able to put as much thought into what was going on, how the characters were developing and how everything connected. As Trish over at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? has recently pointed out, it's the introvert in me.

Plus, I'm a slow reader. I have the endurance, but golly am I slow. So if I had two books going at the same time, it would seem like forever for me to accomplish anything reading. You'd be waiting a month for ONE review!

So what about you? What kind of reading relationships do YOU have?


Kaye Barley January 27, 2009 at 7:23 PM  

Hi Jen!!

Monogamy is my name.

I would love to be able to dip into several books at once, but it just doesn't work for me (I like your introvert theory in this regard, by the way!). When I have attempted this, I've ended up with characters hopping from one book storyline to another, and have a kind of Jasper Fforde thing happening in my head. Only not with the controlled chaos - just pure chaos with no boundaries. Not a good thing.

Debbie January 27, 2009 at 7:42 PM  

If you are a slow reader...than what am I? a slug?
I used to think I was a fast reader, until I met the blogging world.
BTW, the Tale of Desperaux was good. Have you read it with your neice yet?

Corey Wilde January 28, 2009 at 6:30 PM  

I think I must be a polygamous polygamist, I do all of those things at one time or another. Except polygamy refers only to marriage, doesn't it? We need a new word for reading more than one book at a time. Polybiblious or something.

trish January 28, 2009 at 7:47 PM  

I prefer only reading one book at a time, but sometimes I'll pick up a second book if the first book is slow. It motivates me to finish the first book. :-)

le0pard13 January 29, 2009 at 4:04 PM  

Most of the time, I'm a one-at-a-time person. But, I sometimes stray with non-fiction on the side...I hope my wife's not reading this :-0

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