Fat books, slow reading

February 7, 2013

Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune editorial page commentator, offered his personal take on reading in today’s column. The joys of tackling a “fat book” far outweigh [groan] the disadvantages of toting around a large tome. Says Chapman, “One- or two-pound books spare me, for a while, the most painful part ofman-reading-in-library-w350x232 my reading regimen: indecision. When I reach the end, I’m tormented by all the options before me: Fiction or history? Biography or memoir? Contemporary or 19th-century? American or British? I can’t sleep soundly till I decide how to spend the coming weeks or months.”

I can relate to this. In addition to agonizing over what to read next, I’ve always felt that starting a new book was a little like walking into a cocktail party in full swing filled with strangers who all seemed to know each other already. Will I find someone to talk to? Will I like the “vibe”? Will I ever be able to relax? Being immersed in a long book is such a cozy, comfy pursuit. Every time I open to where I left off it’s like meeting my good friends. I suppose that explains part of the appeal of long sagas and multi-volume series (thank you J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin!)

Barbara L.

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