It was so fantastic reading the responses about the ways in which you guys read. (Consensus: The New Yorker is an albatross!) Lots of commonalities emerged, complemented by great individual tics. I now know that Justine Larbalestier can’t read while walking, for instance. That for Beverly Jackson, reading is always a forbidden pleasure (I’m jealous). That Louise Anonymous absolutely checks out bookshelves and comments on them, but draws the line at medicine cabinets. That Ben Peek can’t read on transport. That Jonathan Strahan reads lots of magazines, but the only nonfiction mags he reads are about music. Holly Black mostly reads what she starts, and does nothing else until she finishes the book in question. Cecil Castellucci likes books written in her code (her wonderful Boy Proof was written in mine). And so, so many more wonderful readerly secrets. (Though I already knew that Christopher reads over your shoulder.)
Since we’re still a few days away from the first Read This! announcement when we can start really talking about books, I’m going to stick with reading and sneak in books sideways.
Yesterday I had a nasty little bug of some kind and mostly stayed in bed all day reading the utterly delicious Breath and Bones by Susann Cokal. It was the perfect thing for the day: less miserable with the Roman shades half-open behind me, having stolen C’s pillows, and with a hefty book propped in my lap. Breath and Bones is set in the late 1880s. I reached the part of the book where the Danish heroine Famke has taken up with Mormons to get a passage to America, where she might track down the artist who loved her and left her (after rendering her in a giant painting as Nimue). Famke’s misery at the heat and dust of Utah and at being one of three wives of her new husband (the man who gave her passage) was the perfect tonic.
The topic of sickbed books has been done to death, so let’s broaden this discussion to include your most recent memorable experience of the act of reading (or just a memorable one, it doesn’t have to be recent) – what you were reading, when, why it was perfect at that particular time. Yes, yes, I’m so looking for recommendations with this too.