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Friday, August 17, 2007

Booking Through Thursday



One book at a time? Or more than one? If more, are they different types/genres? Or similar?

(We’re talking recreational reading, here—books for work or school don’t really count since they’re not optional.)

I've been skipping BTT lately, but have enjoyed reading the responses to this one on other blogs.

I can start any number of books and read a few pages or half-way through before finding the one book that must go from beginning to end. As soon as I find that one, the others must wait. I never seem to have a problem with confusion or remembering, which is odd because I can remember so little of what goes on in real life.

The exception is nonfiction which I almost always interrupt with fiction no matter how good the nonfiction is. I will get through several mysteries/fantasy/pure entertainment while reading the same nonfiction book. I'm still reading Flannery O'Connor's letters.

Still not reading Puccini's Ghosts, I start to pick it up, then leave it. Have read a little more in M. Victorine.

Started An Ocean of Air: Why the Wind Blows and Other Mysteries of the Atmosphere by Gabrielle Walker, another nonfiction book from Anna at FSB Associates. I love that so many science writers are appealing to the general public with books written to intrigue as well as explain.

Names like Galileo, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Joseph Priestly, Lavoisier, and Joseph Black become more than names in a textbook; in this book, they become rebels, deceivers, martyrs, curious and eccentric seekers of answers to questions it would never dawn on me to ask.

Rebel and deceiver, Galileo forced to recant and to promise "that in the future I will never again say or assert, verbally or in writing, anything that might furnish occasion for a similar suspicion regarding me," is said to have muttered as he got off his knees, "Eppur si muove!" ("And yet it moves!"). And even as he recanted, he had every intention of returning to his experiments with air and discovering whether or not air had weight. He did, it does, and Galileo completed his manuscript (under the nose of the inquisition), and had it published in the Netherlands.

I'm loving this book. Who would have thought I'd become almost as immersed in the scientific history of air as in fiction or biography? I notice, of course, that I'm most fascinated with the people and the human side, but the science is fascinating, too. Gabrielle Walker has me reading from scientist to scientist, with almost the same eagerness that one usually moves from chapter to chapter in fiction. You'll be hearing more about these guys, but this post is already too long!


  1. I like to have 2 or 3 books going on but they can't be in the same genre. Especially mysteries because I'm liable to start mixing up the clues! :)

  2. Ah, similiar problem. I sometimes think I suffer from some sort of Attention Deficit Disorder - where I am always distracted by other books.

    And I am a philanderer when it comes to books. I flirt with several different genres and enjoy juggling several books at the same time.

    *tsk tsk*

  3. I rarely read more than one book at a time, but if I did, I think I would be in your situation, starting books until I found that "right" one and then sticking with it to the end.

  4. iliana -- Strangely, mysteries are usually those I fly through without wanting anything else!

    Orpheus -- Love the idea of a book "philanderer," I do a good bit of that kind of flirting, too.

    L.F. -- :) Sometimes you are just not in the mood for a certain kind of book and must keep looking for that "right" one!

  5. Immediately adding An Ocean of Air to my list because it sounds fascinating. I usually have 2-3 books going - a nonfiction, a fiction, and a book on iPod in the car. If I read anything similar I get stories totally mixed up.

  6. booklogged -- It is fascinating! I'm really enjoying it and learning a lot, too.

  7. Jenclair, I have tried so much but I can't seem to read more than a book at a time, it takes the enjoyment out of the read for me.

  8. Lotus -- Well, I usually only begin several books at once, then choose one to finish. As you say, it can take the enjoyment out of it to have several nonfiction going at once, and as soon as I find one I can't put down...I read until the last page. I can, however, switch back and forth between nonfiction and fiction without loss of pleasure.