polymath wrote:LIke a writer? How does a writer read differently than an editor, a reviewer, a critic, a publicist, a screening reader, a literary interpreter, an arbiter of moral sensibility, a general consumer reader?
polymath wrote:Do you note how a novel's plot moves or stalls, how your emotions are influenced by the novel while you read? Do you note language as you read? Do you read for technique?
polymath wrote:Do you read with a dictionary at hand and look up words? Words you don't know, words you think you understand but the context doesn't seem the same? How about a style manual or English usage dictionary? For that matter, how about looking up foreign language words?
polymath wrote:Do you contemplate the underlying meaning of names, place names, places, personas, things, motifs?
polymath wrote:How closely do you read? Word by word or do you skip parts, skim descriptions, jump around, read endings first, scan chapter openings, transitiions, middles, go back and reread particularly poignant parts? Do you recast sentences as you go along? Do you wonder why a word, phrase, paragraph, scene, or chapter is in the position it is and what if the structure were rearranged?
polymath wrote:Do you contemplate what a novel's about after reading? What's the theme, what's the message, did it deliver on its opening promises? Did it reach and not quite fulfill its full potential? Did it fall off at the ending and not quite wrap up. Does it start slow and not quite rise? Is it flat in the middle, episodical, incredulous but not quite so unbelievable it passes along satisfactorily? Do you go back and reread for clearer understanding?
polymath wrote:Do you mark places to go back to with book marks, pen or pencil marks, highlighting, dog ear pages, use stickys for marking?
polymath wrote:Do you note missing words, stray punctuation, misspellings, discretionary styles, special formatting choices, the design of the layout?
polymath wrote:Do you calculate prior to beginning reading how long a narrative is so you can read in one sitting or just jump in and see how it goes, pausing for interruptions and daily living needs, sleeping, eating, working, etc.
polymath wrote:Do you read through even though a novel isn't as engaging as you prefer? Do you read novels that are critically acclaimed, popularly acclaimed, or both? Do you read in a category genre? Do you read an author's body of work and compare and contrast how they've emerged? Do you seek out earlier works or just go with what's current? Do you read literary reviews, critical reviews, promotional reviews? Do you read author biographies? How about research historical periods representing the settings and culture of the time period a novel falls in, the time period the author wrote in, and the time period and culture it was published?
polymath wrote:Though it may seem as if it's a lot to do and still enjoy a novel, I do. I consume a novel in all its parts and parcels. I do most of the above, except marring a book. No dog ears or pen or pencil or marker marking. I erase pencil marks in library books I read. Books are sacred.
“How about research historical periods representing the settings and culture of the time period a novel falls in, the time period the author wrote in, and the time period and culture it was published?”
Watcher55 wrote:I’m dancing around the edges of doing that with A TALE OF TWO CITIES, but that would be a major project by itself, so it’s on the “bucket list”. It caught my attention when I realized it’s historical fiction set in the 18th Century and written in the 19th - AND (correct me if I'm wrong), it's a commentary on both.
polymath wrote:Do you read taking into account the era in which a novel is read, when it was published, how later on eras approach a novel, how contemporary readers approach a novel from times past? Cultures change, values and mores change, reader expectations change. How many novels fit their times and don't anymore, yet document a time's values we cannot easily understand or accept today? Ethnicism, sexism, ageism, politics, culture, society, technology, idioms, humor, drama, and so on.
polymath wrote:Sommer Leigh, you have my express permission to mark to your heart's content. Some of the books in my collection are marked up like reused textbooks, many are textbooks. Fascinating commentary at least. One of my rare books has pencil markings on the endplates where the first owner practiced penmanship, signature after signature varying from timid to confident. Interesting. The marked textbooks have personal insights about the scrawler's understanding of the narrative and good at least for clues to the subject professor's slant, if not the students who marked them.
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