We were recently at the lake and I was in the middle of Ian McEwan’s Atonement and I decided that it really was not lake appropriate reading and…I abandoned it.
Temporarily. I had every intention of getting back to it even though I wasn’t totally feeling it.
So now I’m reading two books at once. This is not something that I ever do. But in this case, if I hadn’t gone back to Atonement now, I would never be able to cross it off my list. And I live to cross books off my TBR list.
I never read two books at once because I find that my focus can’t be on two stories at one time. Obviously I am not reading one page of Atonement and then one page of Valley of the Dolls and so forth (that would be insane) but it does take me a minute to catch myself back up to where I left off every time.
I don’t think I like reading two books at once.
In this particular case, I don’t have a real love for Atonement (I’m at the part where Robbie is in France – does it get better? I despise Briony) but I’m really loving Valley of the Dolls (what is with my smut reading lately?) so I find that I have to force myself to read Atonement before bed. When I finally do start reading it, it takes me a minute to realize I’m not in New York in 1946 following the ascent of Anne, Neely and Jennifer. That I’m actually following Robbie Turner in France during the war as he tries to pick up the pieces of his shattered life.
Damn that nosy, superior little Briony.
Full disclosure: I totally watched the movie before I read the book. I don’t recall loving Briony on screen either, but of course that is the point. There is just something more personal about reading a book with a character that you dislike. You spend more time with them. You are more involved. And if Briony was my sister, I probably would have ended her life.*
I suspect that having watched the movie first has coloured my reading experience. I try really hard never to read the book after the fact. You always compare. It’s one thing to be smug about how the movie just doesn’t live up to the book but it’s quite another to be the one that can’t enjoy the book because the movie was great.
What do you think? Do you ever read two books at once? Does this elevate or bring down your reading experience? Is it because I watched the movie first?
*Please note, no sisters were harmed in the reading of this book.