Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Monday
Mar192001

reading modes



A quiet weekend (yay!).

I did a lot of reading, finished off Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. LOVED this book. It's roughly based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale of The Wild Swans. I'm eagerly awaiting the next two books in the trilogy.

There's something enormously satisfying about reading a completely engrossing book for hours (ideally in one sitting). I'm not sure what other reading experiences are like, but I have different reading modes:

  • Info-gathering: When I'm reading a book purely for reference information, I tend to scan pretty quickly, skipping to bits that are directly relevant to what I'm looking for.

  • "Popcorn" novels/beach reads: These are paperbacks I get to read for distraction and that don't need a lot of focus, perfect for reading on the airplane or on the subway (and in the bathtub!). I tend to read these pretty quickly.

  • Average reads: These are books that I enjoy all right, but are not totally engrossing, so I'm easily distracted. These take me a loooooooong time to read because I tend to read them in bits and starts.

  • "I'd like to own this in hardcover" books: I always hope to find this type of story. It's the kind you can't bear to put down, where you can lose yourself for hours without noticing the time (sometimes burning dinner or missing appointments as a result), stories so well-written and engaging that you actually begin to slow down near the end of the book because you know that it might be a long time before you can find a book that you enjoy as much for the first time.



    Jeff and I went for brunch with Parki yesterday morning, hung out at his place afterward. I fell asleep again in the armchair (did I tell you that Parki owns the most comfortable armchair in the entire world?) while Parki and Jeff talked. I don't usually get that attached to furniture.

    Jeff wasn't feeling well, so stayed home while I went to my sister's for dinner. To all parents: do your young children ever come out with bizarre questions or observations completely without warning? Annie tends to do that a lot. In the middle of the evening, she suddenly announced excitedly, "HEY! My heart is beating!" She went to each of us so we could put our hand on her small chest to prove it. And you know what? Suddenly the fact that Annie's heart was beating DID seem pretty exciting to me. As I felt her chest's rapid "bappity-bap bappity-bap" (she had been running around the circuit of the house with Sara), I thought about the fact that five years ago, she didn't exist. Then she was just a lump in Ruth's stomach, and then I saw her actually being born. And here she was, grinning up at me proudly, holding my hand to her chest so I could feel her heart beating.

    Keeps me from getting too jaded about life, it does. :-)





    Today's Blatherpic:
    My friend Bryan Fullerton celebrated his birthday the Friday of Consonance weekend. Because I was in California, I wasn't able to attend, but sent my present along with Jeff to give to Bryan. My gift was a stuffed gorilla wearing white shorts covered with red lipstick marks, and some chocolate. I put these items in a wonderfully garish Teletubby gift bag which Bryan had to carry home. >:-)
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