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Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Discussion: What Do You Do After You Finish a Great Book?

The Passage: A NovelThis month saw the paperback releases of my two absolute favorite books from 2010, The Passage by Justin Cronin and The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall.  Seeing the press coverage for these awesome novels' paperback releases made me pine for the days last summer when I was totally entranced by these titles.

The Lonely Polygamist: A NovelI loved every minute of reading these books.  I ignored chores and work at times in order to sneak in a few more pages.  But to date this year, I have yet to repeat that pure joy in a novel.

I also remembered back to the moment when I finished each of these novels.  I enjoyed them so much, I was almost afraid to start something else.  I wanted to treasure how perfect I though each was.  I was afraid nothing I read next would compare.  And that is exactly what did happen.  After reading these two books closely together, I then read The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell and really didn't like it, when in theory, I probably would have liked it quite a bit more if it hadn't followed Cronin and Udall.

So when I finish a book I loved, I try to take a break from books I think I will like, and instead try to read a few genre titles to fill in gaps in my reading for work or concentrate on the next book discussion book, since I am not reading those for pleasure, but for work.

What about you?  For today's Monday Discussion, what do you do after you finish a great book?  Do you dive right into something else, or like me, do you take a breather to savor the perfection of what you just experienced?  Or something else?  Let me know.

Next week the Monday Discussion will be on vacation for Memorial Day.  It will return on June 6th.

Click here for the Monday Discussion Archive.


betty said...

I think I have to say -- it depends. There are times I'm so done after finishing a great book that I don't want to read anything else right away. Then I'll watch a movie. Other times, I'll try to pick up something completely different for a change of pace.

It really doesn't matter, though, because I'm usually reading three books at one time anyway.

John said...

If it's the first in a series I immediately try to get the next volume! Otherwise, I usually take some time and re-read it and maybe even get my own copy if it really is that great.

Kimberly said...

Like Becky, I want the pleasure of a truly great read to linger and find that if I go right on to the next book, it just doesn't get the enthusiasm it might deserve. As a primarily fiction reader, I find that this is the time to switch to a non-fiction book, and if I can't find one to suit my needs, I find that I finally try to catch up on all that professional reading - Library Journal, Kirkus, PW, Booklist, American Libraries, RUSQ, and heaven knows what else is stacked on the coffee table. . .

Jackie, BPL Youth Servies said...

Whether good or bad, great or horrible, I almost always start a new book immediately after finishing one. That's the only way I can keep up with my goal of reading 'a-book-a-day' since graduating from Dominican. Sometimes it works...sometimes it doesn't. :-)

Anonymous said...


Whether or not I have finished a great book, I always
try to move on to my next read fairly quickly. If the great book
is a long epic, then I will need a
little time to digest it and reflect but mainly because I can never be without a book, my desire to have the next one on hand takes precedence over reflecting s great deal on what I have just read.

If it is "great", the book will have already made a lasting impression and I will be thinking of it from time to time.

Laurie C said...

I know what you mean about allowing some breathing room between books, so I usually don't dive into a similar book right after finishing one I really thought was great (*cough* The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss *cough*). I'll usually pick something from a different genre.
I also need time to catch up on the chores left undone while finishing those really engrossing books before getting involved with a new one.