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Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Discussion: Do You Read a Book Differently Depending On What You Read Before It?

[Ed's Note: Sorry for the delay. I had a meeting that took up most of my day.]

Today's Monday Discussion is to satisfy my own curiosity.

Over the weekend I finished Joe Hill's awesomely creepy, anxiety producing new horror opus, NOS4A2.  I loved every pulse quickening moment of it. A review will come very soon.

Without much thought, I went right into the YA title Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, another book I have been dying to read.  While my brain knew that Eleanor and Park was a realistic teen story set in 1986, my emotions were still in the world of NOS4A2.  As a result. for the first 100 pages of the teen title, I was waiting for a villain to kidnap Eleanor or Park, I was figuratively peering around the corner looking for evil lurking in the shadows, and I was still completely unsettled.  This is crazy because while Eleanor and Park is framed around their reading of Romeo and Juliet in school (so you know things will not end well here), there is no chance for a supernatural evil to kill them.

I literally had to put the teen book down and give myself some emotional space for a bit.

Now I am all good, but it did make me think about how a book may read differently depending on what you read immediately before it, especially with those of us who read so many books right in a row.  I even went back at looked at some of my reviews to see if this has happened before, and I realized that when I reviewed Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 I noted, in the readalike section, how its proximity to my reading of Stephen King's 11/22/63 made me think of the two as readalikes.

So I guess this happens more than I think. At least for me.

So that leads to today's Monday Discussion.  Does this ever happen to you? Do you read a book differently depending on what you read before it?

For past Monday Discussions click here.


Anonymous said...

Mike BPL REF I don't think I read a book differently then what I have read before it, but I know I definitely try to choose a different type of book then what I have just read. For example, I just finished reading the third and final volume of a biography of
Winston Churchill. It was over 1,000 pages long so I knew I wouldn't enjoy reading right after it a biography, a book on WWII or anything that long, so my next choice of book is always influenced by what I just read only in the sense of the genre.

John, Librarian At Dawn said...

Yes, I particularly read books differently if I'm reading multiple books at the same time! I, too, read a lot of history but I also read a lot of horror. It is amazing how often they are similar due to history being so violent. Ha!

Halle said...

Yes! This happens to me all the time. I've noticed that I always suggest Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes to people who liked Gone Girl, but wonder if it's because I read them back to back.

I try to switch up genres with each book I read for fear that if I read the same type of books, some will pale in comparison to others, but if I had read them at another time, I'd have enjoyed them a lot. However, sometimes this can backfire, as I'm still in the mindset of the previous book when starting the next one, as you mentioned. I guess there is no perfect answer!