6 February 2011

Weekly Geeks - 5 : Blurry Book Disorder

This week's Weekly Geeks task asks
  • how we avoid BBD.: B.B.D. (Blurry Book Disorder) : When one can no longer keep characters and storylines straight. Often brought on by reading multiple books from the same genre in a short period of time.
  • and secondly how we avoid reading ruts.
First of all I must say that I am never really conscious of being in a reading rut, despite my tunnell-visioned devotion to the crime fiction genre. Perhaps from another's point of view it looks like a reading rut, but I find that there is so much variety within crime fiction that I am certainly never bored, although occasionally I do get characters and plots a little muddled. One ploy to avoid a reading rut is to join Reading Challenges which push me outside my comfort zone.   

On the other hand, to avoid BBD is just one of the reasons why I decided initially to establish a database of my reading. In it I record brief descriptions of the plots of every book I read. The current record count is 750 and I've been doing it now for over 6 years. What I record is not particularly detailed but it does help me see at a glance what books I've read and what I thought of them.

But then I decided to go one step further and to write a review of every book I attempt to read. Hence MYSTERIES in PARADISE came about.
Again I focus on not including plot spoilers so I don't include lists of characters or plot points.
But the process of writing and explaining what I thought about a book helps me to clarify my ideas and also cements what happened in the book into my brain just a little further.
So now there are 370 reviews on MiP. You can see them all on the page All Reviews (ranked)
A mere drop in the ocean! - you might think. But from little things big things grow.

So does all this help me avoid BBD?
Well, even though I am often reading a hand held book, either a made-from-paper one or an e-book on my Kindle, at the same time (but not simultaneously) as an audio book, I very very rarely get their plots and characters muddled. On the other hand, if you ask me about a book's plot 12 months after I've read it, I'll probably only have a very general idea of the plot. I probably won't be able to name too many characters, or tell you about plot devices.

Does that worry me? Not a lot! I read for immediate pleasure. I don't have to remember all the detail and I can always use my records or even internet searches to help me with more.
If you don't believe me, have a look at my Friday's Forgotten Books posts, where I explore titles that I have recorded in my little green book that dates from 1975. It contains the titles of over 3000 books.

1 comment:

Maria said...

You're a better woman than me!!! I can generally keep plots straight, but character names are one big blur. I long ago started tracking what I read and now, thankfully there are tools such as librarything, goodreads or shelfari. Otherwise, I fear I'd meet myself coming and going, all form the same bookstore!!!


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