Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Thoughts...

I read like the flame reads the wood.

Alfred Döblin

Not many words were needed here to get his message across - so clear, simple and evocative.  I think I chose this one because it reflects how I read, and the message resonates strongly with me.

I am a fast and voracious reader, making my way through plenty of books and as often mentioned, I need the security of a few book-companions whenever I leave home for any length of time in case I get thru the first one or two too quickly! I can read whole books in one sitting if I'm on a plane for a few hours with no distractions, and often find myself turning off lights at night much later than anticipated, as I have been swept up in the urge, the desire, the need to read the rest of the story.

It has ever been thus, and I'm not always sure it a positive trait - the speed with which I get through books sometimes means I don't process the information fully or remember every detail. I often read and have a general response to a book - and might not be able to recall every character's name or place.

On the flip side; I nearly always finish the books in time for book group!

Alfred Doblin was a novelist and a man who must have loved reading by this description of his habits. 'Flame reading wood' conjures up images for me of total absorption, being engulfed, overwhelmed and utterly consumed. I think its that sense of being consumed by reading that fits for me - that the rest of the world can go by once I am committed to a book.


  1. There's just nothing like a really good book that you can get lost in.

  2. mmmmmmmmm books and fire...... you KNOW I can't resist a good flaming book!

  3. What a wonderful image in my mind.... like the flame reads the wood. I am the same. To me books are the ultimate gift to receive and if I go away for a weekend or holiday the first things I pack are the books.

  4. Love the way so few words can speak volumes. Photos too.

  5. Great post, Fiona. I just love the opening quote. I'm the same. Usually pack a small stack plus one extra, just in case!

  6. i read fairly fast, too, and enjoy re-reading because i miss well, more than i care to admit. i have, on occasion, read a book and immediately re-read it so i can get it all.

  7. Jennifer - so true, I love to get lost in a book

    Ronnie - take one book, add fire - success!

    Robyn - I understand so well; they are the best gift and the greatest of companions.

    Jo - some people can describe things so well.

    Annie I totally agree with one extra just in case!

    Velma - that felt so good to hear that; I love that you have to re-read sometimes! I'm with you there.

  8. What a great image for those who read voraciously! I too have mixed feelings about this tendency to consume a book whole rather than take little nibbles and make the experience last for days and days. For me it is not impatience to find out what happens next that propels me but a desire to throw myself deeply into a book, and that requires one big long whoosh of a reading session, cover to cover! More often than not I feel regret that I did not take more time to savor...and can't recall the details later. But while it lasts it's quite a ride!

  9. g/Tt - a wild ride indeed! I love the way you express the contrast with taking little nibbles - that is never as satisfying for me somehow; altho I do occasionally try to do it.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.