Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
Today I’d like to talk about how we form our opinions about books once we start reading them. This wasn’t something I paid attention to before I started blogging and some of the things I’ve noticed have surprised me…
In particular, I find it nearly impossible to start a book unless I’m sitting at my computer. This does make starting a book slightly inconvenient, but it’s important to me to be able to take note of my first impressions. In fact, I would guess that I take about 10% of my notes in the first 5 pages and 50% of my notes in the first few chapters. In a way, this makes sense. You can get a pretty good feel for an author’s writing style after a few chapters. There may be some great character growth over the novel, but you can frequently get to know the main character in that time as well.
However, I don’t think that my opinion is quite as biased by the beginning of the book as this may make it sound. While I may take fewer notes later, this can sometimes be because I’m deeply engrossed in the story. For my favorite books, I often end up with the fewest notes and took them all very early or at the very end – once I realize that I desperately want to figure out why this book was amazing so I can properly convey that to all of you. Alternately, I may only take a few notes at the end, but they might have a huge impact on my review. The ending of a book can really make it or break it for me. Sad endings or excessively abrupt cliff hangers in particular often drastically reduce my enjoyment of a book.
Do you take notes while you read? And if so, have you noticed a similar pattern in how many notes you take? If you don’t take notes, how does your opinion of a book develop as you read?