Savor a good book lately?

How do you read?

Do you skim over some sentences, not seeing each individual word but getting the gist just the same?

Do you read slowly, “hearing” each word in your head?

I admit I do both. For certain authors I force myself to slow down and take in every word, to hear every inflection and emotion. It takes more time, but the result is a deeper connection to the book and author.

I just finished the first book of the year: Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry, and I employed both methods. At the start I was expecting a page-turning thriller, but nothing too heavy or heady, so I read fast, taking sentences in all at once.

But the story took an interesting turn (the blurb on the front flap says it’s an “of-the-moment thriller,” and it’s true.) The thing that brings two strangers together for a road trip from Texas to New Mexico is abortion and the current political climate. Once I realized this was more than just a good story / fun read I slowed it down. Barry has created a compelling novel with characters you root for.

It’s about savoring, I think. Would you swallow a delicious meal without really tasting anything or do you savor each bite? For me it’s the same with books – to savor an author’s work is to slow down and appreciate it. Every word, every punctuation mark.

Hmm, I think I just decided that ‘savor more’ will be my mantra for 2021.

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