Novel Insights’ January Review

This month I read…one book. Yes a single one! January was my self imposed slow reading month. I learned the following things:

  1. It’s good to have a little break now and then and do something different, like listen to music. I seem to have bypassed the whole of 2008 from a music point of view (How did I just discover MGMT for example?)
  2. It’s hard to go cold turkey! Every time I left the house I would reach for a novel and then remind myself to put… it… down…
  3. It is important to force myself to a kind of boredom once in a while in order to bring about a certain kind of peace of mind. Staring reflectively out the train window (latter half of my commute) is infinitely better than having my head stuck under someone’s armpit on the Tube though…

Having said that, it didn’t help that a chunkster to get through for book-group tomorrow!

William Boyd’s The New Confessions plagued me the last week with it’s 520-odd pages. I’ll be posting my thoughts on that in a few days…



I also reviewed two books from December:

A Walk on the Wild Side, by Nelson Algren (7 out of 10).

A Walk on the Wild Side“The indulgent use of metaphor and occasionally distracting diversions into the past of different characters was at times confusing but the use of language is inventive, quite beautiful in fact…”


Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (9 out of 10).

Jane Eyre Fine Edition“I felt that I had almost come away with a new friend in Jane, so sincere was her voice.”

How was your January for reading? Have you ever imposed reading restrictions on yourself?

12 responses to “Novel Insights’ January Review

  1. Well done, having got used to reading more I can sympathise with how difficult one book in a month can be! My own month was the opposite, and it was deliberate. I wanted to push myself to read more. I managed 5 and a half books, though one was a Persephone so I’m not sure that counts as a whole book.

    It’s weird how you can get so used to reading lots that going without one for a few days makes you feel very odd, wrong even.

    • I love how you say that a Persephone doesn’t quite count. I think I know what you mean. Glad you understand reading withdrawal!

  2. Gosh, no, I’ve never tried to restrict myself – I try to make myself read more, and browse the internet less!

    • Hehe, that’s very wise of you. Actually internetting really can get in the way when you end up (as I think Kim has commented) surfing and realising you haven’t done anything else! This month I’m back on the reading wagon!

  3. The only time I was ever restricted in my reading was at University. The reading I did was for my degree and I had lost reading for pleasure. However, it did not take very long to come back to me and has not left me since and I do not want to test it out either!

    • Hehe, fair enough! I do think reading for a course can sometimes spoil some of the pleasure but glad to hear you can now read at whim!

  4. I’m so with you on the boredom thing… I’ve spent 7 weeks here in Oz learning to just “be” and it’s been so wonderful to just switch off. I’ve read quite a few books, but nowhere near as many as one would think given all the time I have had up my sleep. I’ve also learnt not to switch the computer on too early in the day, otherwise I spend all my time on it doing NOTHING!

    • Ahhh, so glad you know what I mean. It sounds a little bit hippy but you really do need to let your mind wander sometimes, and like you say catching up on sleep is important too. After I came back from travelling I had a little time and space as you do now and I remember it very fondly as a time when I was able to be very peaceful!

  5. oops, I meant “up my sleeve” not “up my sleep” !

  6. Well done – I tend to increase my reading rather than decrease. Something to do with my shelves being very, very full! But the interest is oh so distracting (and so is work for that matter).

    • Oh I know what you mean. My shelves are practically groaning. I do often think that work is a distraction from reading… 🙂

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