Something Sporadic in the Eyre (Reading Slower)

Get ready for a bit of a rambling post today as I am trying to tie a few things together that are still a little loose in my mind and it might work or it might not. But its of course something that I would love your thoughts on, as usual this post ends with lots of questions aimed at all of you. Anyway I am rambling and digressing already! So back to the matter in hand… I didn’t do a post on Sunday which is very unlike me. I normally have a post up my sleeve or more realistically I normally have lots to say. Yet I was very busy, very busy sleeping. In fact I had over ten hour’s straight and then woke up in a mild panic that I hadn’t put anything on the blog… before promptly falling back to sleep again. Lethargy is what seems to be in the air in Savidge Towers at the moment and I don’t think I am alone.

Actually from various chats I have been having with various people it seems to be around London in general full stop. I think it’s the time of the year, is anyone else that I haven’t spoken to feeling this, anyone outside London too? Some of you lucky so and so’s will be spared this currently as you will be heading for your Spring and Summer but you might know this feeling from when your autumn hit. That’s the thing you see autumn has come and it appears drained me of all energy… so thank goodness for Jane Eyre.

I thought this old postcard of Haddon Hall most appropriate both in a sense of this time of year and it is just how I picture Thornfield Hall... as did the BBC when they filmed Jane Eyre here.

I won’t discuss Jane Eyre too much right now as I am saving that for Sunday when I am hoping that you will all be joining in for a bit of a chat about it. My mother is staying that weekend and I have already asked her to have her thoughts at the ready especially as she has taught it so that could add an interesting insight.  Suffice to say I am really enjoying my first Charlotte Bronte book so far in fact it was another reason I didn’t blog on Sunday and has rather cleverly highlighted how I am unintentionally reading at the moment. But let’s take these things one at a time.

You see I was enjoying my first few chapters, as I started it a little later than wanted, of Jane Eyre so much that the thought of leaving the book, turning on the computer, writing a post, then getting distracted by other lovely blogs would suddenly mean half my Sunday is gone and Jane is left unattended and possibly rather vexed with me. It is after all reading that sparked this blog and sometimes in writing it and commenting back (which I have been a little lax with of late) I actually end up missing out on the reading. Though both make me happy if I have not read anything then what do I have to discuss.

Now to how Jane has made me aware how I have been rather unintentionally reading of late. In fact it’s actually Charlotte Bronte and Daphne Du Maurier that made me spot this. No its not that I read newer fiction over classics, though it can be the case, its that sometimes I am not taking as much time as I should with a book. I find if I am loving a book I want to hurry it up so I can talk to all of you about it, and actually I should be taking my time letting the full effects of what’s going on in the book take hold and building a picture of the book that’s going to last longer than a blog post. Does that make sense?

This isn’t a post about me not writing blogs ever again or every day, because I have done the latter before – I have never wanted to give up the blog – and then carried on as I was (and I have noticed I have posts scheduled to the end of the week). It’s much more about time and how precious time with special books is and finding the balance. So there might be less posts when I am concentrating on a classic, or re-reading the longlist for The Green Carnation Prize which I keep forgetting to do despite them looming over me on my desk – after Jane I will though. There might be the same amont of posts, who knows, but while autumn hits and with it this strange lethargy I think I might spend more time curled up on the sofa with a book on my lap… rather than the laptop, especially as this is the time of year the longer books seem to come off the shelves.

Are we all feeling like this, or do certain books or times of year make us sit back a little and take stock now and again? If you’ve had a book thats made you think differently about how you read I would love to hear about it. Do you find autumn and the shorter days and longer nights mean you, like me, start to pick up the bigger books you have been meaning to read? Over to you…


Filed under Book Thoughts

18 responses to “Something Sporadic in the Eyre (Reading Slower)

  1. gaskella

    At the beginning of the academic year, it’s so hectic I tend to read less and don’t like to get stuck into thick novels or old classics until after fireworks, when my routine will have settled down a bit. Weekends will be filled with the rounds of visiting senior schools for my daughter, so I doubt I’ll be able to focus on longer books – I’ll stick to shorter novels for a while (although I’m in for DGR’s W&P readalong).

    Last year I read a whole clutch of vampire novels for October – I do find the dark and dampness of the evenings are more conducive to get into that mood. I will definitely be including a few undead and ghostly novels including Susan Hill’s latest in my autumnal reading soon.

  2. When you are leading a full “real” life, blogging, reading comments, and reading, something has to give. I find that sometimes in order to get my stuff read, I have to turn off the computer. While I love anything you write, I think it is important that you give yourself this time. Beyond that, I predictably fall into a funk in the fall, after a summer of sleeping in, vacationing, without homework or schedules. A little cool weather will fix all that!

  3. Yay! I’ve just recently re-discovered Jane Eyre (with the help of the BBC, Masterpiece Theater, and Toby Stephens) and I am hosting a Bronte month in December. I have pledged to give Jane Eyre another chance and read it for the 5th time to see if I love it any more than I did the first 4 times.

  4. Martin Robbins

    God, how the man waffles sometimes…..

    Stick to the job… The books are important not you..

    he,he,he 😛

  5. I love the classics and a big book! When the days get shorter and cooler there’s nothing quite as welcome as coming home from work, fixing a warm meal, and getting comfortable with a book.

  6. I’m not sure if I can blame the new season for my recent slump – it’s probably more to do with a near-constant stream of houseguests and way more work deadlines than usual! And while I haven’t been turning to more big books than usual, I’ve definitely been reading more in general. Last weekend I barely had the inclination to turn my computer on at all – I was too busy reading on the couch.

  7. Yes, I’m influenced by seasonal shifts. I was determined to read War and Peace this year and was moving slowly but contentedly and steadily through it until May-ish, and then I lost track completely. To the point where I watched the early episodes of the 70s mini-series as a refresher before finally getting back to it early-September! And now, after backtracking just a few chapters, I’m wholly enjoying it once more. It just wasn’t a summer read for me…

  8. I do find that as pretty as I find Autumn it does drain me of all my energy. Here in the midlands it has turned from mildly warm to bitter cold winds which have sent my pathetically sensitve sinuses into meltdown. I like you spent most of my weekend sleeping as reading or even watching telly hurt too much. Never fear I am recovered now. However I do find that I read more in Autumn and Winter I’m not sure if it is the effect that seeing the rain and winds knocking against the window does, one just feels that curling up with a book is the perfect solution to the weather? I don’t think I read longer books particularly but don’t you find yourself changing genre? I’m currently in the RIP challenge which is perfect because I’m really in the mood for tales of mystery, ghosts and the supernatural.

  9. I feel similar some days – that I should just read a book instead of turning on the laptop. And yes, I am feeling like picking up a longer book someday soon too, possibly. Ahh the fall lethargy. That lethargy though means that I might avoid the longer book I’m debating picking up because I’m not sure I have the energy to read it all!

  10. Funny to see you talking about lethargy. I’ve definitely been feeling that way lately (and I’m also London-based!). I suppose I’ve been countering it in a similar way: I’d spent a long time reading through a quite challenging – and long! – non-fiction book. When I went on holiday last week I just dived into novels again, didn’t have any internet access, and that was so nice. Just sitting and reading. There are sometimes too many distractions at home, and you just have to cut yourself off; go to bed and read, read in the bath, something like that.

    But I’m glad that Jane is helping you through! I love that book so much, and I’m sad that I won’t be around on Sunday to join in the discussion! Also, I don’t know if you’re a fan of TV/film adaptations, but while most adaptations of Jane Eyre are rubbish (stop trying to prettify Jane, darnit!), but the BBC miniseries with Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton is fantastic, and I definitely recommend it 🙂

  11. I don’t think my reading is affected by seasons, but more about what is happening in my work/personal life.

    Mind you, I’ve got three chunksters on the go right now (Vera Brittian’s autobiography, my first ever Zola, and The Group), but my mental bandwidth is so overloaded with other shenanigans happening in my life that I’m not really paying the books the attention they deserve. Hopefully, that will sort itself out in the next couple of weeks or so… and I’ll be able to enjoy the stories without worrying about other stuff.

  12. Bet

    I generally find that autumn weather invigorates me– and I have felt this way no matter where I have lived, from Virginia to upstate NY. I do feel like shutting down in January when the temps are below zero and the days are very short. It’s as if I want to hibernate, like a bear!

    I think I do read more large, emotional, demanding works in the fall and winter when the nights are longer and it’s so nice to sit in front of the fire with a book.

  13. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites. Hope you continue to enjoy and savor it! I sometimes need to have a little chat with myself about slowing down my reading since I often power through books for different reasons. I never thought about a seasonal angle until you brought it up, but I do tend to naturally slow it down and contemplate my reading in the Fall and Winter months more so than at other times of the year. I’m also more likely to read older literature or classics at that time too. Hmmm.

  14. I completely agree with you – I have started to slow down a little and the heavyweights are coming off the shelves as all I want to do is curl up with a long, engrossing read. Funnily enough I started reading Jane Eyre in August and didn’t get very far but the other day I picked it up again and am getting on much better with it. It suits a chilly evening when all you want to do is shut the door on the world.

  15. “I should be taking my time letting the full effects of what’s going on in the book take hold and building a picture of the book that’s going to last longer than a blog post.” Yes, that makes total sense. I’ll get through a book quickly, love it, and then think oh, it’s finished and I don’t know if I’ll enjoy my next book as much.

    I haven’t thought about longer books for winter though have planned some all the same. I’ve been told the LOTR movies will be forced on me in a couple of months so if I want to read them first I better get to it. And winter does seem the right time to settle down with small-printed no-margin pages.

    Incidentally I’m due to start Jane Eyre, the version you’ve posted on your sidebar, so I look forward to your review!

  16. Not just you Simon, I just passed through my own period of autumn lethargy. It was the shock of those dark mornings when I got up for work that started it I think and I was so tired from doing so much socially that I just needed a little breather and more books than deep, posty thought. Autumn hits really hard and unexpectedly early some years and this is one of them.

  17. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Jane Eyre, Simon. It’s a book to be savoured isn’t it?

    I do know what you mean – I have picked up Dracula as I wanted to get my teeth into a classic and not something that had arrived on my doorstep. Also, I needed something abit gothicy, rather than summery. I think my reading is affected by the seasons and also my mood. Sometimes I can ignore a book for months and then all of a sudden be desperate to read it.

    Oh, and I have lots of days when I can’t be arsed blogging 🙂

  18. Have been reading more slowly lately. It’s not just the manic-ness of the new job; time’s so precious now more so than ever, and I want the books I read to matter. And I’ve been very picky. Some stories, I really do try not to breeze through, but it’s hard when you feel like you’ve discovered an awesome writer and you want to devour as much of him as you can. And there are some books that make you feel the same way, but tends to admonish you when you go too fast. And it’s not a dichotomy of contemporary and classic reads. It’s a mood thing. It’s an author thing. It’s an of-the-moment decision.

    Jane Eyre will forever be my favorite novel. This has never changed from when I first read it at nine. And I suppose I’ll likely be taking a copy of the book to my grave.

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