The Book Flood

Iceland- the not so icy island with delicious hot springs and stunning views also is the land of high literacy culture.  I learned last Christmas right before the holiday that Iceland has a tradition dubbed “the book flood.”  It’s basically where everyone exchanges books on Christmas eve and spends the rest of the evening reading.

I first saw this posted on Facebook, but since Facebook’s accuracy may be up for debate I decided to do a little research and found an NPR article about Iceland’s tradition.

I was thrilled to confirm that this is a real occurrence.  I also learned that Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other nation in the world.  So naturally, Iceland is my new favorite county.  I mean its and entire nation doing what this girl loves.

I kind of hope to start this in my own family.  I want everybody reading or listening to books. I know that my aunt and mom would be on board.

I guess I like it so much because it’s not just about reading it’s about sharing the reading experience, sharing knowledge.  It’s a solo thing as well as a group thing.  It’s like the whole country is doing a big read-in. I find that notion just fascinating.

Okay, who’s ready to move to Iceland?!?

Book Digestion

I have what can be described as an overactive book metabolism.  What I mean by this is when I finish a book at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I can be found starting a new one by half past.  I rarely feel the need to process or digest the previous book. A few books have left me feeling “hungover.” This is when my mind is struggling.  It’s not due to a crazy plot twist, but something deeper that is difficult to describe. On those rare occasions, I do give myself time perhaps a day at max.  The Stand was one of these.  I needed time to come to terms with the epicness. Honestly, this is the only word I can use to describe this book.

However, there are many people I know that upon finishing any book take a couple of days before starting the next one.  My mother is one, and as I kid I never understood this.  I thought, “What if someone asks, ‘What are you reading?’” It was completely unacceptable to say nothing right now.  What!?! That’s crazy talk? I still feel this way.

Even in college when I would go months between free reading sessions I always had a book in progress. I couldn’t possibly have it any other way.  I get this hivy feeling when I finish my book at work and must ride the train home, and I don’t have anything to read. It’s only a half an hour ride but it is torturous without reading material.

My lack of digestion might mean I have a serious addiction problem, but I don’t feel that it’s necessary for me to ponder books in post.  Most of the time, I know how I feel about the book by the time I close the back cover.  I feel that I do need more digestion time than the book was probably a rare gem. An alternative explanation is that I’m a slow reader so it could be argued that I digest as I consume.

I think my slow reading has left me feeling behind as well, so I have this urge to rush into the next book because it took me so long to get through the previous one.  Over the years, I’ve gained reading speed, but my super slowness of yester-year still haunts me from when I was a kid and I had to read so many books or pages in order to get a reward.

While I tend to digest books at lightning speed I understand why some people need to wait before delving into the next story.  They need time to adjust.  They may need their brain to re-calibrate. In cases of really good books I think people need to come to terms with the idea that the story is over, and it might be quite a while before they read a book that invokes this feeling.

I admit I should probably take a slower approach to books and reading.  I should enjoy the journey and process more.  It’s not about how many you can get read in a year.  It’s not a race.  And I’ve improved on this.  There are just so many wonderful works out there, and I want to get to as many as I possibly can.

I suppose it is a balance and perhaps some more digesting time might not be a terrible idea.  How long is your book digestion?

WWW Wednesday

Say what?!?!

Have no fear, folks.  I can assure we have not gone Groundhogs Day and are repeating Tuesday, and no, unfortunately, we have not broken the space time continuum and jumped to Friday.  It is indeed Wednesday just with a bonus post this week.

Last Wednesday in my blog perusal I discovered WWW Wednesday from coffeeloving bookoholic who participates each week.  WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. (BTW both are great blogs and you should go check them out.) It looked like it would be fun, so I thought I would give it a go this week.

The three Ws are:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading-

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  by Rebecca Skloot.  I started it just last night on my way home.  I’ve heard marvelous things, thus far I’m intrigued. So I’m certainly looking forward to see what’s in store.

Finished Reading-

Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell.  It’s a short book, but a long read. This isn’t bad. There was just a lot to digest.  On the whole, I thought it was a good, but it certainly wasn’t light.

Next Read up-

This is a difficult question because while I have a pile of books to be read. I don’t normally know what I’ll read next until I’m nearly finished with my current book. I like to see what’s striking my mood in the moment.  Thus I can really only guess what will be next; however, I do have a sneaking suspicion it will be The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg.  I’m very excited about this read.  I’ve greatly enjoyed other works by Flagg.  Can’t wait to get to Heaven will always have a special place in my heart.

Hope you enjoyed this little extra. I will be back on Friday per usual. And please share in comments your three Ws!  Happy reading!

A Bite-Sized Review: A Movable Feast

Here is little review to munch on this Tuesday morning!  Happy reading everyone!


Title: A Movable Feast; Author: Ernest Hemmingway; Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir

The Gist- Musings and anecdotes about Mr. Hemmingway’s experience of living in Paris in the early 1920s.

What Stuck- The book struck me as a bit odd.  It’s disjointed and seems random.  And yet philosophical. I mentioned this to my mother who informed me that this was Hemmingway’s style. Since I haven’t read anything else by Mr. Hemmingway I was unaware of this, but not particularly fond of it.

Should you give a flip?- I can’t say you should. I want to say that it’s an interesting read, but I can’t describe why I feel compelled to say that.  I guess it was comforting to read that many of the greats out there struggle as much as the average joe. There…that lack of clarity pretty much reflects the book. Use your own discretion.