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Old 02-26-2014, 11:09 AM   #46
Catlady
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Catlady, how do you remember then? You know when somebody says something about a blue teddy bear you once had (let say you had one for the sake of argument). Surely an image pops up? So what is the difference in someone saying blue teddy bear and you reading blue teddy bear from a letter for example?
Your example is of a specific, actual item that has reality for me, so of course I remember it with all my senses, because it has complex associations in my life.

But if you say or write that you had a blue teddy bear, and I've never seen it or touched it, I simply remember the words "blue teddy bear." I don't picture you with it, I just see the words.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:10 PM   #47
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It does not trigger an image. I can certainly create an image, but it would take a conscious effort.

Let's say your image as you read is of a small tabby cat. Later the author provides more description and you learn the cat is a huge polydactyl Maine coon. Isn't that jarring for you? Your specific mental image has to be revised; but since I didn't create one, I think it's easier for me to just keep incorporating the new details.
Although I think I mainly read the words, as opposed to having some kind of mental movie going, I do tend to form some kind of mental picture of the main character(s). One series I've been reading is told in first-person and for the first 8 - 10 books there was very little information about the main character's appearance. Then about 8 or 10 books into the series the main character's hair color was stated, and it was not what I had pictured up to that point. I decided I will keep my original mental picture even if it is wrong ....
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:14 PM   #48
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Can't get that blue teddy bear out of my brain now or the alphabet blocks beside it.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:58 AM   #49
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I picture a threadbare stuffed panda covered in dried blue paint, its fur unpleasantly stiff and its grin widened unnaturally by torn stitches. A crank that activates an internal phonograph protrudes from its back and its singsong growl, which issues from a damaged wax record, is mostly obscured by scratches. Every time the crank is wound, something unfortunate happens.

And yes, I owned this toy (in my imagination, anyway).
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:21 AM   #50
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Nice musings everybody. However mundane they are. We all know real teddy bears are more like this:

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Old 02-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #51
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Some of you are seriously weird.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:28 AM   #52
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Without us, there would be no fantasy or science fiction. Or horror. Or... Whatever
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:17 PM   #53
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Without us, there would be no fantasy or science fiction. Or horror. Or... Whatever
And this would be a great loss?
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:59 PM   #54
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But... but... The world would be left with Harlequin and Vampire Romance in EVERY genre

Njjjjooooooo....
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:00 PM   #55
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Back to savoring a slow read (not that the previous discussion wasn't interesting): I read at the speed I read (and sometimes at the speed the author allows me to read at--if that should happen to be slower than MY speed).

Long story short: I don't take any pleasure in purposely reading a book at a pace slower than I could comfortably be reading it at. So the only way I could "savor" a book would be to read it in shorter sessions with more time between those sessions. I couldn't imagine anything more frustrating than forcing myself to go through longer periods of NOT reading a book that really want to be reading.

But then again, I've never really been bitten by the "I never want this book to end" bug. I love endings—great ones, especially. The more the merrier I say!

BTW: I loved the book the OP is referring to here--DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers (shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Giller Prizes, among others). Read it in about 3 days.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:20 PM   #56
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Long story short: I don't take any pleasure in purposely reading a book at a pace slower than I could comfortably be reading it at. So the only way I could "savor" a book would be to read it in shorter sessions with more time between those sessions. I couldn't imagine anything more frustrating than forcing myself to go through longer periods of NOT reading a book that really want to be reading.
It sounds as though reading more slowly would be unpleasant for you, which also means it might be unrewarding, so why bother?

Your mention of being uncomfortable with slower speeds mirrors my discomfort at letting the colors go by too quickly (even though my preference seems the opposite of yours).

I don't like to hear certain piano pieces by Ravel played too rapidly because the harmonies seem (to me) to be too rich to be appreciated at breakneck speeds. Yet I had a Hungarian teacher once who wanted me to play him that way (and Bartok himself would have played Ravel that way, too).

I can understand other readers' wanting to pursue a story at higher velocities. But when your interests tend toward admiring how a thing is built as much as (or even more than) its intended function, then reading slowly becomes delicious and revealing. It's like walking in the space beneath the iridescent paper sheet of the ocean.

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Old 02-28-2014, 01:59 PM   #57
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I can understand other readers' wanting to pursue a story at higher velocities. But when your interests tend toward admiring how a thing is built as much as (or even more than) its intended function, then reading slowly becomes delicious and revealing. It's like walking in the space beneath the iridescent paper sheet of the ocean.
Oh, I don't disagree. I didn't mean to suggest I don't savor HOW something is written just as much as WHAT's being written. I'm not in a race or anything. I often pause to think about a particular passage (or ponder allegorical possibilities). But if I'm enjoying—truly enjoying—a book, I couldn't possibly read only a couple of pages in each sitting (which was the impression I got from the OP). There is a very real line (for me personally) where too many interruptions, or too much time between reading sessions starts to negatively impact the experience.

Perhaps I was also mistakenly associating the "savoring" the OP was implying with the very different (at least in my opinion) "never wanting the book to end" syndrome. Where people simply stop reading--not because they want to digest what they've read, but simply because they're too close to finishing it. I would never consider slowing down simply because the end was imminent. *shrug*
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:32 PM   #58
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Some of you are seriously weird.
Happens every time someone mentions the b*** t***** b***. No dealing with it in a sane manner I am afraid.

Helen
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:33 AM   #59
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You didn't cause me distress and I don't have any opinion of your motives. But you still just don't seem to get that your way is not the only way or even necessarily the better way.

I get the emotion/experience/impact of a book through the words directly; I don't read the words, cue the movie in my head, and then get the emotion/experience/impact from the mental images.

For me, trying to add mental images when reading a book would be as odd as trying to create my own verbal descriptions while watching an action sequence in a movie or listening to instrumental music. Different media, different mental processes.
This is exactly how I read too. I totally get lost in the words without needing to see images, so much so that I don't hear people calling my name while I"m engrossed in a book.

I have no idea what the characters in a book look like, unless there are illustrations in the book, which is why I hate poor illustrators who don't read the book first to know what the characters are supposed to look like. While I don't know what they look like I do know all the details mentioned about them in the book and will be able to spot any discrepancies in the illustrations.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:26 PM   #60
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Ironically, if a story is really strong I'll race ahead to find out what happens - hence shortening an enjoyable book. But I do also savour good writing and that's a big advantage of an eReader over a physical book since I would never the mark paper pages, but it's easy peasy to highlight a Kindle.
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