Read Like Molasses in January
November 16, 2011 5:08 AM   Subscribe

I usually consume books. Help me with tricks/strategies to savor and retain Murakami's 1Q84.

I usually plow through books even ones I love. I can usually retain the story but lose the feel, nuance and, detail. I am now 1/3 of the way through 1Q84 am loving it even more than 2666 and that's saying alot. It has lots of small stuff that I want to retain as well as savor each page. I don't do this well. Teach me how to stay in the moment with this book.
posted by Xurando to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Read it twice.
posted by theodolite at 5:43 AM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

My advice would be to try and find a group to read it with and talk about it every week. A book club, I guess.

Like you, I devour books and game stories entirely, and miss the ambient feel very often. I feel that the books I've read in school I had a deeper connection with because we talked about them.
posted by InsanePenguin at 5:44 AM on November 16, 2011

I have an Audible subscription and sometimes I listen to the audiobook version while reading - keeps me from quickly devouring books.
posted by bCat at 5:46 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Honestly, any time I read Murakami, I don't stress about ANYTHING the first time through. Not even "Oh who was she again?" or "Didn't he already make spaghetti like eight times?" The first time is for the mood and overall plot, the second time is for details. (Sometimes first is for mood, second is for plot, third for details.) I would argue that checking details detracts from the overall ambience.

Other than that, read in long stretches. Dreams after reading Wind-up Bird for like four hours straight are the weirdest dreams.
posted by supercres at 5:55 AM on November 16, 2011 [5 favorites]

One chapter per day. Or 10 pages per day, if the chapters are especially long or short. I put a bookmark in to remind myself not to keep going.
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:02 AM on November 16, 2011

Just read it a lot of times, read writing about it, talk about it. Write about it in your journal. I don't really understand the allure of reading a great book... incredibly... slowly...
posted by stoneandstar at 6:43 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do what my dad does - read it upside down. Slows it down, and gives him time to savour it.

(plus, the ability to read upside down quickly and accurately has been really helpful sometimes.)
posted by scruss at 6:47 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

scruss, I love that. I'm going to start doing that.
posted by InsanePenguin at 6:51 AM on November 16, 2011

Hey I am reading it right now too, and in the same way- slowly! I am not taking it anywhere (no prob since it's so heavy) and am only reading it in bed at night. (Including if I wake up at 3am!:) If I start to lose the plot or feel tired I stop immediately. Also I went to a talk actually before I bought the book when an excerpt (chapter 1) was read aloud to the audience. I thought I wouldn't like that because I read fast and thought it might seem 'slow' but actually it was much better for the nuances and really getting a feel for the story. Again, reading too fast means much gets lost. So an audio version might be great. Don't sweat it too much, I read Dance dance dance right before I started and plan to read the rest of his old stuff I haven't read before afterwards. Also, I started eating more pasta and thinking 'what would maurakami' think in certain situations. See, you can make this section of your life a big Maurakami adventure- it doesn't have to end with the finishing of IQ84! (Note, if there is a book club can that be posted in this thread somewhere!?:)
posted by bquarters at 7:34 AM on November 16, 2011

Take notes in it. I find it helps me because it makes reading less passive and I have put down my thoughts instead of letting them dissipate. Plus it's a nice way to know that this book is your copy, and years later you can look back and remember the thoughts you had originally.
posted by catwash at 9:36 AM on November 16, 2011

Taking notes is a good idea. I also tend to fly through books, and will occasionally physically cover the upcoming paragraphs (with my hand or a piece of cardstock) to force myself to slow down. Sometimes, when I find myself going too fast, I turn back a few pages and do a slower reread.
posted by blurker at 11:48 AM on November 16, 2011

If I want to really absorb something I'll read it out loud. It takes a long time but I pay a lot more attention the writing style, pacing & content.
posted by Wantok at 4:05 PM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding Wantok on reading it out loud. I loveeee Joan Didion's a Book of Common Prayer, but she reads SO fast. I read aloud passages that I wanted to absorb better to make me slow down.
I'm reading 1Q84 right now too- thanks for the question.
posted by elliss at 6:19 AM on November 18, 2011

« Older Laissant mon coeur en Afrique, je reviens à la...   |   There is such a thing as *too* user friendly... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.