Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Heart YA: Are you a Nibbler or a Devourer?

I'm talking about books, of course. The topic for Suze Reese's I Heart YA bloghop today asks this question: Are you a nibbler or a devourer? Or does it depend? And what's the worse thing you've blown off for the sake of a book?

My answer would have to be Sleep! I'm a notorious night-reader. In fact, that's when I prefer to do most creative things, including read. During the day, the sunshine beckons me to errands and chores and other active things. But as soon as the sun goes down, I feel like writing, reading, drawing - all those things I tend to put off during the day because life won't make time for it. 

When a book pulls me in and won't let me go, I'm a devourer. I prefer it. Even when I lose sleep and have to force myself to put that bookmark in, I read until I can't read anymore. 

I can also be a nibbler. Nibbling is nice, but sometimes nibbling just isn't enough. It's not satisfying. I like to make big meals of my books. 

Right now I'm nibbling Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters, and devouring Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Part of the reason for this is that Miss Peregrine's is due at the library sooner. The other part is that Terry Pratchett isn't as fast-paced at this point in the book. It's rolling and descriptive and fun and wonderful. It's meant to be savored. 

I love books like Pratchett's. I want to write a book like Pratchett's. While I love fast-paced books sometimes, I also think that reading should be as enjoyable as a walk in the park. It doesn't have to be all flaming arrows and hailstorms that make you run (or read) for your life. So much recent YA is like that, or feels it has to be. Where's the literary fiction? And more importantly, where are the agents who rep wonderful, engaging, multi-layer books like Pratchett's?

Oops! The question for today isn't literary vs. commercial fiction. But I think that plays a large part in the way I read books. Commercial fiction is easy to munch your way though, but it doesn't fill you up, whereas literary fiction should be savored and stays with you longer.

What about you? Do you nibble or devour? Are there any books you savor like fine wine?


  1. You make some great points. Sometimes the nibble is much more satisfying than running around with guns and arrows!

  2. I would agree, except I adore devouring Terry Pratchett. But he's the best, because I can devour him again and again! I don't always get it on the first time either. It wasn't until I read Hogfather for the 3rd time that I understood the logic behind Mr. Teatime's plan.

    I kind of adore you, because it's totally my goal to write a book like Terry Pratchett too, though I doubt I'll ever be able to reach that level. And yes to smart YA! Smart and funny, literary and poignant, not just romance novels set in high school. Go for it!

  3. Suze, Thanks! Guns and arrows are fine once in awhile, but all the time just isn't a relaxing read.

    Cara, me too. With Wyrd Sisters I can't, mostly because it's sharing time with two other books now. I read through his Tiffany Aching series like a mad thing, though. Really, Pratchett is something that can go either way for me. I can nibble if I have to, since it's always good, but I can also devour.

    Thanks! I adore you too, for loving smart YA, and Terry Pratchett, and for wanting to write something on a higher level than romances set in high school.

    Also, Mr. Teatime is freaky and fascinating, isn't he? Have you seen the movie Hogfather?

  4. I think it really depends on the book. Some books draw me in and I'm reading for hours. Some take a little more work and, while engaging, I find I need to break and absorb what I read before I go on. So I'm both, depending on the novel.

    I'm currently working my way through Discworld. I finished LORDS AND LADIES not long ago. My favorite to date, though, has to be MORT. :)

  5. great post and point.keep writing more

  6. I will give up sleep and well I admit if I'm really engrossed in a book even productivity for a while. If the book is good, I'm a devourer for sure. But if I'm only reading the book because it's a continuation in a series that I only sorta like but due to my inability to stop reading something I've started I will keep reading the series I turn into a nibbler.

    I like what you said about the books that are meant to be savored. I agree. Don't get me wrong I love a good book that has you unable to put it down, something happening every chapter but sometimes I think too much of that too often can short circuit us readers.

  7. love a book that insists I devour it. A nibbler book can easily get thrown over for a devour one. I always give up sleep for them and will carry it aroud with me everywhere in case I get a moment for a paragraph.


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