Author Topic: Reading a book in one sitting  (Read 1916 times)

Reading a book in one sitting
« on: January 14, 2019, 04:48:44 AM »
It's very rare that one has the chance to do this.  Long train and plane journeys are the best opportunity that most of us will have, though being confined to bed (or a cell) would also serve. 

You would think that reading a novel in one go would mean keeping a tighter grasp of the character, thematic and narrative threads, but actually I find that is not necessarily the case.  Recently I read one of the Martin Beck thrillers in a few hours but I still found myself getting tangled up in trying to remember the various elements of the plot. The greatest benefit of consuming a book in more or less one go is that your relationship to it feels somehow richer than if you had read it piecemeal.

icehaven

  • I will be in the bar, with my head on the bar
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 02:27:35 PM »
Only done this once or twice with regular books but it's not uncommon at all to do it with graphic novels. I find the effect so similar to watching a film that sometimes when thinking back I struggle to remember which it was.

Pingers

  • With the ill behaviour
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 04:20:05 PM »
I never get time to do this now, but I do try to read 10% in the first sitting, I find it helps me get into it.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 05:43:26 PM »
I remember hearing an interview with Natalie Haynes where she said she read a book a day, mostly because of necessity as her job involved judging book competitions.

And I'm rather in awe of her claim as I just can't sit down and stay committed to a book for more than an hour or two (and even that space of time is fraught with distractions). Unless you speed-read a book I'm not sure it's possible, and then can one even enjoy something while speed-reading?

Blinder Data

  • Use your library
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2019, 12:18:01 PM »
Surely it knackers your eyes too? My OH seems to have a feast or famine approach to books - when she reads a book and enjoys it, she'll finish it in one or two days.

Holidays are good for powering through books but I can't imagine finishing a book in one sitting, unless it's a (really good) novella.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2019, 01:14:48 PM »
The only things I’ve (just about) managed to read in one sitting in the recent past have been:

The Forensic Records Society - Magnus Mills - although I got distracted looking up the many records referenced, and was baffled (like seemingly everyone else) by the ending.  Not as good as ‘The Restraint of Beasts’ but what is?

Convenience Store Woman - Sayaka Murata

The Sound of My Voice - Ron Butlin

All of these are pretty short and worth a few hours of your time.  Convenience Store Woman is not much more than 100 pages and can be read in a couple of hours.

Other than that, I don’t seem to have the attention span for it any more.



Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2019, 01:53:01 PM »
I read two Harry Potter books in a single sitting (each, I mean) - the fourth and seven ones, which are two of the biggest. Took a day each. I had to teach Of Mice And Men so read it the morning of the afternoon I had to start the lessons. When I was working reception I read David Jason's second biography in one go. There've been others but those stick out in my memory. Dorian Gray, at school, that was another one.

neveragain

  • like those swamp tar pits that bubble and go Gloop
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2019, 04:00:34 PM »
For some reason I find autobiographies very easy to read in one sitting. Something about the formulaic nature (rags to riches, a parent's death, a baby is born) propelling me forward. Suppose they're usually not weighty or thought-provoking.

Cuellar

  • Push off my wire
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2019, 04:21:08 PM »
I have done this twice in my life that I can bring to mind. Once as a child with Skellig, again just last year(?) with an Edward St Aubyn Melrose novel, I think it was Some Hope.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2019, 06:29:57 PM »
Probably Tao Lin or something.

Thomas

  • well they do all sixteen dances.
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2019, 10:35:49 PM »
Done this just the once, I think, with ol' Orwell's Animal Farm. Perhaps Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, too, but that's arguably a long essay. Did manage one of the Mr. Men books across a couple of sittings.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2019, 10:44:08 PM »
tom wolfe's "the right stuff" (23 hours, during which time I would growl at the then-g/f if she bothered me more than to supply mugs of tea or empty the ashtray, poor thing).

two different ian mcewan books, both of which I thought were rubbish- 'amsterdam' & 'solar'.  I kept hoping for a return to form, before it dawned on me that maybe I was the one who'd changed & he's always been a bit crap.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2019, 03:35:26 AM »
Im a terrible reader and enjoy comic book hardbacks as a neat way of pretending I can read and sitting down with the Garth Ennis Punisher Max was incredibly satisfying. The ”Born” introduction story was unputdownable and a truely great but of books.

And obviously A Confederacy Of Dunces. I could read that on a loop.

The opposite was American Psycho: a book I was desperate to read on but had to take breaks from as not to finish it.

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2019, 03:30:06 PM »
I've read a few Kate Atkinson novels in one go. What else? After Dark by Murakami. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. A lot of Doctor Who novelisations. A few shorter novels - I think I actually read three books in a day once, but they were all 100-pages-or-less. I remember the third time I read Cloud Atlas it either took me one day or two (probably the latter, I think I got through about three quarters of it in the second day).

chveik

  • NON SERVIAM
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2019, 06:42:51 PM »
tom wolfe's "the right stuff" (23 hours, during which time I would growl at the then-g/f if she bothered me more than to supply mugs of tea or empty the ashtray, poor thing).

23 hours for a 400 pages book?

mothman

  • I don't know why
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2019, 09:47:45 PM »
I'm sure I've done it more recently, but the only time I can recall is in about 2000/01, when I read the first three Harry Potter books, one a night for three nights. Back then it was only just becoming a phenomenon, or one I was only then becoming aware of. I wasn't especially looking to read them, but my flatmate had them - we both had extensive fantasy/SF book collections, so there was constant cross-pollination of new authors - and I was always looking for something to read. After all, the internet was dial-up only for us so I didn't spend a lot of time online at home. That's probably had the biggest impact on my reading, the internet. It's ironic that the net has brought me a lot more availability of books to read, but also removed the time to read them...

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2019, 04:38:06 AM »
23 hours for a 400 pages book?

I kept getting interrupted.

Blinder Data

  • Use your library
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2019, 12:27:39 PM »
tom wolfe's "the right stuff" (23 hours, during which time I would growl at the then-g/f if she bothered me more than to supply mugs of tea or empty the ashtray, poor thing).

Sorry mate but unless you read the book for 23 hours straught or only had naps, I think you're stretching the idea of reading a book in one sitting.


grassbath

  • Ice-cream 'scuse me
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2019, 08:48:00 PM »
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.


Mm, this is the one that jumps out for me too. Around the time it first came out - I would have been 11. I remember distinctly taking it home from the bookshop, going up into my room and being utterly compelled, not emerging til it was finished.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2019, 10:07:28 PM »
Done it twice in my life:

Michael Palin 'Around The World In 80 Days' - 2005, read that in a hotel room in Normandy, France

Simon Day 'Comedy and Error' - 2012, read that in a day after recently becoming unemployed and looking for something to do. To be honest, the last third of it I only powered through because I figured I'd got that far, may as well finish it

Brundle-Fly

  • I'm so Avant-garden variety
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2019, 10:43:50 PM »
Catcher In The Rye.

It was kinda' short tho' . What a 'phoney'.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2019, 12:45:07 AM »
Incompetence by Rob Grant of Red Dwarf fame.
Bit of a nasty book but I found it funny enough at the time. I think if I had spent longer reading it I would've felt more let down by the ending.

And that biography of Alex Harvey by John Neil Munro.
I enjoyed it a lot but it seemed to end long before it should have.

icehaven

  • I will be in the bar, with my head on the bar
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2019, 01:35:21 PM »
I read Jon Ronson's ''So You've Been Publically Shamed'' in virtually one sitting, having read a few dozen pages one day and finished it in a pub the next. Actually I'm a bit sad I no longer have a genuine inclination to concentrate like that, I'd probably flip between my phone and the book so much I'd never get through a whole book in one boozy afternoon anymore.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2019, 03:00:37 PM »
I've done a few of these as well, Catcher in the Rye and Curious Incident among them.

I wonder is Catcher in the Rye worth reading again now I've aged twice what I was when I read.

Brundle-Fly

  • I'm so Avant-garden variety
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2019, 06:02:50 PM »

I wonder is Catcher in the Rye worth reading again now I've aged twice what I was when I read.

Same here.  I think Holden Caulfield would cut a fairly irksome figure seen through adult eyes now, especially now now. From what I remember of him, that is.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2019, 06:34:35 PM »
Catcher in Rye totally spoke to me at around 16 to 18. Then re-read it after entering the real world and found that I couldn't identify with Holden at all and just wanted him to stop over-thinking everything. Funny how that happens. 

chveik

  • NON SERVIAM
Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2019, 02:00:14 AM »
I wonder is Catcher in the Rye worth reading again now I've aged twice what I was when I read.

I think so, I reread it this year, it's still a good book.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2019, 01:31:06 PM »
Sorry mate but unless you read the book for 23 hours straught or only had naps, I think you're stretching the idea of reading a book in one sitting.

??  take it down a notch, mate. it's how I remember how it happened.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2019, 05:31:12 PM »
Haven't done this since I was about 16 and on a holiday with my parents and didn't have anything to do.

Re: Reading a book in one sitting
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2019, 05:33:12 PM »
Incompetence by Rob Grant of Red Dwarf fame.
Bit of a nasty book but I found it funny enough at the time. I think if I had spent longer reading it I would've felt more let down by the ending.

I liked this but lent it to a couple of people and they didn't.

I remember reading the bit on a train where he's getting served by a priapic guy and having silent shaky lols and trying not to look like a weirdo to the stranger sat next to me.