Monday, March 05, 2012

Who--or What--Are You? And Do You Re-Read Books/

We seem to be fascinated these days with classifying people--and heaven knows, there are any number of ways to classify them. Here are the classes into which I clearly fit: senior citizen, woman, liberal, Protestant. Therein if you're into statistics, you can tell a lot about me from how I'll vote in November to how I feel about Rush Limbaugh--don't ask.
But there are other, less clearly defined ways of looking at people, and some of them are amusing. There's been some buzz on the internet lately about introverts and extroverts--my daughter-in-law wrote about that on Raggedy Madness and announced she's an introvert though capable of being as social as the next one when the situation calls for it. I've read several pieces about this inborn disposition and have decided I'm an ambivert--dead square in the middle. My favorite place to be, admittedly, is at my desk in a quiet, empty house, probably with a dog asleep at my feet (ah, I'm in heaven right now for that's the situation). But give me, say, a week of evenings alone at my desk, and I am irritable, bored, lonely, cross--name a negative and I'll claim it. I love to have my house full of people, my favorites being of course my children and grandchildren. But there are a lot of friends I like to have come join me for supper, a visit, whatever. Fill my house with people--or take me whirling off to parties and dinner with friends and meetings--for five days, and I long for the solitude of my house and my office and the undemanding company of my dogs. I'm not happy for any length of time as an introvert or an extrovert, so I clearly define myself as an ambivert.
Yet another classification has come to my attention in the last couple of days. I've talked here before about authors who are plotters (everything carefully plotted out before they write that first sentence) and pantsers (those who write that first sentence, and let the muse loose to see where it will carry them). Now someone on a mystery listerv has raised the question of whether or not pantsers ever re-read books or watch a movie twice. I'm not sure I see the exact correlation but apparently the thought was that if you're a free enough spirit to be a pantser, you must be bored with planning and knowing ahead and you won't want to read a book twice. The theory is getting shot down because lots who consider themselves pantsers write about the books they read annually, or those they love to go back to occasionally. I've got to admit not only to being a pantser but to almost never re-reading a book. Nothing makes me more distressed than to come home from the bookstore (or download from Kindle now) in anticipation of an evening of cozy reading only to find after five pages I've already read the thing. One of the wonders of the Kindle program--and probably other digital programs--is that you can preview twenty pages of a book. If you don't know by then if you've read it, you might just as well give up and read it again.
What about you? Do you re-read books? Think it makes you an ambivert? 

No comments: