Right now I’m reading Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy. I last read this book twenty-some years ago, and it marked a turning point in my understanding of the way I read books.
I devour books. I understood that part already. I charge straight through and often miss key plot points or character points. I rarely know what a character looks like.
It takes me a minute to get into them. Often, I read the first couple pages two or even three times before I understand the character and setting.
If I get excited about what’s happening, I skip ahead on the page.
A successful reading experience, then, usually involves repeated efforts to refocus my attention at first. That’s one of the things I like about reading: it puts me in a good frame of mind. Once I’ve settled in, I’m in the world, one hundred percent.
But here’s what’s interesting: I don’t see the world visually. I don’t make a mental picture of the characters or the setting. I see it in some other way I can’t explain.
And that’s where Tea with the Black Dragon changed my understanding of myself as a reader. As I got into the book, I heard the characters, plain as day.
Does anybody else have this experience?