the Little Red Reviewer

Savor? or devour?

Posted on: February 7, 2012

When you suddenly discover that the book you just picked up is sublimely brilliant, how do you proceed?




do you savor every word and every sentence, tantrically drawing the experience out as long as possible,  enjoying new portions of the book every day for over a week, waking up each morning looking forward to your precious moments spent reading those mind blowing words and hearing the breathless sound of your hand turning the soft, smooth pages?


or do you devour the book with an unrestrained animal urge,  foregoing food, sleep and social interaction, in your desperate, pleading need to reach the climactic ending,  secretly hoping it will end with a cliffhanger so you can smile crookedly at the promise of a repeat performance?


photo courtesy of the Hot Guys Reading Books Tumblr feed.  Go check it out.

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20 Responses to "Savor? or devour?"

i think it depends on the book- if it’s so very intriguing surely you won’t refrain to dedicate as much time as possible to finishing it! but if it creates a certain atmosphere you love, or a certain feeling, you’ll obviously choose to savor it…


I don’t ever secretly wish for a cliffhanger, I’m much more of one book: one story kind of guy, but other than that I am about 99% a devourer. If I come upon something that instantly sparks a flame then it is like a match dropped in dry grass, it whips up a big fire and just consumes me.

It is only with essay or short story collections that I can show some restraint and even then it does not happen too often.


I usually devour, but not with anticipation of a cliffhanger. I would rather have an amazing book end on a satisfying complete note instead of leaving me hanging.

If I truly loved the book, then a re-read is possible, then at that point, I would savor. Nothing like a re-read where I can completely take my time and loose myself into the words; soaking in the senses that are brought to my attention.

By the way, the photo….fabulous. I checked out the tumblr site you mentioned, and I will say, the photo here is my favorite. Does not look contrived.


Hey, nothing like mispelling ones own username. Yeah, that is going to be my kind of day, it seems.


grrr….did the correction to my username delete my comment? grrr.

If so, here it is….

I devour a book that has grabbed me and mind is whirling around with how “brilliant” said book is. However, I never wish for a cliff hanger. A devoured book is so much more satisfying when it ends with completeness, and a book in a series can end this way.

For a book that I loved, a re-read is highly likely. At that point, I then want to savor and intake the words…the senses that are evoked, the prose that makes me pause, etc. I do find myself smoothing the pages, and gaining from the tactile experience of the book. I am much slower with my re-reads, for certain.

The photo you post is great! I went to the tumblr site you mentioned, and the photo here is my favorite. It does not look contrived.


I devour books that grab me like this. Then, if I can, I will reread them to take in what I may have missed in my rush to find out what happens! I am not a fan of cliff-hangers, I think they take away from a good story.


Time permitting, I devour. Just can’t stop myself.


I go either way, fast or slow, and I couldn’t even tell you why. I suspect that if I haven’t come across one in awhile that I truly enjoy I tend to let it linger awhile. I prefer no cliffhangers, at least nothing too important in the storyline, because if I’ve just committed all that time to the book I feel it should give me at least some closure. Little danglers are ok, just nothing too big.


Thanks for posting about my blog and sending me such a lovely email!

I do this one: “you devour the book with an unrestrained animal urge, foregoing food, sleep and social interaction, in your desperate, pleading need to reach the climactic ending.”

I can read very, very quickly when I put my mind to it.


If the novel is a fun fast read, I’ll sit there and devour it. If I think that I will need to remember the story as I go along, and pick up on pieces to view the whole, I make myself read it bit by bit.


I used to be a savourer, but then after experiences with certain authors who shall remain nameless, who took FOREVER to release their next book, I thought ‘ah bugger it, I’m just gonna read it!’, so I do. When it’s something really really good I’ll reread not long after though. Lies, for instance, I read that and then immediately after reread it, I do mean immediately after. Finished the book and then went back to the first page and started all over again, it was that good.


I devour everything. I’m always a fast reader, and I seem to read faster when I love a book. And then I forget large swathes…but that just means I get to come back and read it again! I’m more likely to savor a book on a second read through, although that has more to do with attitude than actual reading speed…


I think I like to slow down and just wallow in really good writing reading and re-reading passages but I will rush through a good thriller.


I devour like there’s no tomorrow. I’m very fond of re-reading, though, and on the second read-through I take time to savor passages/scenes I particularly enjoy, or to study the way the book is put together now that I know What Happens Next.

I don’t mind cliffhangers when they’re well done (when they’re exceptionally well done, they’re among my favorite endings, actually), but often–especially in series–they feel contrived. That does bother me.


I tend to devour books that I really like. I can’t help myself. I don’t hope for cliffhangers though. I’d rather the story be complete if possible but if the story is much larger and couldn’t possible be contained in one book, I like those as well. The current book needs to have a sense of completion and not just a cliffhanger at the end.


I do both, but mostly the latter. If the prose is absolutely to die for, I’ll Savor. But in nearly all other cases I simply Devour, then turn around and start rereading until I’ve had my fill.

The Passage by Justin Cronin was one of those rare books that I loved his prose, and it warred constantly with my desire to devour the book whole. The latter impulse eventually won on a fine Saturday afternoon…. when I realized I’d been reading for seven hours, and I was starving.


I either like a book or I don’t, it’s pretty binary for me. If I’m not diggin’ it by maybe page 100, I rarely finish it.

But when I do love the book I’m reading, it’s usually a fast finish.

But of course, there are thise that I only allow myself to read a little of every day, because it us just too scrumptious and I don’t want it to end, like most all of Czerneda’s books.

Then there are those that require the toothpicks and the eyedrops, the caffienated juices, and the flashlight , and the *coff coff I’m too sick to work* phone call at dawn.


Devour. Always. I hate reading slowly. If it takes me too long to work my way through a book, I lose my connection to the characters and grow bored with the story.


I devour. I have very little restraint when it comes to the things I enjoy, so the best books inevitably lead to reading-binges.

However, I do re-read favourites, and even though I’ll devour those too, my familiarity with the book gives me a chance to savour the little details.


i tend to devour too. I think it’s because I’m a really impatient person.


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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