Monday, April 19, 2021

Reading a good book is like drinking good wine

Book wine and candles

Reading a good book is like drinking good wine. At least, in my opinion, it is. What does reading have to do with drinking wine, you ask? Let me explain.

When I drink wine, my two basic philosophies are that I don't drink red wine made in the same decade I'm living in. A good red wine with some age to it, preferably up to a decade, makes for a much better, smoother drink. That assumes the wine is good to begin with. It's no point cellaring and aging crap wine. Secondly, drinking wine should require no effort, and the bottle should go down smoothly and easily. More often than not, the mark of a good wine is one where it is finished before you realise it. I'm going to leave out the people who guzzle wine and drink indiscriminately for whatever reason in my analysis. 😛 As my Steve will often say, I do not drink wine to get drunk. I drink wine to enjoy the flavors, the textures, and the complexity of the grapes and vintage.

So, going back to reading, reading a good book should be like drinking good wine. We can disregard the first point because we obviously won't be waiting a decade to read a good book. We gobble it up as quickly as we can, as soon as it is released. But on the second point, reading a good book should be effortless, and the ending should rush up to us so rapidly that we need to slow down consciously, so it doesn't end too soon. It's the same with a good wine. Slowing down to savor every sip, so the bottle doesn't disappear too fast.

Did not finish book

Just recently, I DNFed two books in a row. Both books didn't work for me, and getting even to 30% before I gave up was like pulling teeth. And don't even get me started with pulling teeth since I just spent five hours in a dental surgeon's chair with some heavy duty surgery. I know what that's like.

Back to the reading. It wasn't a fun experience. I mean, I was starting, stopping, starting, stopping. Checking Facebook, watching a YouTube video, getting distracted in between paragraphs. I couldn't seem to read more than a page or two at a time before getting distracted yet again. One book took me four days to get to 20%. It was a struggle to get into it. I thought it was post-dental surgery sedation brain, but really, it was the book just not working for me.

The other book, I kept reading and thinking that I'd like to stop reading. And maybe I'll keep reading, but really, I'd like to just DNF it before I finally gave up and just left myself DNF. I do not DNF a book lightly, and I hate doing it, so I need a good reason to do it. And while it's getting easier for me to make the decision to DNF a book, it's still gut-wrenching every single time. If I can help it, I don't want to DNF a book.

Book and wine

After two back-to-back DNFs, I decided to resort to an old favorite. I fell back to an author I know I enjoyed and picked something out of her backlist I'd meant to read and started on that. It was like drinking a good wine or catching up with a good friend. It was relaxing, comfortable, enjoyable, and the time passed a little too quickly. Before I knew it, I was 44% into the book, and I had enjoyed every moment of it. Okay, yes, I confess, there was some checking of Facebook and responding to messages on Messenger but no more than usual and nothing unnecessary that screamed of procrastination.

So yeah, a good wine, a good book. Same thing. Reading a good book and drinking a good wine should be effortless, and time should run away from you. You need to get lost in a good book the same way the flavors of a good wine transports you to the region it's made from. Smell the terroir, feel the air, experience the lush grapes amidst the vines. It's an experience, and I hope that, like me, you get to do it every time you reach for a good book and a good glass of wine. And, of course, how many of you enjoy a good glass of wine with a good book? And if not a glass of wine, what's your beverage of choice?

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  1. I do like that comparison and totally agree although I am not a big wine drinker I do love chocolate and would compare reading to that for me :)

    Have Fun


    1. Chocolate works too. Good chocolate is delicious.

  2. I agree. I used to finish everything and now I don't and as I red largely in Kindle Unlimited I don't even feel guilty about it anymore. Life is too short and there are so many wonderful books out there to discover.

    1. That is true. I struggle with DNFing a book but I am getting better about setting aside a book that's not working for me. I have so many books waiting for me to read.