05 June 2010


No, not peeking. Flitting. I should explain. Flitting occurs when you've just read a book (e.g. Tigers & Devils [Sean Kennedy]) that has reached inside and...not just tugged at your heartstrings but spoken to you on some intimate level. And while you're reading this book you're on a high...and then you finish, and fall.

So here is us, on the raggedy edge. (Yes, I'm quoting Serenity *grin*) And you say 'I know, I'll read another book'. And because you're worried about selecting a book that won't stand up to the one you just read you pick something completely different... But, instead of delving straight in and just....you know, reading, you flit. What I mean is, you sneak a peek, read a snippet, and then follow a particularly character or a particular plot line...until something else takes your fancy and you follow that... And then you decide you need to revisit previous books (because without fail the book you've selected in part of a series [and if for some reason it isn't it ends up on the DNF pile])...and you flit around those as well. (I find I usually work backwards through a series rather than starting at the beginning.) And with the flitting comes no staying power. It's like...your concentration has decided to go on holiday and you're following shiny things around like they are back in fashion (although perhaps they are, I'm no fashionista :)

And how long does the flitting last. For me, about a week. And yes, that's what I've been doing with Shalador's Lady - flitting. I've worked my way through the previous Black Jewel books (although for some [weird] reason I didn't flit through Daughter of the Blood). And has the phenomenon occurred before? Why yes, when I finished reading Mine to Possess.

So, have you ever experienced flitting or, after reading this post, do you think I've completely lost the plot?


  1. I do the flitting... however, I've learned to combat this with short stories. Anything with around 40-50 pages I can handle, otherwise, no go. I also try to avoid series books; don't want the "commitment".

    I have about 6 books that I started, got to about the 2nd chapter and called it quits. Nothing to do with the books, just my mood. I'll get to them eventually :)

  2. I do what Mariana does! I read a bunch of short stories to cleanse my palate. :)

  3. I do flitting, except I usually flit from book to book instead of through one book. I'll start flitting through one and decide it's not what I want and I'll keep doing that until I settle on a book. After reading The Queen of Attolia I had that problem and it took a while for me to just settle on one. And when I'm in that kind of mood I never give these poor books I'm flitting through much of a chance.

  4. Mariana - that's such a good idea...to read novellas during the flitting phase. I'll try that next time :)

    Chris - another recommendation for the novella during the flitting phase. *makes note*

    Kristen - I think the flitting is because I can't settle, but I seem to flit through one book after another. And yes, I do feel sorry for the books I'm flitting through. I'm so glad I went back to Shalador's Lady as I'm really enjoying it.

  5. Actually, a lot of time I read REALLY short stories - 10-20 pages.

  6. I feel the post-great-book-malaise sometimes. And, while I don't usually flit through books I've read before, I do tend to have a hard time settling with a next book. Like Mariana, I'll pick a book up, read a chapter or 2, then put it down and move to another book. Usually, I'll settle after 2 or 3 books. Hopefully. :-)

  7. Chris - so noted :)

    Renee - it's nice to know that the post-great-book malaise isn't just me :) It is frustrating though, when the TBR books keep accumulating...

  8. I finished Dreamfever last night and sure enough, I picked up and rejected half a dozen books before I settled on one to read. And I haven't been doing too terribly well on holding my concentration to that one, either.

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  10. heidenkind - the flitting sure is annoying, isn't it? I hope you get through it and out the other side soon!

    joven - thank you.

  11. I also do that all the time. At this moment I have about 5 books started where I've read maybe two chapters, sometimes a bit more, then moved on to another book. In between those I've read short stories (like Mariana). I eventually find that one book that captures my attention and settle down with it. I do return to those books I started though... I don't DNF them.

    OH, and I also "flit" through favorite books at times... re-read favorite passages or follow a favorite thread.

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  13. Nope, I don't flit. I might do what Chris and Marianna do and read short stories or I just delve into the next story. OR I just wait a few days before the effect of the uber great book dies down and then start a new one.

    Shalador's Lady was fabulous - I hope you sit and enjoy it soon.

  14. Mmmm... I hadn't thought about it that way but yes, flitting is a good term for it.

    Mostly, my behaviour mirrors Hilcia's--I'm not fond, generally speaking, of short stories, so that doesn't even occur to me.

  15. Love this post - I have a few of those books as well... Keeper shelf material.

    I am trying to read some shorts in between, but it is still a chance thing..

    Mostly fantasy puts me a flitting mood..


  16. Hilcia - I love flitting through favourite reads. Sometimes you just have to read that one scene :)

    Mike - ah, thank you. Honestly, I really don't think I'm interesting enough to interview, but thank you anyway ;)

    Tracy - you're immune to the flitting bug? How did you do it? It drives me nuts! And I loved Shalador's Lady...once I settled down to it :)

    azteclady - thank you :) I hadn't thought of novellas either, but I think I'm going to try it and see if it works. Because after a week of flitting I'm getting desperate! *grin*

    EH - thank you :) And I'm with you on fantasy novels leading to flitting. Maybe it's the scope...