I was quite disappointed about losing my Kindle, back in November. At least until I realized I had Reamde sitting on a bookshelf. I had purchased them both around the same time, promptly placing the Kindle in my bag and the book on the shelf, where I basically just forgot about it.
I was excited to jump right in, and also curious how long it would take me to plow through all 1040 pages. It had been years since I attempted a novel of that size. Sure enough, it took quite a while.
There were days where I tore through pages, clearing a hundred or two hundred at a time. Other days I would struggle through thirty. I think this must have had more to do with mental states and energy levels than with the actual content, which is as consistent and vibrant as anything else I'd read by Neal Stephenson.
I love the immensity of his characters, the depth of detail of the locations -- it really feels like Mr. Stephenson must have become intimitely familiar with each setting throughout this sprawling, global thriller.
When I was younger I used to tear through books like this over a weekend. Maybe I won't see that kind of voracity again, but I'd like to think it might come back with some practice.
One of the biggest takeaways though was the calming affect I consistently experienced after reading, after even a short 10 minutes. The trick seemed to be to really sink in to the read, which could sometimes be quite difficult, if I was agitatated and anxious.
I would have to slow down, control my breathing, calmly just let my eyes move from left to right, left to right, the words would start to fade away, and images would start to appear... at that point I could already put down the book and feel the difference in my body.