Last week, I talked about getting started again after a long break. I did start again, but I am in the middle of writing a scene I absolutely hate, and I am not sure if that means the idea behind the scene stinks, or if my writing stinks and the idea is good, or what. So I am going to finish writing the scene, gritted teeth and all (my heroine DOES get to knock someone out, which is cool, but the hero doesn’t arrive until later, late bastard), but meanwhile, my brain has been doing its best to keep me away from productive time at the keyboard.

So I’ve pulled out a fun book to browse through, Nicholas ParsonsThe Book of Literary Lists (I cited a Barbara Cartland quote on my own Diary yesterday; click here to read it). And discovered this:

Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s Four Classes of Book Reader

Sponges, who absorb all they read and return it nearly in the same state, only a little dirtied.
Sand-glasses, who retain nothing, and are content to get through a book for the sake of getting through the time.
Strain-bags, who retain merely the dregs of what they read.
Mogul diamonds, equally rare and valuable, who profit by what they read, and enable others to profit by it also.

I wish I were a mogul diamond, but I think I must confess to being a sponge: I read a lot, and don’t always think too hard about what I’ve just read. Sometimes I read just to keep my mind occupied, sand-glass style, but I do retain more than nothing. My mom is a sand-glass–she can barely remember what’s happening WHILE she’s reading the book, but she reads all the time, and is an even faster reader than me, and I am pretty darn fast.

So–do you think Coleridge is right in his categories? What kind of reader are you? And, as a bonus question, if you were to read a scene where the previously meek heroine decks a guy, would you hate it?

Thanks for sharing–