Let’s Talk with Karla Brandenburg

Binging. Cookies or books?

By Karla Brandenburg

CookiesI like my food fresh, as in not days old. And for those things that I enjoy eating, I have a tendency to overeat, because they are better fresh (and not days old). Take chocolate chip cookies, for instance. My patient husband does not understand how I can buy a bag of 18 cookies from the grocery store bakery and they don’t last more than 2-3 days. For this reason, I try not to have chocolate chip cookies in the house very often. I’m a cookie-holic. Like the old potato chip commercial. I can’t eat just one. And then there’s the thought that if you let “it” (whatever it is) sit for a couple of days, it loses flavor. Or texture. The exception to that rule is Italian food. Not sure what it is, but the longer Italian food sits (within reason), the more the flavors mingle together. Yes, Italian food is often better a day or two later.

Reading is kind of like chocolate chip cookies for me. Another thing my patient husband doesn’t understand. I almost always finish a book the same day or the next day. His argument is that I should savor it, not rush through it, but if it’s a good book, I want to devour it (just like those poor cookies). Certainly I have enough books lined up on my Kindle that I can afford to binge read, and reading isn’t fattening (well, except for the part where I’m not out exercising instead of reading). Like food, if the book isn’t as appealing, I don’t mind having it sitting around for a few days, and I’m not running to finish it right away. That’s not always a bad thing. And yes, some books should be savored.

I’m on Goodreads, and the last couple of years I’ve set reading goals. It’s just a wild guess at how many books I think I’ll read. Last year, I didn’t meet my goal (which was somewhat ambitious). This year, I’m WAY over my goal (making up for those I didn’t read last year, I guess). Or maybe I’ve been lucky enough to find some really fun books this year. The more “good” books I read, the more I want to read. When I read a couple of duds, it tends to turn me off for a while (and I know I read more duds last year than I have this year).

Are you a voracious reader? Do you devour them in one sitting (or two?) or do you prefer to take your time so you can prolong your enjoyment? Maybe you’re the type that can read more than one story at a time. Leave me a comment, and a winner will be chosen randomly to add my newest e-book release, RISING MIST, to your TBR pile.



  1. Denise Boyd says

    I tend to read 3-4 books every week so I definitely qualify as a binge reader. My tablet goes everywhere with me and I always have several books loaded to read. Honestly sometimes I think it’s the only reason I need it is for the ease of reading.

  2. Thanks everyone for the comments! Sorry to be tardy responding, but I’ve been away for most of the thanksgiving week… Nice to hear I’m not the only one!

  3. tinawhittle says

    I miss long afternoons with a book — that’s definitely on my New Year’s Resolution list!

  4. We must be sisters! I love to read and when I have a good book, I can’t just put it down, I want to devour the whole thing so I know how the ending turns out. But I know that by reading it so quickly I may not have savor end the details so I usually read it again later where I can enjoy the writer’s story crafting as well. Some books I’ve read again every year because it’s like a lovely visit with an old friend.

    • Terry Ambrose says

      Hey, Vicky, speaking of reading a book each year, here’s one you might want to look up for the holidays. It’s called St. Nick and was written by Alan Russell. It’s a heartwarming Christmas story I absolutely loved. It’s almost that time!!!

  5. I tend to read a book from cover to cover, stopping only when my body demands food, sleep, or a pit stop. I get very irritable when I can’t do this! As for duds, they get dumped into a DNF pile (did not finish). Life is too short to make reading a miserable experience.

  6. Terry Ambrose says

    Reading time is a precious commodity, one that’s way too short in supply for me. I wish I had more time…maybe someday. Hmmm, cookies are in short supply around our house, too. Do you suppose there’s a correlation? More cookies=more time to read? 🙂

  7. I can’t binge read for lack of time. Most of my pleasure reading is done at bedtime, and I get so sleepy that this doesn’t last long. I’d say it takes me about a week to finish a book. My TBR pile keeps getting higher. You’re lucky to be a fast reader!

  8. I’m not reading as much as I used to, simply because I’m not taking those afternoon reading breaks I used to. But I’m also learning that I’m not required to finish a book, so I have more books that get shoved aside. Right now I’m reading The Promise by Robert Crais, and I’m torn between hurrying to finish and savoring it because I don’t want it to end (but I want to know the ending, if that makes sense)

  9. magnoliahillway says

    When I find I’m reading a dud, I remind myself that there are more books than time to be read! If I can’t enjoy a book in so many chapters, it’s on to the next! I find myself reading more than one book at a time due to review deadlines. I sort it all out by reading two different genres, less confusing.