A while ago we had a post called Mind the gap? which was about physical space on the bookshelves, but today's 'mind the gap' is more to do with time and/or mental space - the gaps between books in your reading life.
As another topic in our reading habits series, my question is how much time do you let pass from finishing one book to starting the next? Do you always go straight on without a pause? Do you allow a few hours/days to elapse while you digest what you've just read? Does it depend entirely on what you've been reading? Do you perhaps switch to some non-fiction after a heavy diet of fiction, or turn to another genre for your next novel - i.e. a gap in terms of style or subject matter? I daresay no-one reads to any set pattern as such, but I wondered whether you could identify trends and leanings like those in your own literary life.
I often have a biography or other work of non-fiction on the go which I pick up between novels because I find its change of voice, pace and emotional pitch is welcome, rather like switching to a good documentary when you've had enough of television drama. Sometimes I'll take months to finish that book, but it's there on my bedside table whenever I need it as a (usually) restful alternative to the fiction which makes up most of my reading. Catherine Horwood's Gardening Women: Their Stories from 1600 to the Present was my most recent ongoing book, and although I enjoyed it greatly it took me a couple of years simply because it was performing that occasional gap-filling function; you might also call it a thirst-quencher or a refresher for those times when the world of fiction gets a bit too hot or dry.
So then, do you leave gaps, do you have a change of pace with a gap-filler, or do you forge straight ahead to more of the same?