Monday, February 16, 2009

The Reader

I read a lot. And I read fast. I'm what you might call a voracious reader. Sometimes I find myself speeding through a book because I can't wait to start the next one in the pile but it's an unwritten rule that I don't go on to a fresh book without finishing the last one.
(Does that mean I'm a self-denier or a non-pleasure prolonger? Discuss.)

I'm currently reading `Ten Days In The Hills' by Jane Smiley which is kind of an L.A updating of The Decameron. I began reading it in December. I'm now on page 59. Of 450 pages. I was also on page 59 in December. I can't imagine a time when I won't be on page 59. Which makes me increasingly reluctant to pick the book back up. And every time I do, I have no recollection of the story or any of the characters so I have to flip back a few pages to refresh my memory. So I re-read a few pages of the book. And then I stop. On page 59.

It could be that it's a dense and difficult read. But the other book I'm also ploughing through, Frank Portman's `King Dork', is neither of these things. I started it on the plane a few weeks ago. I got to page 176. I've delved back into it a few times since then. Same outcome: can't remember reading it, re-read a few pages, toss it aside on page 176.

Has this ever happened to you? Will I ever finish either of these books. Should I break my lifelong unwritten rule?

(This, btw, is the first installment of Jonathan's Book Club. Should make pretty riveting reading in future...)

1 comment:

Laura said...

BLAH on Jane Smiley. Can't STAND her writing. I read about 12 years ago, "A Thousand Acres". REALLY enjoyed it (even if it was a rip off of King Lear, only in the farmland of America), and by the ending, THREW it across the room. (I did the same with Brideshead Revisited too), Loved it up until the ending and say "WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, EVELYN????"

I will NEVER understand how "ATA" won the Pulitzer. Blech!