Monday, October 14, 2013

The Year of Long Books

I just didn't have time. That's what it felt like and was true in many ways. With multiple books for multiple classes, tackling the immense library of the world with 600+ page books felt seemingly impossible. With campus ministry, I read lighter books that would fit in my bag during the day.

There were a few exceptions.
  • I read "The Brothers Karamazov" while traveling in India.
  • I read "Lord of the Rings" for the who-knows-how-many time. Probably shouldn't count.
  • I read "Trilby" for a class. Kind of. More like skimmed for the parts that would help my essay.
  • I read...

That might have been it when it comes to super long books.

Here were various attempts:
  • "Middlemarch" on audio book
  • "Crime and Punishment"
  • "Anna Karenina"
  • "As I Lay Dying"
  • "The Sound and the Fury"
  • "Bonhoeffer: A Biography" by Eric Metaxas
  • Others
I just couldn't stay interested long enough to finish.

But here. Time is slower. The chance to focus and push through is different.  The Kindle also changes it because I don't see the huge chunk of book that I haven't finished yet. I spend more time on buses between cities or waiting to teach a class.

Since arriving, I've knocked off 4 hefty books. From beginning to end. I wasn't rushing it either. I took several weeks on each, thinking, mulling, etc. I wrote a mini essay after Anna Karenina and have tried to look up things on the local epics "The Bridge on the Drina" (Serbian) and "Under the Yoke" (Bulgarian).

I've declared this to be the Year of Long Books. I like this idea. I like knowing I have a year where I can actually expect to finish "Les Mis" if I start it or pick up a biography on Einstein and engage with it. This is new. This is different.

Any recommendations? So far I have "Les Mis", "Crime and Punishment", something by James Joyce, and the Bible (yes, the whole thing) on my To Read list.

This will be interspersed with lighter fare. So pass those suggestions along too!

2 comments:

Arjun said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Read_a_Book

Anjali can vouch for it as well.

Anonymous said...

Catch 22, Faulker, Kafka, Pillars of Hercules, or maybe Innocence Abroad.