July 16, 2012

I've got book sense...


If you were expecting my grand reemergence into the blogging world to be a 10-piece series unearthing the influence of narwhals on contemporary fashion, I'm glad you expect so highly of me.  In that regard, it is with great humbleness (and a little pleasure) that I disappoint you.

The library is open!



As someone who constantly writes, I often get mistaken for someone who constantly reads.  I'm sad to say that my ventures into the land of the literate rarely leave my computer screen.  I figure if I try writing about reading, perhaps something magical will happen and I'll wake up with the ability to speed read - finishing entire books in one afternoon and whole series on the weekends.  I'll keep you updated on that.

The last book I read in it's entirety was Anna Karenina, which took me almost six months to finish because I kept taking breaks between the "heavy parts" to plow through Chelsea Handler's great literary achievements.  I've come to find that when I attempt a classic literature marathon it doesn't work out well.  I end up with a headache, crying on the train.  No, really.  And if you've ever read A.K. (we're friends, I can call her that), you'll understand how ironic that can be (spoiler: SHE THREW HERSELF UNDER A TRAIN).

The truth is I'm a true victim of the technological age - distracted by anything with a screen that relieves me from the pressure of actually using my brain.  That's not to say some episodes of Battlestar Galactica aren't thought provoking or deep, but they don't quite get the gears turning like reading this as the first line of a novel:
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
That line, in and of itself, is an entire story; yet, it's only the first sentence of an entire novel.   I had to put the book down and take a break before moving on.  I mean, really.  The first line?  REALLY?  (And I say that in awe, not contempt.)



My go-to in-between-stuff-that's-hard-to-read material are the essays of E.B. White, most handily put together in a book called Essays of E.B. White.  I read them over and over, and think about how if he were alive today his blog would be the shit.  I much prefer the non-fiction pros about his dachshunds than the popular stories of talking spiders and boyish mice.  I mean, really, who can write about dachshunds without looking like a total douche?  E.B. 'dubs can.



Then there are the in-betweeners; the books that are short, easy to read and simple to understand, yet somehow blow your fucking mind.  Case in point, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.  Edwin Abbott Abbott (a name so nice they put it down twice) throws some serious satirical shade in this piece about the Victorian social hierarchy; yet makes profound examinations of physics, math, and spacial dimensions at the same time.  He's the coolest square there ever was (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?).

Then there's this:


Please note: the cover is removable.

xo

4 comments:

  1. EB White's NYC essay(s) is the shit.

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  2. I JUST finished Anna Karenina. I take breaks too to lighten up reading. I'll have to take a look at Flatland. It sounds like my kind of book.

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  3. I am constantly being berated for making little punny jokes like your "square" one. Anyway, it made me giggle.

    I LOVE that last photo. Gorgeous! And hilarious!

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  4. I love to read. But people thing that, because I want to be a writer, I automatically spend all my time in parks reading Hemingway. Or that I walk around with vintage paperback Faulkner in my back pocket...alas I do not, I enjoy my writers, but I am more modern than throwback.
    But I do think that reading makes a better writer.

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