Friday, September 22, 2006

Let's Start Over

Find yourself reading more but enjoying it less? Reading less and enjoying it less. Not reading a damn thing and feeling guilty?

Maybe we need to go back to the time when we were first learning to read - stop and smell the printed page, as it were. The New York Times has a great article about several new books written to help us relish the printed page once more.

Books are published at a phenomenal rate these days, so there's loads and loads of sparkly stuff to attract us. Alas, most of us have less and less time to read. What's a book lover to do? With our TBR (To Be Read) stacks filling up nightstands and corners of rooms, it is tempting to fly through everything as quickly as possible, just to whittle down the stack.

I'm so guilty of doing that. I cannot remember plots or characters from something I finished last week, not to mention something read last year. Little absorption level. No appreciation for the language (if there's language to be appreciated). It's kind of like a Cliffs Notes approach to reading a complete novel - scan for story threads, find a few key points, move on.

Am I just looking for a good story? Why can't I stop and appreciate the structure and language? Is there great writing/language out there today? For example, I have a hard time flying through a Rebecca West novel because her use of words and language is gorgeous. Don't want to miss a word or a phrase. These days, I hesitate to pick up one of her books because I just don't have the time to appreciate the richness of her writing.

So thanks, NYT, for pointing me in the direction of some new "how to read a novel" books. But do I have time to read them? Hm.

No comments: