Thursday, January 05, 2006

Literary monogamy

Some bookish musing.

As an avid reader I often discuss with friends & colleagues about what I/they are reading. However, I can never understand people who can have more than one book on the go at any one time.

"Oh," says one friend "I'm reading about three at the moment..." all various genres it turns out, one for each mood. But nah, I can't do it. If I'm reading something I like to get completely and utterly lost in the experience of it, having a book for a different mood or time/place is just plain odd if you ask me. A book is like a passing friend you get to know; the best ones will stay with you and you'll introduce them to others with enthusiasm, the less engaging ones you'll simply let slip away.

I'm currently reading Lord of the Flies but am inexplicably having real trouble getting into it. It's one of those classics almost everyone else seems to have read but me (at school or otherwise), and I feel I should be in love with it from the start. Maybe that's the problem. Or I've been watching too much Lost (which is a recognised medical condition apparently).

Chatting with my friend Matt over coffee today he brought up an interesting point - some classics have a great idea but a poor narrative. Fahrenheit 451 comes to mind. Others have an unoriginal idea, but somehow pull it off with the style and wit. Perhaps the ubiquitous Potter would fall into this category?


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