Sunday, January 4, 2009
A New Year of reading
I'm off to a limping start this year, trying to get through my book club's selection for this month, Edward Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel. It's not that I don't like the writing--I do--but I just can't get into the subject matter. It's about a family and the dogs they breed, and I can feel an unhappy ending brewing, and I just can't bring myself to face it. Not that I mind unhappy endings, but there's a tension building around a malevolent character that I'm not sure I can live with for the next hundred or so pages.
If I don't finish the book, I have to put five bucks into the pot, for an eventual evening out with the book groupers. Not a bad price to pay, considering the pleasure it will bring me later, and it will assuage my guilt about not finishing!
My poor new Kindle is not getting much use yet, as I have so many physical books on the pile, I can't bring myself to buy any virtual ones. I've downloaded a few classics, and have started reading George Eliot's Daniel Deronda, something that's been on my list of "to-reads" forever.
I'm enjoying the Kindle experience so far, and I'm sold on how wonderful it will be to travel with. My only criticism at the moment is that without the physical cues of bookmarks and page numbers, I have no idea how far into the book I am, and how far I have to go. It's a very strange experience for me, to have no bearings in the book. I can't keep track of what chapter I'm in--that would require using too much of my beleaguered memory. It's odd--and I feel I must be missing something here--there must be some other way of figuring out where you are. Do any of you Kindle users out there have any comments or advice on how to mark reading progress?
As I mentioned in my last post, my New Year's resolution is to try to get through more of my to-read pile before I buy any more books. I feel like that could be a reading challenge in itself: The Off The Shelf challenge, or something like that. In designing that challenge for myself, I'm going to set no time limits or book quotas, but just see how long I can read without going outside my own shelves...