Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Literature 101

I love to read, and always have. I have sold, donated, and given away countless books, but I still have a small library. James told me the only reason we got a house with a basement was to accommodate my books (he was kidding). Since paperbacks are so expensive, and I don't always have luck at the used bookstore, I am very picky about what I read. Subject matter-wise, I will read just about anything from true crime to biographies to light-hearted romances to science fiction. When I stroll through the aisles of a store, I look for one thing and one thing only. The width of the spine. I like super long books, the longer the better, and the smaller print the better. More "book" for my buck, so to speak. Don't get me wrong, I've read books that took me one afternoon to blow through, but they aren't as satisfying as something that takes a week or more. I am just now finishing up The Executioner's Song, which is 1000 pages, and I started it maybe a bit less than two weeks ago. If I pick up a book, and it has large print, I usually put it back down because I know I will read it in one evening and feel cheated because it was such a quick thrill for the night. I recently decided that I wanted to read some of the classics, books I should have been reading in school but never did. I was SO bad about using CliffsNotes for book reports, I confess! Even though English was my favorite class. Last year before we moved, I bought Vanity Fair, War and Peace, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, and almost everything by Ernest Hemingway, but haven't gotten around to finding them in all the chaos in the basement since we moved. So this morning, knowing that I will finish my current read probably while we are on vacation (oh, I just never travel without a book!), I went to our Barnes & Noble in Newnan (see photo from their website) and bought The Brothers Karamazov, The Count of Monte Cristo, Les Miserables, and An American Tragedy. If you go to a bookstore and look at all of these books, you will notice they are NOT very small, in fact they are some of the biggest books on the shelf. The last book especially strikes a chord with me, as I was assigned to read it my senior year (1984!!!) of high school, but never even cracked it open, and instead relied on a classmate and good ol' Cliff to get me through the report. But now I'm a different person, and I actually want to read it, believe it or not. There are a lot more classics on my list, but for now I think these books will carry me through summer and maybe beyond. I will still sneak in a creepy but fascinating murder mystery in between, but my plan is to read all of these (including the ones hiding in the basement) this year, and to keep reading the classics.

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