Yesterday, I found myself wondering about the state of this blog. For some of our more competitive readers, taking time to blog about books as they read them would be utilizing time that could be better spent reading more books. Because I have no misconceptions about my stance in this competition (I’m not going to win, let’s be completely honest), I will reward this page with a post.
First, here’s a little bit about how I read. This has been a problem for me my entire life, with the exception of books I had to read for school. If I am not instantly grabbed by a book, I will generally put it down after the first few pages, and return to it maybe a few weeks later. Then I’ll read a little more, put it down, and leave it. Eventually, I’ve left the book for so long that I’ve forgotten what even happened at the beginning of the book and I have to start over. It’s a vicious cycle. This doesn’t happen as much when I’m traveling and bring a select few books to read, I generally finish them because there’s less distraction.
What is distracting me from my book at hand? Well, other books of course. My bookshelf is filled with unfinished books, books that I’ve started and put down because I saw something else I wanted to read, or I went to the bookstore, or someone lent me a book and I feel as if there’s a time constraint on when it is acceptable to give the book back to them. I have about 35 different books on the go at any given time because of this, and the start of Bookstravaganza 2012 seems to be proving no exception from my norm.
This is not to say I don’t finish books ever. There are some books I just devour, like every Salinger, Murakami, De Botton, Coupland, or Fitzgerald I’ve been given. Others take me a bit longer because I get distracted (generally by more Murakami). Sometimes I’m deterred by the length of a book and take several months to finish it, but other times, like when I read Infinite Jest, I read the whole thing within a week (and then promptly felt like an idiot that knows nothing about life, thank you for that DFW).
I took Bookstravaganza as an opportunity to re-start some of these books I never finished, and also read brand new books I never had the chance to start. But, old habits die hard, and I was thirty pages in to Lynn Coady’s The Antagonist before I decided I’d like to read Nick Hornby’s About A Boy instead. I finished About A Boy in three hours, I’d say this was a good decision. Asshole Gord Rank will just have to wait until tomorrow.
I bought the book About a Boy while I was in London back in May because I saw the film version of About A Boy several years ago and loved it. (I cannot get over how Nicholas Hoult went from looking like this to looking like this. Umfph. Do me now). Now that I have read the book, I definitely recognize some differences between the two, but I think they’re both good in their own right. I love Hornby’s style of writing, it’s so very British and cheeky. I found myself relating to Will in a sense because he’s an asshole, and I’m an asshole, but occasionally there’s room for someone like Marcus to worm their way into my cold, black heart and make me less of an asshole. (if that makes sense)
I must conclude this entry because I need to go meet Alice & co for her lovely birthday dinner (what are the chances we’re all going to be reading at the table instead of being sociable? I’m looking at you, Dorothy). But my first read of Bookstravaganza 2012 was a success, and I highly recommend About A Boy to my fellow readers.