Thursday, February 5, 2009
Someday, I'll lead the book revolution...in the meantime, I've got some reading to do
I don't normally read books about what other people are reading, but I decided to give Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader a go because the awesome and eminently trustworthy Darren insisted I do so. Indeed, he was scandalized that I hadn't read it already.
The primary reason I tend to avoid books about books is that the topic continually reminds me that I'm reading, which I find distracting and irritating. This, of course, did happen somewhat with Ex Libris - it's just the inevitable result of trying to force my story-addicted brain to engage with reportage/memoir - but not so much that I didn't really enjoy this book.
Yes, I really enjoyed this book! It was incredibly funny and engaging and well-written and completely free of any kind of grammatical errors and typos. This book really made me want to sit down with Anne Fadiman over tea and food (lots of it) and talk about books for hours and hours. She gets people like me and our book-hoarding compulsions and need to always have a book on hand because she's the same! She's a gigantic nerd and she's not ashamed of it. She can definitely be part of my book revolution, a general even, whenever I figure out what a book revolution will look like.
In the meantime, I'm back to reading Henry James, alternating between lighter fare and his heavy meditations on being a social beast in 19th-century England and America. I'm on page 777 of 1200-and-something. I've read two stories (so 140 pages) in the past 2 days and really, really enjoyed them. I think I really will finish Vol. 1 of his short fiction before the end of the blog year, which is something I didn't feel very confident about a week or so ago. But I'm disappointed in myself for needing a whole year to do it - yes, I began this tome literally at the beginning of Blog Year 2 and the eve of Blog Year 3 is imminent! Ah well. I'm going to the gym now. For Vol. 2, I'll have gigantic heavy-book-carrying muscles and there will be no excuses.