Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Sunday Salon: Krista & the Classics.

The Sunday

I have many quirks, as I'm certain all of us do but, one of those which I possess which irks me most is the fact that when it comes to classic literature, it takes me a very long time to finish reading books.

...and I mean a veryyyy long time. Word or page count does not matter, whether said piece of literature is 400 pages or 1,000; it takes me, and I'm sort of embarassed to admit it, sometimes a month and a half from the time I crack the first chapter until I come to the conclusion and heavy heartedly take leave of a group of characters.

Oh, and by the way, another thing I have is that I absolutely cannot begin another book until I'm through with my current selection. Yeah. I read maybe 6 books a year but, I'm always in the midst of one.

A perfect example? Take a look at the newest addition to my homepage, my book meter. 356 pages out of 606 pages of The Portrait of a Lady done. Not bad, you say? That's after reading a page here, a chapter there for oh.. I don't know, almost two whole months?

The thing is, I've been this way since I began delving into chapter books back in first grade. Wanna know how long I stayed with Heidi and her grandfather back in fourth grade? Six months.. SIX. FREAKING. MONTHS. So, obviously, it isn't that I secretly despise classic lit. On the contrary, I adore it. I guess, perhaps, I overanalyze the situations and topics brought up in these novels?

On the bright side, it proves I do, indeed, have great perserverance. I have never been able to justify just giving up on a story after a few chapters or halfway through. I mean, the author poured all they had, every aspect of his or her life was consumed by the creation of the piece of art which I hold in my hands for, months, years even and, I always feel that I owe it to that person to carry on, enjoy the ride for what it's worth, and only once I've finished do I have the right to judge whether or not I loved or loathed their tale. I've realized that 95% of the time, even if the book as a whole was not to my liking, I am able to pick out a few aspects that made me think or a character that I was drawn to.

I don't know, maybe the way to look at this drawback in my person is; slow and steady wins the race because, by concluding a great piece of the written word, I always feel like I've won. I've won more knowledge, I've been taught a lesson, I've been forced to see the world from a completely opposite point of view from my own and, though I may not agree, I've gained more understanding and respect for a certain group or individual and in that sense, I've won more than any kind of competition could have offered me.

So, what about you guys?
Do any of you identify with me here?

If you've participated in The Sunday Salon this week, please leave me the link to yours in my comments!

Sunny Side Up!,


Anonymous said...

As I look at many book/reading bloggers here at The Sunday Salon and at other places, I think sometimes that many, me included, sometimes rush through books to rush through a challenge, not really picking up what the author is saying or "expanding our minds." It's like we as a book-blogging community are trying to see how many books we can finish without really letting we're reading sink in. I think your approach is an extremely reasonable approach and something for which many of us should aim -- and also on the not judging the book until we're through, because we might still can learn something from another's point of view, as you said.

SmallWorld Reads said...

"Oh, and by the way, another thing I have is that I absolutely cannot begin another book until I'm through with my current selection." I am totally with you on that. I can never figure out how people can be reading 6 books at the same time. I just CANNOT do that. I probably average a book each week, but if I am reading a classic, I'd take longer.

gautami tripathy said...

It does not matter how long you take as long as you are reading. That is one purpose of reading good stuff. I agree with justareadingfool. Sometimes we rush through as if the world would end if we dion't read! For that reason, I have started to read what I like rather what I have to, for any challenge. Some challenges I joined becos I wanted to explore new Canadian Challenge. I seldom get books from Canada in India. This has made me look around and more aware. Other challenges, I have given those a back seat. I truly read or re-read what I like.

My Salon moments I
My Salon moments II

Megan said...

I am seriously all over the place with my reading. Some books I read very very slowly (Saint Maybe and Atlas Shrugged) partly it is just to enjoy them as much as possible. I like to read a few books at once. But when I get going those extra books get thrown to the side and I read one book at a time in a string (6 this month so far.) If I am reading a really long book I am definitely reading some shorter ones because part of my enjoyment I have in reading is the accomplishment I feel when I have finished the book. That means if I haven't finished a book in a while I start feeling a little down.

Richard said...

I tend to be reading 3 or 4 books simultaneously (when I am in reading mode).

When I was younger, I was a serial reader (reading one book after another). It typically takes me about 5 hours to run through 300 pages, so I typically read (and still read) 3 to 4 books per week.

I noticed you put me on your blogroll - thank you very much! I am understandably curious how you came across me.

Krista said...

Well, thank you for your positive words!
See, that's why I don't even bother signing up for reading challenges. I just can't do them!

Krista said...

Its nice to know that I'm not alone in that aspect!
If I do attempt more than one book at a time, things get all jumbled up in my head and I mix events up, etc.
Its just too much action for me to keep straight!

Krista said...

I really like your approach, focusing on one specific geographical area or country's literature.

I'm definitely going to take a gander at your salon moments as well! Thanks for linking those!

Krista said...

I, too, love that sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing a book, its one of the greatest feelings one can experience but, it just takes me longer to get there! :-)

I admire your ability to keep up with numerous stories at a time though!

Krista said...


I love your blog, its so informative and diverse!

Hmmm, to be completely honest, I can't recall where exactly it was that I happened to wander onto your page but, I can tell you that it was linked on another individual's blog.

I always check those out!

Richard said...

hee hee, you flatter me.

Well, if you ever feel inspired to leave a comment, then feel free to do so. Micro-conversations are one of the things I love about blogging.