Saturday, October 12, 2013

Reading Day: The Read-a-thon Begins

It's the Read-a-thon today, and I'm about to get started.

It's actually not as drizzly and as dreary as they said it would be, but that's okay.  I've been looking forward to a day of couch, kitty cats, and books.  With coffee and tea liberally administered at regular intervals.  (To me, not to the cats.)

I'm going to start with Melville's The Confidence-Man, since I was warned that it might be tedious. It was published on April Fool's Day in 1857.  This may be telling me something.

I've been cheerfully reading Dickens' Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865) for a few days now, so I think that will be my "relaxing" book.  Dickens published the novel in monthly installments, unlike his other novels, which were often serialized in weekly installments.

It's a novel that was briefly interrupted by a train crash.  

Dickens survived the Staplehurst railway accident in June of 1865.  After he helped the wounded, he climbed back through the wreckage to retrieve the manuscript of that month's installment of Our Mutual Friend from his coat pocket.

The montly intallment for June is 2 pages shorter than all of the other installments, and that's why.

I'm also going to try to get back into DeLillo's Underworld, at some point.

That's the plan.  More later...

7:15 p.m.

Well, I'm not sure where the day went, but the reading has been going slowly.  The Confidence-Man is a truly strange novel, and I'm not sure quite what I think of it yet.  I feel like I've read a lot of it, but I haven't, and that's a fact.  A frustrating fact, but a fact.

Why is it that on a Kindle, you feel like you've read 10 pages and when you check, you've only read ... 2?  What's the good of swiping those pages as if they're real pages, when really, they're not?  They need to fix that.  Spending 2 hours on a book only to be told you've read 2% of it?  Not cool.

So I may take a break for a bit, and then work on it a bit more, then switch to Dickens.  I just had a cup of coffee, so I should be good to go for a slightly later night than usual.

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