Books to Dip in and Out of
Books to Savor all Summer
Books for a Long Weekend
Let's talk for a moment about One-Day Reads. I have never read a book in one day, unless we're counting the types of books I read in the third-grade in an attempt to read the most number of books in the MS Read-a-thon. But maybe the problem was, I thought, that I'm reading the wrong kind of books. Sophie Kinsella chose The Curious Incident of a Dog in Night-Time.
Augusten Burroughs chose The Member of the Wedding.
Both of these books are supposedly fairly short. While I would still not likely finish these in a day, I might finish them in a weekend. I can admit I'm a slow reader. I would actually like to take Speed Reading 101, but appparently, the instructor who is teaching this at The School in My Mind That Does Not Exist In Real Life also teaches the Shorthand 101 course that I want to take. And she's on mat leave. For like, life. Which is okay, I think, because while speed reading has its benefits, is it really for leisure reading? After all, isn't leisure reading supposed to be pleasurable? So right, I can accept that Augusten and Sophie are able to read their one-day novels in a day but as for Danielle Steel's choice, I don't buy it.
She chose "Anything by Jodi Picoult."
To which I say, Come. On.
Actually, Ms Steel could've chosen anything by Jodi Picoult, any book at all, and I would challenge her that she could not read it in a day. While I love Jodi Picoult, her books are like the Bible: Sacred but Monstrous. I mean, they clock in at about 600 pages. I think I can read about a page every 2 minutes. So that would be 1200 minutes or 20 hours. Is that math correct? I don't have a calculator handy, but let's assume it is. So then, on the day I'm going to read a Jodi Picoult novel, I can only sleep for 4 hours. So then, I'd have to spend the rest of the weekend sleeping just to catch up after reading my One-Day Book. But what about eating? Of course, I bet Danielle Steel has a personal chef, so she doesn't need to make her meals herself. Or maybe she can read a page in less than 2 minutes.
Anyway, the other category I found interesting was Books to Dip into and Out of. As you may recall if you've been reading my blog for a while, my New Year's Resolution for 2007 was To Finish Books I Start Reading. This lasted a whole 2 days until people whose opinion I value naysayed this resolution, saying that there are too many books in the world and that if you spend time agonizing over a book you loathe you may never get to one that you'll love and that if a book can't hold your attention it's not a book for you. (Actually, I think the person who said the last comment actually said, verbatem: "If a book can't hold your attention then it's a bad book", but as an author, I can't bring myself to really call any book BAD because someone probably likes it (at least, the author's agent and editor did) and any book -- good or bad -- takes days and weeks and years of hard work).
Anyway, after deciding that I would succumb, I mean, subscribe to the No, I Do Not Have To Finish Every Book I Start school of thought, this whole category throws me for a loop. Because I don't typically like to read too many books at once; otherwise, I lose interest, and inevitably, stop reading. But now I wonder, are there some books that are better for poking through over a long period of time, like catching up with an old friend every few months, rather than rushing through in one sitting?
Sophie Kinsella chose The Portable Dorothy Parker as her dip-in-dip-out book.
So what's on your summer reading list?