You know that one thing they say about books?

I enjoy reading... a LOT. There's just something about sitting in a comfortable chair and immersing yourself in a literary world. I'm fairly open minded, too - I'll give just about anything a chance, and if a book is REALLY good, I won't hesitate to read it over and over again (my copy of THE OUTSIDERS is so worn, I'm surprised pages haven't started falling out!).

I've been let down by books before, sure. Most recently would be the Twilight series - I won't even get started about that... plenty of books have had potential and just didn't cut it, and that's depressing. It's depressing to think that you spent hours, maybe even days, working through a book, only to wish you had read something else when you're done. But there is never a time that I've ever regretted reading a book - when it's all said and done, the more literature one familiarizes with, the better off one is.

And then there are those books that you finish and wonder why it had to end. Harry Potter comes to mind (though I feel they could have given me a more thought out ending for that one - but I still cried to see it go), as well as Stephen King's IT, and of course, The Outsiders. Those books, you can read for hours, and not realize it's been that long. You get lost amidst the pages, because the writing is done in such a way, it engulfs you entirely. It's not hard to picture what's happening - it's not hard to put yourself in the shoes of one of the characters, and more so than that, it's just a good story. The idea is genius, and the fact that someone thought it out is mind blowing. These books are incredibly easy to read - and when I say that, I don't mean they're EASY. They still have exquisite tone, wonderful vocabulary, and simply captivating imagery... it's these things that make them an easy read - by which I mean, they're easy to get through. Reading through them is not difficult, you don't have to force yourself forward - you have to force yourself to stop. In books like this, I've found myself gaging chapters, checking forward to see how long it is. "That's short," I'll think, "I'll read it, and then I'll be done." But when I finish the chapter, I want to read the next one. "It's fairly short, too, I'll read it, THEN I'll be done." But that still isn't enough. If the chapter is long, I'll tell myself, I'll just read to the next paragraph break. But, when I get there, I want to push on further.

I've never been able to pinpoint exactly what it is in a writing style that makes me want to delve further between the pages - makes me want to dissolve into the book and be surrounded by it's literary genius... it's just there.

I'm suffering from this again. I've been mulling through The Other Boleyn Girl as of late - the book started out fairly slow, and I honestly only picked it up because I saw the movie and simply adored it. Within the first few pages, I learned that the movie and the book were nothing alike, save for the basic outline and the names of the characters, but like I said before I can't leave a book unfinished. The deeper I got into the book, the more I found I was intrigued by the literary character of Mary Boleyn. The movie character didn't appeal to me too strongly, but for whatever reason, the Mary Boleyn they had down on paper was absolutely captivating, and I found myself mildly enjoying reading about her. She's a much stronger literary character than she is on film.

But - the book moved incredibly slow, and I read maybe a total of 50 pages in a couple of months, only picking it up when I felt like it. As you may have read in an earlier post, I took the book with me to jury duty. The book had hit a dull part, so it was hard to get through, but I figured the best way to force me to read it would be to put myself in situation where the only thing more boring than reading the book would be NOT reading the book. Even then, I only read about 5 pages before I was able to leave.

I went back to Jury Duty today - and brought the book with me. I didn't think I'd get much read, but as soon as I sat down, the book was in my hands. I couldn't not read it - the room was thick with a sort of uncomfortable tension. People were filling out paperwork or writing in journals - the whole place felt like detention, and I felt I HAD to read the book for fear the teacher would come by with her ruler and bust me if I didn't. I began scanning the pages lightly, reading them at a slow pace, taking in some of the sounds of the room more than reading... but then something happened - I found one of those hooks that I had found in books before, and in this case I can tell you what it is.

I'm completely and hopelessly intrigued by the wickedness of Anne Boleyn. Her calm, calculated darkness had been presented in the story already, but began to show through even stronger, proving to be even more calm and calculated than previously let on. Within a few minutes I was no longer scanning pages but devouring them, yearning for the words to process in my mind faster so I could push forward. My eyes never left the pages to check the clock or look around the room - I simply tore through the book until the judge came on the intercom, and even then I had to TEAR my eyes away. I was irritated by the interruption, wanted to know more about the girls' plights, and was even more irritated by the fact that the judge was interrupting my literary adventure to tell me that they wanted me to come back tomorrow. My mood was slightly improved when she announced that there were some people that didn't have to come back, and everyone pulled out their jury badges. The uncomfortable tension in the room dissolved, giving way to the care free air of a raffle as people sat in joyous suspense, waiting for their number to be called, hoping they would luck out and earn a "get out of jail free" card. It was as if the entire room instantaneously decided that we were all friends, united in the same annoying plight. The need to get back to my book was comfortably tucked into the back of my mind as I told the girl next to me that I would hug someone if they yelled "BINGO!" when their number was called. I was unfortunate enough to not have my number called, and had a pleasant conversation with a disgruntled woman who had to drive in from Los Banos only to sit in a stuffy room for half an hour... and that's when my book was brought back to my attention. HALF AN HOUR! I checked how far I had gotten and realized I had read 60 pages in half an hour, averaging 2 pages a minute and destroying my pathetic record of 50 in 2 months. But even that wasn't the end. As soon as I stepped outside, the need to delve back into the Queen Katherine's court leaped from it's hiding place in the back of my head and demanded I open the book again. I plopped myself on the cement next to the flag pole and happily obliged, wasting no time and quickly falling back into the enthralling world that was 1523 England. I found myself constantly looking ahead, telling myself I would only read so much but knowing I'd read more, until the chilled air and cold pavement broke through my clothes and made it impossibly to concentrate. Within an hour and a half I had managed to read nearly 200 pages of a book I had deemed boring and trite just that morning.

I'm not entirely sure what the point of this blog was - I guess you can take away from it what you want. Some of you may think I'm trying to tell you to read the Other Boleyn Girl - which I won't deny. It's so far a captivating book and should definitely be read. Others may thing I'm trying to support the old "don't judge a book by it's cover" thing, which may also be true... but I guess I'm just writing to make myself feel better. It's why I started this blog, and I kind of need it today... just... well... Just because something isn't your taste, or doesn't look like it's going to meet your expectations... don't give up on it. You could be pleasantly surprised. :)

Get ya mind right.


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Ana said...

Omg I love the movie..i've been wanting to read the book, and after reading your blog I guess I will now :) hehe Books are awesome but they really have to catch me,believe me I have fallen asleep reading some super boring books. but yea I love how ur blog just made me want to read the book :) hehe