Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Frankenstein (copy)

Some books are awe-inspiring; some books are thought provoking; some books are lyrical; and some books are duds. Huh, did I just write dud? What would cause me to say that? I’m normally all about the book. How can I be so negative?

As one can imagine, in order to write a weekly column on books I need to constantly read. I usually start a book on Thursday and finish reading it Saturday. That gives me enough time to read another book if the first is “dudish.” If the second book is also a dud, well, I write to you about dud books.

This is where I stand as of Wednesday morning, 9:30. I had really high hopes for the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, but as the days past, this pop cultural icon felt more like a school assignment. I would read a chapter, fall asleep, reread a paragraph, fall asleep, and then reread from the beginning. I think you get my predicament.

I could recommend this book to anyone experiencing trouble falling asleep, but that would be all wrong. This is my situation. Another person may pick up the book and be drawn in for hours. They might even devour it in one sitting. It all depends on the mood one is in when they start a book. I apparently was in a drowsy mood.

This brings up an important question. Do you always finish a book once you start it, even if it drags? I have a feeling most of you are nodding your heads, yes.

My beloved is the same way. He reads a book like he is on a mission. Your mission, if you chose to accept it, is to drag your eyes across every word in this work, even if it may cause loss of time and entertainment in order to succeed. “Yes, sir, and may I have another!”

Not me. I give the book a fifty page limit. If I’m not hooked by the fifty-first page, it goes back to the library. It just doesn’t seem proper to waste time on something you aren’t enjoying. There aren’t any teachers looking over your shoulders telling you it has to be read. Sort of takes all the fun out of reading, if you think of it in this manner.

Mood is everything when it comes to reading. If you aren’t in a certain mood for a certain book, you really are wasting time. The bright side to this mood is it may change. A dud at this time and place may become a gem years later.

So, I give you my permission not to read a book, if by fifty pages it evolves into a dud. The problem with Frankenstein—I never got to page fifty. I found myself snoring by page twenty.

Cartoon by Chris Burke