Saturday, June 14, 2008

the joy of a good book

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~Paul Sweeney

David and I have been reading Jane Eyre together for the last six weeks. We have only been reading it aloud & only reading together, so it's taken a fair amount of time to get through the lengthy chapters. I have read it once before, ten years ago, and I read it in less than three days, I believe, staying up until four a.m. to finish it the final night. I absolutely loved it, but haven't picked it up again since then. David has never read it. I have been delighted to find that it meets and exceeds my memories of it. I love it even more this time around, being able to add my life's experience of the past decade to my interpretation and understanding of the characters. And I actually find there is something quite gratifying to going slowly through a book. Often, like the quotation above says, I feel sad at the end of a good book, because I have to say goodbye to the characters and I have to cease having them dwell in my mind. I sometimes feel a genuine disappointment when I read a good book too quickly (though it's hard to help in some cases!) because I only had a couple of days to mull over the ideas and live vicariously through the lives of the books inhabitants.

We just read three chapters tonight (finishing a few minutes ago) and if it weren't so late and we didn't have 9:00 church, we couldn't have stopped now.

The joy of books!
To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations - such is a pleasure beyond compare. ~Kenko Yoshida


andrea said...

I love Jane Eyre, too. You know that! I haven't figured out the moderation thing though, the last 7 novels I read, I read all in a day. Well, Jane Eyre took me longer to get into, but once I did I couldn't stop. So then I have to put myself on reading time outs, or books on tape only so I can get other things done. I'm going to have to try it your way. Moderation seems like a much better idea. Chris is reading twilight. hehehe

Debra said...

Reading Jane Eyre together sounds so romantic. What a great idea! And you're right, inhaling a book feels a little like cheating. It's good to do a little bit at a time. I have that same problem with chocolate cake. And I always feel bad after--book or cake.

Kathryn said...

I know! I love Jane Eyre. I'm not that far, but I am loving it! I forgot how much I loved to read. After I had Lincoln I just didn't have time. At that time I would rather eat and sleep, but know that things are settling down I'm reading again. Which I love! Have you read the Witch of Blackbird pond? I read it when I was little, but just recently read it again and loved it. The love story is so sweet! You would love it.

mindy said...

drea--David has read all the twilight books and really enjoyed them. a lot of guys aren't willing to try them out when I think they'd enjoy them as much as girls. the stories are just interesting and well written.

debra--i guess it has been kind of romantic. it's definitely better than just sitting on our butts watching TV together. :o) mmmm....cake!

kathryn--i hear ya! since becoming a mom, reading feels like one of the most luxurious and decadent things I do! what an odd life, huh? I have not read the Witch of Blackbird Pond. I will pick it up after this current bout of books is finished. Thanks for the recommendation!