Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Get lost.

Yesterday I finished a really good book. This is sort of a big deal. First of all, I've become so much harder to please; it's hard to draw me in, and even harder to keep me interested. If I'm not completely hooked by page 45, I'm not going to bother plowing through to the end. I call this the 45-page rule.

It amazes me that more people haven't adopted some version of this rule, especially those who have to read a lot of things they would really rather not--you know, things like a freshman-level paper on sports doping, or step-by-step instructions for building a tissue-paper cover from old magazines and pipe cleaners.

Before I went back to school, I used to read everything. I read so many books, and I read them so quickly, that I sometimes found myself completely enjoying a book that I had, in fact, already read. This still happens to me sometimes, but it's not because I'm reading a lot. It's because I've grown holes in my brain and stuff falls out. The end result is the same, but the latter is an indication of encroaching senility--as opposed to the voraciousness of a hungry young mind.

It does occasionally still happen, though, that I come upon a book that passes the 45-page rule. I realize that the sun has gone down and I'm trying to make out the words in the dark, or I look up and say, "Oh! I didn't hear you come in." I almost always go right back to my book, mumbling something along the lines of "this is really, really good."

Only it's not. Because that's when I realize, I'm only about ten pages from the end. Who knows when I'll find another really good read. Or how long it will take me to forget the last one.

photo, Elliot Erwitt.

2 comments:

Cheryl said...

But what's the name of the book? You gotta tell me! I just struggled through Wicked just because I had nothing better to do.

Heather said...

Seriously? You're not going to tell us what the book is?!

Tease.