Monday, 28 November 2011

Getting stuck in 1818

I'm going to start this post by being completely honest; I love reading but I don't read enormous quantities of books. Stress and work and pretending to write my dissertation all get in the way of reading to my heart's desire, and so I tend to have seasonal reading, or weekend reading, or post-essay reading. (Post essay reading is usually a slow process as my brain is turned to mush for the 3 to 5 days following completion of essay, as I forget how to think about anything other than [insert essay subject here])

But anyway, every week or two, I sit down with a book (old or new, to read or reread; it doesn't really matter), having set an hour or two of my evening aside to chill and read something other than journal articles. And, more often than not, something quietly miraculous happens, and suddenly its 3am, and I have finished the entire book, and read the snippet chapter from the next instalment that is placed there to tempt me into spending my student loan. (This sales device works oh-so-often, and has made it difficult to read a series of books and afford weekly shopping simultaneously.)
My lovely boyfriend is unable to understand how I lose this time, and become so immersed in a book that I forget to stop and go to sleep. Similarly, I am at a loss at how he can stop at the end of a chapter when its just getting to a really good bit. 'Tis madness, people, Madness!

Just the other night, I was mid Georgian romance novel, when a pat on my arm made me jump. The boyfriend is sat next to me, and I have no idea when the hell he got there. He's complaining that I'm ignorant or deaf as he had just asked me a question four times without me batting an eyelid, and did I want a cup of tea? The standard answer is now "No, thanks.", as I usually then forget to drink the cup of tea until it is room temperature. But anyway, I ask him how long he's been sat there, and when he tells me half an hour, I meekly apologise and accept the tea offer. Five minutes later and I have a cup of tea warming my hands, as I try to explain how I am able to not only ignore someone talking, but The Boyfriend's presence altogether.

"Sorry, I was in 1818 in Venice. Titus is considering telling Alethea that he loves her, even though she's married, and its getting really really good! I was stuck in 1818." I'm vaguely aware that I'm getting more high pitched with my description of just how good the book was at the particular moment, before he smiles, and I know he isn't too bothered. "Don't you know how hard is it to time-travel?!?" 
Then he laughs and shakes his head at me, "Drink your bloody tea."


This is the difference for me between a good book, and an amazing one. I need to be transported, sucked into the book so entirely that I forget whatever was bothering me before I opened those pages. I want to temporarily become the telepathic barmaid meeting a vampire for the first time, or a medieval doctor solving a mass murder case, or Mr. Darcy's daughter who is falling in love with a man other than her husband. 
And then at the end, I want to feel the urgent need to tell someone else just how good the experience of reading that book was. I think this has been my very round-about way of saying that I want to find more amazing books, and (more relevant to the blogging part) post reviews on those amazing books, so that someone other than The Boyfriend hears just how fantastic they are.

Hmmm, so many choices! Where to start?








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