I enjoy the little details nestled in the pages of books and that’s the reason why I re-read. Sometimes I re-visit books I may not have loved from the first page but found I had fallen in too deep along the way and I needed to know what happened to characters I invested feelings in, characters that invaded my thoughts, and characters that began to live with me as I made my way through a book. And this brings me to another reason I re-read — sometimes it’s not about the details. Sometimes it’s about the feelings.
Feelings of doom, darkness, depression, and desperation. That’s what I felt re-reading Wuthering Heights. I knew that going in and wasn’t surprised that those feelings surfaced but I also felt something else this time and it was an annoyance with these characters. The self-absorption became too much somewhere around the middle and I put the book down several times to read another story. I’m glad I did because I think if I pushed through I’d have given up.
I won’t go into details of the story itself but I did want to talk about two characters in particular because they are the driving force for the above-mentioned feelings. Heathcliff is simply horrid. Yes, I know you already know this and, no, this is nothing new. I want to feel for him, to understand his hurt, his need to feel loved, but I can’t forgive him or any of his actions. Catherine needs help, is crying out for help, but everyone around her is too tightly bound up in themselves to either accept she needs help or to offer it. All of the characters are crying out for help in their own myriad of ways; except for Lockwood who more or less needs a bedtime story because he’s sick.
Can we talk about Nelly for a moment? She’s one hell of a storyteller! Seriously. She tells everything to a stranger, spills all the family secrets, makes sorry and pointed observations about the people in her life without regret. It makes me wonder if her housekeeping abilities live up to the liveliness of her storytelling abilities. It also makes me question her motives too. These are people she supposedly cares/d about and she tells these stories to a stranger. Then again, she’s living up to my feelings about this book so maybe it’s not odd at all.
Would I re-read Wuthering Heights again? Probably, but it will be a long while before I pick this up again. It’s a book that will forever and always live on my shelf and books with that status are always subject to re-examination. I fully expect the details and feelings to be different next time. I consider that a good thing.
At the end of every year, I find myself with a reading conundrum. I want to end the year with an amazing book. I scour the shelves, my library options, and, yes, sometimes bookstores. In the end, I usually re-read a book. Why? I think it has to do with comfort.
I might want to end the year with an outstanding book but there’s a lot of pressure to find the right one. Will I be disappointed? Does it say something about my reading choices, or even more worrisome, about me as a reader, if I don’t pick the right book? It’s too much pressure to put on a single book and on myself as a reader. I’m not going to even entertain thoughts about what the ‘right’ book would be…
So, I find a book on my shelf that I know. A book I have a relationship with. A book I love. This year, it’s Wuthering Heights. Yes, I’m ending my year with a morose book but somehow that dark, somber read seems appropriate to say goodbye to 2018. There are no regrets about this choice.
I can’t wait to see what 2019 will hold on the book front and to see what stories make it onto my shelf, into my library queue, and what books I write about.
I wish you all a happy and healthy 2019 full of wonderful stories, great moments, and smiles. And of course, books!
I’m not sure if I’m fascinated or horrified by this New York Times article -> Tiny Books Fit in One Hand. Will They Change the Way We Read?
On one hand, I love that books are changing, adapting to new ways that readers are interacting with words. Innovation is exciting in that regard. I’m always interested in exploring literary worlds in new formats and I think this one is interesting. But. Yes, a but.
I’m torn. I want to embrace this new tiny book idea and I’ll probably buy one out of curiosity. BUT the one part of the article I keep coming back to is this:
The tiny editions are the size of a cell phone and no thicker than your thumb, with paper as thin as onion skin. They can be read with one hand — the text flows horizontally, and you can flip the pages upward, like swiping a smartphone.
I read on my phone, I read on an e-reader too. I’m not opposed to that but I don’t want books to be nothing more than a cell phone.
Books are an experience. Books are to be savored. Books become memories. Books and the stories they carry shouldn’t be a simple swipe. But, again, a but. If using innovation as the inspiration, maybe I need to step back and give this new format a go and see how I feel then.
For now, old school. I’ll be reading a heavy 571-page hardcover book this weekend. If my arms get tired, my thoughts on this may change.
It’s been four years, FOUR YEARS, and 12 days if I did the math correctly, since I last posted something here.
I’m not sure why today felt like the day to return, but it did and it is.
I’m keeping expectation low, like buried the bar low, so I can ease back into writing and talking about books without any pressure.
Let’s start simple. Hello. I’m Amy and I’m back to writing about books. Expect bookish things soon.
My unscheduled hiatus lasted longer than anticipated. These things happen.
I thought about taking a permanent break. I decided against it.
Lately, I’ve been composing posts in my head. Obviously, none have made it from the brain wave stage yet.
That will happen. Soon, I hope.
To ease myself back into writing, I’m starting with a new look.
And when I do start again, it will be more than just book reviews.
I need, and crave, change right now.
Let’s see what happens.
This year has been difficult, and by difficult, I mean it has sucked and promises to continue sucking for a very long time. Because I’m not looking to vent about anything that’s happened, or am I looking for pity, (or feeling the need to answer personal questions), let’s just accept that’s where things are right now and move on. OK? Thanks. (I knew I could count on you.)
With life being so uncooperative, my reading suddenly became non-existent. I’m saw words but I wasn’t really reading. I took some time off. I re-grouped. I stared at my bookshelves. I pondered. I scrolled the books on the Nook. I’d start a book. I’d put the book down. It became a pattern. I’m a reader? Why can’t I read?
Eventually, words made sense again. The stories started to take on a soothing quality. I was no longer stressing over reading. I read slow. I savored. I went to my comfort reads: fantasy and Arthurian legend. I discovered a new series. I’m now reading all those graphic novels on my shelf.
I’ve started to acquire books again. I’m looking forward to new releases by a few favorite authors.
In the next days and weeks, I might even feel like talking about books again.
You may, or may not, have noticed that I took a bit of a blogging break thanks to life being unexpectedly uncooperative lately. It happens. I’ll be back soon with reviews and updates. For the time being, happy reading.