Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Can you read too much?

I've been complaining a lot this year about how little I'm getting read.  There are a host of reasons for it but; whatever.  I'm sure to fall well short of my usual fifty to sixty books read in a year, but as of yesterday that fact no longer bothers me.

When I hear about other people reading, a hundred, two-hundred, or even three-hundred books a year, my mind has difficulty processing the information.  I don't get; I don't see how it's possible since it is so far removed from my reality.  I'm also completely okay, with not being in that crowd.

I have a cousin who reads around a hundred-fifty books a year or so.  She called me the other and among other things asked what I was currently reading.  I told her, The Shadow of the Wind.  She repeated the title and had to think.  "Who wrote that?"  Carlos Ruiz Zafon, I said.  "That sounds familiar."  I gave her the general premise and it all came back to her.  She informed me that it was really really good.  She had read it earlier this year.  

I have a problem with all that...

While I'm not done just yet, at three hundred pages in I think The Shadow of Window is phenomenal and truly a rarity in fiction.  There isn't a lot of stuff out there this good, I don't see how it could fail to make a mark.  But in my cousin's case, it was just one of a hundred and fifty something books she'll read this year.  I'm thinking that by way of these readers going through so much at a pace which, to me, seems so fast, that it's possible that somethings don't resonate with them the same way they might with slow poke readers as myself.  My cousin doesn't read superficially nor does she glean the pages; she reads.  But I wonder what it takes to make something really stick out for her.  Her focus is so much on moving onto the next book in the queue that she can't really sit and think on what she's just read.  I don't think there is a right and wrong way to read, nor do I feel I'm getting something out of the novel she didn't.  Nonetheless, that phone call made me feel much more comfortable concerning how little I read than I was before.  

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