Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Next Chapter

My renewed interest in reading this list is still alive and well. But unfortunately this current book, The Golden Notebook, is one that isn't going too quickly.

Whenever I start a new book, I can usually tell within the first fifty or so pages, if it is going to be a quick read or not. This one is the latter. There are a few reasons for that. First and foremost, there doesn't seem to be much of a plot. It seems to be written more as a diary than a novel; despite parts of it being excerpts from a novel. There isn't a lot of character development, and it seems to jump all over the place, often without warning. Through the first 200 pages, I sometimes feel as if I've started a new book five or six times.

The second problem I have with this book, is that there aren't really any chapters. This bothers me to no end, as it doesn't feel as if there's an appropriate place to stop reading. I'm always stuck stopping in the middle of something, which makes it all the more difficult when I resume reading. I have to kind of think back to what exactly is going on.

For whatever reason, chapters seem to be a way of motivating me to read a little further, as I usually tend to read until I've finished one. Instead of reading only 15 pages, I'll read to the end of a 25 page chapter. But with The Golden Notebook, I am forced to stop whenever, which means I usually stop reading a little earlier than I normally would, and that 15 pages turns into 10 pages.

Add to this that I spent a few days last week finishing one of my book club reads, 11/22/63 by Stephen King. At 800+ pages, it was no light read, but I was able to fly through it in no time at all. I think that's probably due to the fact that it's quite riveting, but also to the fact that it has many chapters. I found myself finishing a chapter, and thinking, 'I'll just read one more' since they don't take very long. That would then turn into two more, then three more, and before I knew it I had read an 250 pages.

It also made it nearly impossible for me to maintain my plan of reading one chapter from 11/22/63 and then one chapter from The Golden Notebook. Had I done so, I would have been reading 10 pages from the King novel, and 250 pages from Notebook. I'm only human, and was unable to resist reading 11/22/63.

But I am soldiering on with the list, and should hit the halfway mark sometime in the next couple of days.

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