Thursday, August 18, 2011

So Many Books, So Little Time

by Sara Nelson
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons c2003.

In 2002, Sara Nelson, a book reviewer and journalist by trade, decided to spend the year reading a book a week and writing about her experiences. What resulted is this book, a collection of essays and ruminations on reading: her process choosing a book, reading more than one book, books vs. movies, and much, much more.

I love to read, and I love to read about reading. I am, admittedly, part of that niche, ready-made audience for this book. I enjoyed Sara's thoughts because I could relate and because she had a truly funny way of getting her points across. One essay that stands out in my mind was her discussion of reading more than one book at a time, and how sometimes she has books that she reads at home, but not in public. This could sound snobby, but it didn't to me because throughout the book she's talking about the "low" and "high-brow" literature she's reading, not ashamedly but in a friendly, confessional sort of way. Instead, it reminded me of when I was reading V for Vendetta for a class, but I stopped reading it in public because I kept getting asked if I'd seen the movie (I haven't). So I started bringing out Reading Matters, a collection of research on reading in the United States, that looked smarter and was my "fun" (ie., non-school) book at the time. This was one of many ways in which I found I could completely relate with Sara, which is ultimately, why I fell in love with her book.

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