Monday, July 02, 2012

A bookish post

In early January, inspired by the blog of a friend, I wrote about some of the books I wanted to read in 2012, and the fact I wanted to keep track of what I read as the year progresses. And since the year is (gulp) already more than half over, I figured I'd check in. :)

 I've been very good at tracking my reading. So far this year, I've completed 37 books so far, so roughly six a month. There are two I started and haven't yet finished (one from way back in April), but there's something about writing down my start and ending date for each book I read that somehow makes me loath to not finish one. 

Two of those I've completed reading were among six books I knew in advance that wanted to read this year ("Hedy's Folly" and a rereading of "The Screwtape Letters"), and I've started rereading "War and Peace."

It's actually been 21 years since I read it the first time. Yeah, I was 13. I'd been introduced to Jane Austen at 12 and had just finished reading most of the Dickens canon (thanks, Lakeland Public Library!) so was when I read it. I was one of those kids who liked to challenge myself with books (I read "Gone With the Wind" in seventh grade), and the thicker the tome, the better. Also, I was headed to my Granny B's house for an extended visit that summer (summer, for some reason, just seems like the time to tackle huge books to me...not that there's a bad time of year for it, really) and wanted something hefty to take with me. That summer, while I was in Mobile, I also read the history of the Kings & Queens of Great Britain and started writing a novel set in Elizabethan England. Nah, I wasn't nerdy at all. :)
Anyway, I'm 210 pages in right now (out of 1,455) and I'm enjoying being back in Russia of the early 1800s immensely. Some of the plot points and characters I remember easily. Right now, I'm on the road with Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, making his way through Austria and back to his regiment, which is in the process of fleeing Napoleon's French forces. :) I'm using the same copy (somewhat worse for wear after 21 years. The spine is cracked, for example), and when I opened it up last week, there was the signature of my 13-year-old self, complete with flourish underneath, on the frontispiece next to the a sketch of Tolstoy's head and right above a brief biography. Inside was also the bookmark I'd apparently used back in 1992: a cassette tape label, which isn't something you see too much of these days.
The usage illustration, complete with directional arrow and both English and Korean(?) instructions, is the best part.

No comments: