Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On the Night Shift

I'm going through one of those lovely insomniac phases where I'm averaging 2-3 hours sleep a night. Fun!

The up side is I'm getting a lot of reading and movie watching done. The bad news is that I'm exhausted. But this too shall pass.

I don't know about you, but there's a hole list of books that I think I've read, but I haven't. Classics, mostly. So I have this rule of reading my way through the list, a few books each year. My latest is The House of the Seven Gables, which I thought I read in high school but after looking at it I realized was completely unfamiliar to me.

I read a lot and I always have. And I love reading the classics, though it's not always an "enjoyable" process. I cannot say that I've had fun getting through some of Dickens, let's say. A marvelous writer and I'm glad to have read him, but I have to admit that getting through The Old Curiousity Shop wasn't filled with unending joy. And I'm finding "Seven Gables" to be like that. When I'm done I'll feel a sort of modest pride that I've read another must-read. But at the moment I do find it hard going at times.

OK, I'm a Philistine. I like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, Elizabeth Peters and Tony Hillerman. True, I also love Jane Austen, the Brontes, and most of Dickens; Mark Twain and the Dumas (pere and fils). But I am, at heart, someone who loves enjoyable books. Give me "a thumping good read" and I'm happy. Which means I mostly read for pleasure. But occasionally I read because I should. Because I want to know that I've actually made it all the way through Crime and Punishment. (Which, by the way, I never will because my goal to read all the classics does not apply to dreary Russian novels that are 600 pages long and full of peasants and potatoes.)


Linda Myers said...

I have a list of classics also, but first I get to tackle the pile of more contemporary things sitting on the floor by my nightstand. Thank goodness!

Decca said...

Linda, I had to laugh at that. I have one of those stacks too. Plus I need to start this month's book group pick. So many books....so little time!

Kittie Howard said...

Crime and Punishment drove me nuts. War and Peace kinda drove me nuts, had some decent, non-dreary moments. One of my favs is Tess of the Durbervilles, save for the ending. I love the earlier Elizabeth Peters books when they first arrive in Luxor. I wish she'd wrung a few more books out of the series. Actually, I'm hungry for a good read, mostly ho-hum books lately.

That said, go to sleep, Decca! Whenever I can't sleep, it's because I'm thinking too much.

FinnyKnits said...

Oh man. My list of To-Reads is way too long and filled with unread classics as well as books I read in school but didn't appreciate or understand.

Like, I HATED Fahrenheit 451, 1984 and Tale of Two Cities (lots of numbers in there - I wonder if that's why - they're all evil math!), but now that I look back on the premise and content of those books, I think I just didn't *get it* at the time.

Knowing that, you'd think I'd be reading them ALL right now, but no. I'm reading some stupid UltraWellness crap that wants me to take a thousand supplements and stop eating bread.

I make no sense.